• The privatization of six Ukrainian power companies is slated to begin in January, according to a report by Interfax Ukraine. Igor Bilous, the head of the State Property Fund, said foreign investors are very interested in these tenders, and he added: “We expect quite good revenues, hundreds of millions of dollars. This will be budget-forming privatization.”
• The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development predicts 2 percent growth for Ukraine in 2017, Ekonomicheskaya Pravda reported based on an interview with the EBRD’s chief economist, Russian exile Sergei Guriev. But Guriev also foresees a drop in investment in Ukraine next year.
• The government eliminated more than 350 regulations that hampered business activity, and Prime Minister Volodomyr Groysman announced that Ukraine is committed to deregulation as the primary stimulus to achieve its GDP growth goal of 5 to 7 percent, multiple outlets reported. “When we meet with entrepreneurs, we always ask what problems they face. We are ready to move all the obstacles.”
• Ukraine is using less than 10 percent of its capabilities in production of organic foods, Agrarian Policy and Food Minister Taras Kutovy said in a report carried by Interfax Ukraine. This sector is considered fertile ground for small and midsize businesses.
• Japan is looking into a number of infrastructure projects in Ukraine, according to Ukrinform. The two most prominent are construction of a bridge across the Southern Bug River in Mykolaiv and development of port infrastructure in the Odessa and Mykolaiv regions.
• The Cabinet approved a list of 244 print media outlets to be privatized, Interfax Ukraine reported. A spokesman for the prime minister said the move is intended to “deprive these mass media (outlets) of state influence and make them interesting and informative.” The outlets on the list are more than half of municipal media in Ukraine, he said.
• Ukravtodor will build a new road from Kyiv to the Hungarian border, multiple sources reported. The road will connect the 800 km M-6 Kyiv-Chop highway with the M-3 Budapest-Nyireghaza highway, thereby improving transportation links between Ukraine and Europe.
• Ukraine rose 23 places in the annual Paying Taxes ranking of the ease of paying taxes in countries, Delo reported. With the improvement, Ukraine now is No. 84 out of 190 countries on the list.
• Planexta, a tech outfit that makes a wearable health monitoring device called SenceBand, collected $100,000 from a Kickstarter campaign seven days before the end date of the campaign, ain.ua reported. The company plans to spend the proceeds on setting up production and is negotiating with factories in China.
• A Frenchman from Bordeaux is opening Ukraine’s first truffle farm, Ekonomicheskaya Pravda reported. Edouard Aynaud is establishing the farm in Kharkov and is certain the site has all necessary conditions for truffle growing.
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