• About 40 foreign companies are interested in investing in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, Novoe Vremya reported, citing Ecology Minister Ostap Semerak.
• Oleksandr Yaroslavsky's group is offering to assemble an international consortium to buy the Odesa portside chemical plant, according to Interfax Ukraine. The government's most recent attempt to privatize the plant ended with no bidders for the tender.
• Turkey's flagship air carrier, Turkish Airlines, will launch direct service between Istanbul and Kharkov starting March 30, Novoe Vremya reported.
• Ukrainian sugar exports in the first 11 months of 2016 were nearly triple the level of the same period last year, multiple sources reported. Sugar production from January through November totaled 335,000 tons and was worth $166.8 million.
• The European Union will continue to support Ukraine's regional development, and plans to provide $25 million more to the country in 2017-18, Interfax Ukraine reported.
• USAID's budget for technical assistance in reforming Ukraine's financial sector doubled in 2016, according to Ukrinform.
• The consulting group that serves as broker for the newly opened Lavina Mall in Kyiv said it has leased 78 percent of the mall's retail space, according to Interfax Ukraine. UTG Consulting said it had attracted companies from Spain and Poland as well as major international brands. Among the companies it is negotiating with are: Forever 21, Starbucks, TJ Maxx and Toys R Us.
• President Petro Poroshenko signed laws to speed up road construction in Ukraine, including one that simplifies the funding of road projects, reported Interfax Ukraine. «This is an industry that creates jobs and provides economic development for the regions» Poroshenko said.
• Investment in Kyiv in 2016 has increased by more than $150 million, Ukrinform reported, citing Mayor Vitaly Klitschko.
• Ivano-Frankivsk and the Portuguese city of Braga signed a cooperation agreement to develop foreign investment and tourism, according to a Ukrinform report.
• The fourth tranche of an International Monetary Fund loan to Ukraine is not expected to be delivered until January or February, multiple news agencies reported.
• Inflation in Ukraine continued to slow in November and stands at about 11 percent for the year, according to multiple sources.
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