•President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday implemented a series of measures urged by the National Security and Defense Council to address threats to Ukraine's energy security and protect critical infrastructure. One of the measures is a suspension of anthracite exports. The state of emergency for the country's electrical power network takes effect today and will last for a month, Unian reported.
•The number of transactions using payment cards increased 28 percent in 2016, and the amount of money involved rose more than 30 percent. The volume of transactions to obtain cash using payment cards rose 22.5 percent, while the volume of non-cash payments involving cards increased 48.5 percent. Also, the number of retail and service companies using cashless payments last year grew over 11 percent, according to Interfax Ukraine.
•Kyiv's Boryspil International Airport will give airlines a 75 percent discount for offering new service at the airport, the country's largest, Novoe Vremya reported. The offer will be good for the first year of any new route, and the airport manager said it's safe to presume that airline passengers will see cheaper ticket prices as a result. Among airlines that have already qualified for the discount are Lufthansa, KLM and Turkish Airlines.
•Construction on a Roshen cookie-baking plant near Boryspil International Airport could be finished by the end of the year, company President Viacheslav Moskalevsky said in an interview with Interfax Ukraine. The cost of the construction project is estimated at roughly $55 million. The confectioner is trying to branch out into new markets to replace Russia, which accounted for 58 percent of its exports until 2013.
•Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer Antonov will open an office in the United States this year, according to Novoe Vremya, citing the government newspaper Uryadovy Courier. In addition, the company intends to move its main office from Kyiv to Gostomel, where it owns an airport.
•The Economic Development Ministry forecast that the growth of the Ukrainian economy in 2017 will not exceed 2.4 percent, which is below the more optimistic government prediction of 3 percent growth, Unian reported.
•Some 56 new plants have opened over the last two years, and 24 more are being built in Ukraine this year despite the difficulties facing the country, Ukrinform quoted Prime Minister Volodomyr Groysman as saying.
•Ukrainian Grain Association chief Volodymyr Klymenko said his group is willing to transport agricultural products using its own train cars if Ukrzaliznytsia will provide a 30 percent discount, Interfax Ukraine reported. In the same report, the head of the Ukrmetallurgprom Association in Dnipro, Oleksandr Kalenkov, said Ukrzaliznytsia inadequate service inflicted heavy losses on Ukrainian mining and metallurgy in the second half of 2016, as roughly 3 million tons of steel went unmade.
•More than 9,000 tickets to Eurovision 2017 events have already been sold, Ukrinform reported. A spokesman said that over 70,000 tickets were planned to be sold to nine competition events: the finals, two semifinals, rehearsals and dress rehearsals.
•The tender panel to select constructors of waste recycling plants in Lviv region has decided to permit three companies to participate in the tender. The three bidders deemed eligible are IEK, Glasswork Technology and Waste Management Systems.
•Ukraine fell four places to 166th out of 180 countries listed in the Heritage Foundation's economic freedom rankings, Novoe Vremya reported. Ukraine received a score of 48.1 points, which is a 1.3-point improvement on last year's score but still below surrounding countries. The average score for its region was a 68.
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