•A battle of wills between Ukraine and the International Monetary Fund is looming over the IMF's insistence that Ukraine raise the retirement age from 60 to 63 by 2027, Bloomberg reported. At stake is the latest batch of IMF bailout money. Ukrainian Social Minister delivered a message to the IMF: “I told them their stance was political and that there’s no economic logic behind it.”
•Heavyweight budget airline Ryanair may soon announce plans to offer service to Ukraine, multiple sources reported. A company official said Ryanair is studying routes from Ukraine to Poland and other European countries. Countries to the east and north of Ukraine that are popular destinations for Ukrainian travelers are off-limits to Ryanair, its chief commercial officer said back in May
•More than 200 foreign companies will be at three international agricultural expos in Kyiv in mid-February, according to Ukrinform. Grain Technologies, the Agro Animal Show and Fruits. Vegetables. Logistics will be held Feb. 15-17 and have exhibitors from 20 countries.
•The Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority plans dredging projects totaling about 20 million cubic meters in area in 2017, Interfax Ukraine reported. Major dredging work is slated to happen at the ports of Yuzhne and Chornomorsk.
•France advised it will send a business mission to Ukraine sometime this year, Ukrinform reported. According to a presentation by the French trade minister, there are 130 French companies working in Ukraine, and France ranks eighth among the countries that have invested in Ukraine.
•Ukraine's advertising market saw strong and encouraging growth in 2016, Novoe Vremya reported. Nevertheless, business expenditures on PR and advertising last year ($449 million) were well off the pinnacle of $1.4 billion in 2013. The market for this year is forecast to be $552 million.
•Tourism from Ukraine to Egypt is poised to grow dramatically, according to Liga.net. The governor of the resort town of Sharm El Sheikh was quoted as saying that Ukrainians have started to make up the majority of the local tourist crowd.
•Almost 80 percent of the assets held by banks the state is liquidating exist only on paper, an independent appraisal found, the Deposit Guarantee Fund and Interfax Ukraine reported. Some of the collateral at those banks is in occupied Crimea or parts of the Donbas that are not under Ukraine's control.•Another case of African swine fever, a disease that is ravaging Ukrainian pork production, was confirmed in the Luhansk region, Unian reported.
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