Parliament passed a national budget for 2017, eliminating a major obstacle to Ukraine's receipt of the latest tranche of an IMF loan, multiple sources reported. The budget forecasts 3 percent GDP growth and 8 percent inflation, and it allocates double the previous amount to the road fund.
With the backing of 240 lawmakers, the Rada passed a bill on second reading to liberalize the Ukrainian tax code, multiple sources reported. The law is aimed at improving the investment climate in Ukraine by simplifying the tax system, increasing the transparency and quality of tax administration, and getting rid of widespread tax evasion schemes and lack of coordination.
Ukraine struck a deal with the world's leading port network, Hong Kong-based Hutchinson Ports, to develop container facilities at Chornomorsk port, one of the largest on the Black Sea, Ukrinform reported. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The document Hutchinson and the Ukrainian government signed is a memorandum of understanding.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will loan
nearly $8 million to the Kremenchuk Municipal Trolleybus Co. for
acquisition of 50 new trolleybuses, including spare parts,
maintenance tools, workshop maintenance and diagnostic equipment for
the new fleet, Interfax Ukraine reported. The loan will be supported
by an investment grant of up to $2 million from the Eastern Europe
Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P), to which the
European Union is the largest contributor. This is the first urban
transportation project in Ukraine to be supported by the partnership.
The Rada has approved creation of an export-credit agency in Ukraine, according to Interfax Ukraine. Bill No. 2142a was passed on second reading late Tuesday by 237 lawmakers. The agency will protect Ukrainian exporters from the risk of nonpayment and financial losses pertaining to foreign contracts.
A new outbreak of avian flu was confirmed in the Kherson region, according to Interfax Ukraine. The European Union has banned poultry imports from Ukraine because of an epidemic of the highly virulent H5 strain of avian flu in the Kherson region.
Ukraine's national sugar producers association, Ukrtsukor, announced that the country's refineries have produced nearly 2 million tons of sugar this year, Ukrinform reported.
Industrial output in November was up almost 4 percent from the same month the previous year, and in the January-November period, it was up 2 percent year on year, multiple news outlets reported.
Ukrainians have been on a computer-buying spree this year in comparison with the pace of the previous two years, research firm IDC found, as reported by Novoe Vremya. The data show 17 percent growth in sales of notebooks and PCs in 2016.
Ridership on Ukraine's 19 airlines in the first 11 months of the year totaled 7.5 million passengers, up nearly 30 percent from the same period the previous year, Novoe Vremya reported. In related news, in April, Austrian Airlines will begin nighttime flights from Vienna to Lviv and Odesa, multiple sources reported, citing Avianews.com.
Ukravtador head Slavomir Novak said 97 percent of Ukraine's roads are in bad condition, Liga.net reported.
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