13:20 PM Friday, November 16, 2018 Wednesday, July 10
Norwegians invest in solar; Inflation falls to under 10%; Boryspil airport busier than ever; Government offers IMF an alternative on gas prices; EU summit recognizes Ukraine’s European aspirations and reform; Government to supports coal mining and agric
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Norwegians invest in Ukrainian solar power Norwegian solar power developer Scatec Solar has acquired a 51% stake in Rengy Development, one of the largest developers and independent solar power producers in Ukraine Cameron McKenna reports. The aim of the investment is to build a number of solar power plants in the Mykolaiv region with a total capacity of 47 MW. Total capital expenditure for the projects is estimated at €52 million. The start of construction is expected in late 2018 with commercial operation beginning in 2019.

Inflation falls. The inflation rate was in June 9.9%, down 1.8% from 11.7% in May. Growth in consumer prices from May to June this year remained at zero, matching the previous month. Consumer prices have grown by 4.4% since the beginning of the year the State Statistics Service of Ukraine reports

Coal sector to get UAH 3 billion in subsidies. Prime Minister Groysman has demanded a totally new policy for the coal sector. He said: "The state of affairs in the coal sector is very poor, and this isn't good for the miners and for me as the Prime Minister….it is necessary to update and modernize the coal mines systematically and to increase the coal production,” UAH 3 billion ($115 million) will be allocated from the 2018 state budget to cover the difference in cost and market price of coal.

Boryspil Airport tops European passenger ratings. In May Boryspil International Airport took first place in the ACI Europe ratings of airports that handle 10-25 million passenger category with growth of +22.2%. Interfax-Ukraine reported that Airports Council International (ACI Europe) had announced that Borispol had overtaking Athens, Warsaw, Budapest and others, The ACI Europe’s Airport Traffic Report for May includes figures from 229 airports, representing more than 88% of European air passenger traffic.

Parliament has so far passed 9 out of 35 bills vital for economic growth. Verkhovna Rada has already passed 9 bills out of 35 bills needed for economic growth with five more having been supported at their first reading. Vice Prime Minister Stepan Kubiv announced at a meeting of the Agenda-Setting Council, Ukrinform reports.

EU Ukraine Summit report. Leaders recognize significant progress in Ukrainian reforms at the 20th EU-Ukraine Summit in Brussels on 9 July. In a joint statement by President of the European Council Donald Tusk, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and President Petro Poroshenko welcomed the improving living standards especially in the areas of health and pensions, the progress on structural reforms in the fields of decentralization public administration, public procurement and environmental reform and on privatization, improved governance, transparency of State Owned Enterprises, and the progress made on the law on national security. The statement confirmed the EU’s continued support for Ukraine's reform efforts, linked to effective implementation of reforms and policy measures, including the struggle against corruption, Ukrinform reports. The EU leaders also acknowledged the European aspirations of Ukraine and welcomed its European choice. Furthermore, they “welcomed the substantial increase in bilateral trade flows and the effective implementation of the visa-free regime, contributing to deepening relations between our societies."

Ukraine, EIB sign €75 million loan agreement for road safety. Ukraine has some of the worst road accident statistics in Europe. The agreement, concluded in Brussels on 9 July, provides for a reduction in deaths and injuries in urban areas, a reduction in the number of accidents by creating safer traffic conditions, improving the dynamics of city traffic and education measures aimed at improving road safety, UNIAN reports.

Government submits alternatives to the IMF on household gas prices. The government has proposed a new option of compromise in the negotiations with the IMF, which envisages a package of steps, including monetization of subsidies, liberalization of the gas market and a discount from the single price of gas for ordinary consumers, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman announced. The equalization of household and industrial gas prices is a precondition for receiving the next tranche of IMF funding. This was supposed to have happened in the summer of 2017, but the government did not follow through, apparently out of political and social considerations.

Ukrenergo assessing 4 bids for medical insurance tender. Ukrenergo has accepted four bids for tenders to provide voluntary medical insurance services to its employees, according to the ProZorro electronic procurement system. They are from insurance companies – Krayina, Krona, NaftaGazStrakh, and Kniazha Vienna Insurance Group. The expected bid was estimated at UAH 8.187 million. The results of the tender will be announced on 1 August. Ukrenergo operates trunk and interstate power grids and the centralized dispatching of the united energy system of the country, Interfax-Ukraine reports.

Government reassures agricultural producers and investors. Agribusiness support programmes and additional leveraging investments to continue. The Prime Ministers confirmed that the government will stimulate farming by making UAH 1 billion available for cheaper loans, fertilizers and seed grains. He also noted that the Export Credit Agency of Ukraine will start work in the autumn and that he supports the bill on the establishment of industrial parks stating that this must be a top-priority to create additional tools to leverage investments, the government portal reports.

Ukrainians cross EU border over 21 million times since visa-free regime. EU border crossings by Ukrainians are up 12% since the introduction of the visa free regime in June 2017. In June 2018, Ukrainians made 221,000 trips to the EU, a growth of 230% over the first 30 days of the visa-free regime, when the figure was almost 96,000. The number of Ukrainians benefiting from the visa-free regime ranges from 9,000 to 12,000 people a day, Ukrinform reports.

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