14 July, 2018

"Most successful reforms in Ukraine concern healthcare, fight against corruption, education - poll"

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"Poroshenko says he discussed Ukraine-U.S. cooperation in economy, defense with Trump in Brussels"

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13 July, 2018

"Dragon Capital Investments acquires 17,000 sq m business centre"

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"Ukraine to bring 80% of technical standards in line with standards of EU by 2020"

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12 July, 2018
DAVID SIKORA CEO of ALTR UGTI on Facebook An insight into the future of blockchain data technology Government Europa speaks to David Sikora, CEO of ALTR, about all things blockchain, including how General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe could affect blockchain technology. Blockchain has been described as one of the most significant developments in Information Technology (IT) over the past few years by many technology experts. It is a technology system which can increase data security on a large scale and it is so versatile that it can handle any data, as long as it can be digitised. The rise of blockchain data opens up new opportunities in cybersecurity for Europe and Government Europa spoke to David Sikora, CEO of ALTR, about all things blockchain, including how General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe could affect the blockchain technology. David Sikora executed the first Internet Software IPO in the state of Texas in 1995. Subsequently, he founded a company which built the first mobile e-commerce storefronts for more than 50 world-recognised brands. David is now the CEO of ALTR, a company that recently emerged from nearly four years of stealth to introduce the first high-performance blockchain technology to secure critical enterprise information. The company owns 10 percent of the patents issued around blockchain in the United States alone.   What do we really mean by the term ‘blockchain data’? First of all, we have to make sure that we keep bitcoin and cryptocurrency separate from blockchain. Just starting at the high level, consider that cryptocurrencies – of which bitcoin is one – are just one application of blockchain and that the blockchain architecture can support a number of different security cases. Therefore, at its core when you think about what blockchain really is, it is a distributed set of nodes. There could be 20 nodes, there could be 20,000 nodes, but when we apply what blockchain architecture allows you to do, we can think of it as an architecture for governance and an architecture for consensus. Using blockchain for data security and of course data storage – because what we do is actually store data inside the various nodes of the blockchain – means that each node can provide a consensus on what was actually stored inside of that node. Therefore, blockchain at its core has the capacity to provide digital truth. You could have 1000 copies of something, yet if one differs from 999 then that one can either be discarded or it can be changed, and the 999 can vote and say yes this is true, this exists, this data or this file and it is exactly like the other 999. So, as I said, blockchain in its essence provides digital truth, and that is how ALTR uses blockchain to store enterprise data. It takes advantage of the inviolability of blockchain architecture and the things that make that architecture work.   How can blockchain data technology be used by enterprises and businesses to improve their digital safety and security? Blockchain data provides an opportunity to provide digital trust and it is a way to protect and ensure the integrity of enterprise data. The real source of power in the enterprise, more and more, is becoming the data held by these companies. Cybersecurity has been built around protecting end points, building moats around physical or digital assets and that process, and that generation of defence is not working. Therefore, by applying blockchain as a platform to store and protect enterprise data, we can bring the enterprise and other large organizations into the next phase of security and protect their most critical assets.   Can it be beneficial to the ordinary citizen or person or is blockchain data aimed mainly towards enterprises and businesses? There are many potential ways in which this technology can be applied to consumers. For example, what ALTR can do is take a file – whether that be an image, important document, or other type of file – and break that file up into hundreds of pieces, allowing it to be stored on various blockchain nodes. This capability, which is at the core of our enterprise-focused blockchain data system, can be easily applied to consumers as well. For example, imagine that from your mobile phone you could use a cloud service that allows you to safely secure a photo. Although not every photo needs to be protected in the same way, there are lots of consumer use cases similar to this where it would be advantageous to safely store a file that cannot be accessed or altered. From our standpoint, we are electing to bring our product initially into the enterprise market, but it is not hard to image future applications in which one of our enterprise partners, especially technology companies, could build a consumer service using ALTR’s technology.   Why do we need to be considering using blockchain data systems now? Blockchain can provide new capabilities around governance and consensus that up until now have not existed. It is a new generation of capabilities that even five years ago was not possible. There are several pre-conditions which are required in blockchain systems in order for them to operate effectively and at scale. Fast processing, large data pipes, for instance, are crucial. The other thing which is required is inexpensive storage, because blockchain involves a lot of replication in order to establish consensus with speed. Five years ago, you could not do things which can be done today. Five years from now, you will be able to do a lot more. We will start to see a lot of interesting use cases for blockchain as these preconditions begin to accelerate. Currently, using blockchain to protect data is a new opportunity and it is necessary because the current systems are not working properly–if they were you wouldn’t be hearing about so many breaches.   What are you particularly looking forward to seeing in the development of blockchain data in the next five years? From our perspective, we are at the very early stages of deployment in this kind of technology, and the market is really just beginning to embrace them. It is like the internet in 1995, when everyone thought that the web was the internet, but, the web was just one application of the underlying internet. Now, it goes without saying that there are many applications built on the internet and its underlying architecture. I think we are going to see the same thing with blockchain. It has that kind of horizontal, broad-based capabilities. There are use cases that we simply cannot even imagine yet, but they are coming and that is what I am looking forward to seeing.   In relation to the GDPR Privacy Law in Europe stating the right to erasure of data – could this affect the use of blockchain data in Europe due to the nature of blockchain data meaning that data within each chain cannot be removed? GDPR was developed because data was being misused and was being accessed without permission. This created a compelling need to bring privacy strongly back into the equation. From a blockchain perspective, there are technically many ways that you can forget data. In our model, data is stored in the blockchain in pieces, therefore, in order to adhere to certain privacy requirements, it is relatively straight forward to have a GDPR-compliant capability. For example, with ALTR’s technology, it is not possible to reassemble data that has been disassembled simply by accessing the fragments stored in the blockchain. Each of the fragments is meaningless without a reference to the first fragment that then tells you where the next fragment is found, and so on. The data is self-describing, so no map or key exists that can be stolen to access data. Initially, when an organisation uses the blockchain they have significantly decreased their risk of data breach and already have a much more privacy-sensitive environment. If blockchain data was available ten years ago, we might not have even had the compelling need to implement GDPR in the first place.     Sourse: https://www.governmenteuropa.eu/future-blockchain-data-technology/89402/

"US Congress approves resolution expressing support for NATO and Eastern Europe countries"

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"Finance Ministry expects 3.5% GDP growth in Ukraine in 2018"

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11 July, 2018

"Ukraine plans to restore engines of Indian Navy"

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"Growth of capital investments in Ukrainian economy amounts to 37%"

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10 July, 2018
YURIY KRYVOSHEYA President and Managing Partner of PSJC Toronto-Kyiv UGTI on Facebook Growing Canadian cooperation can enhance Ukraine’s international investor appeal As the President and Managing Partner of PSJC Toronto-Kyiv and board member of the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce, Yuriy Kryvosheya is very much involved in the growing bilateral business community as Canada and Ukraine look to build on the recent free trade breakthrough between the two countries. Meanwhile, the Toronto-Kyiv Complex he manages in central Kyiv serves as a business bridge between the two countries, providing a vantage point on strengthening bilateral ties reflected in the Canada and Toronto flags that enjoy pride of place alongside their Ukraine and Kyiv counterparts outside the complex. Kryvosheya explained to Business Ukraine magazine why he believes the advantages of expanding economic ties between Canada and Ukraine extend far beyond the immediate impact of additional investment dollars.   Fruits of Free Trade Since the summer 2016 signing of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA), Kryvosheya has noted a significant upswing in bilateral interaction. There are now markedly more delegations and a growing range of promotional activities as companies on both sides seek to take advantage of the new opportunities presented by the free trade breakthrough. He identifies a number of reasons for optimism that go beyond the current double-digit expansion in trade, albeit from an admittedly low pre-CUFTA base. “Ever since independence, Canada has always led the way in terms of support for Ukraine. This support is now growing and is accompanied by greater business engagement,” he comments. As the bilateral relationship moves to the next level, Kryvosheya believes the diaspora ties and familiarity that bind the two countries can play an important role in encouraging the kind of longer-term thinking that not all of the investors currently looking at Ukraine necessarily share. “One of the biggest advantages of this historic relationship is that Canadian investors tend to enter the Ukrainian market with a long-term perspective in mind. This gives Ukrainian partners the chance to plan strategically instead of focusing on short-term objectives. There is a sense that Canadian investors arriving today will still be here tomorrow.”   Canadian Compliance Kudos The other key advantage he identifies is reputational. Canada generally ranks among the world’s leading nations in surveys assessing compliance. In a world where international compliance expectations are currently on the rise, this makes Canadian companies demanding but desirable partners. “The trend in the international business environment is towards greater regulation and tougher compliance. Canada is well ahead of the curve,” says Kryvosheya. “This makes the reputational aspect of relations particularly important for Canadian investors, while creating challenges for potential Ukrainian partners who will have little choice but to adhere to compliance obligations themselves.” This means the strengthening relationship between the two countries will likely improve Ukraine’s business climate while enhancing its reputation among other international investors. Kryvosheya likens the process to the health benefits of a well-regimented gym workout regime. Canada, he notes with a smile, is an “excellent personal trainer”.   Selling Brand Ukraine Now would certainly be a fortuitous time for Ukraine to receive a reputational boost from closer associations with Canadian compliance excellence. Ukraine’s star is already rising steadily if unspectacularly on international radars, but Kryvosheya argues that both the Ukrainian authorities and individual Ukrainian businesspeople could be doing much more to promote the country as an investment destination. A regular attendee of global investment events, he notes improving awareness of the country’s possibilities and talks of a thaw in attitudes, but also stresses the need to make Ukraine heard above the din of the crowded international marketplace. “A few years ago, it was common to encounter people who would tell me, “It’s an amazing project and we would love to work with you, but Ukraine.” Over the past eighteen months or so, this somewhat frustrating “but Ukraine” message has changed and we are now even seeing conservative investors take a more active interest.” Kryvosheya points to a number of recent major deals involving Canadian institutional investors, arguing that they are clear indicators of an increasing international willingness to view Ukraine as a destination for strategic investment. This, he points out, will encourage other major financial groups to follow suit. Nevertheless, Kryvosheya cautions against assumptions that Ukraine’s merits will sell themselves. “We need to be better at communicating and much more proactive when it comes to promoting the country. Ukraine has a compelling investment narrative but it is not necessarily reaching international audiences. In this competitive environment, every reputable Ukrainian business figure needs to become an informal ambassador. If not out of patriotism, then out of necessity. International investors have a huge range of options open to them and need to hear compelling arguments explaining why Ukraine is a good choice. The process is similar to peeling a cabbage. Before you get to the core of any investment project, you first have to go layer by layer explaining the various macro aspects of the Ukrainian market.”   Enticing Investors to Kyiv Kryvosheya argues that one of the best ways to promote Ukrainian investment is to entice as many business leaders as possible to the country in order to let them see for themselves. This belief in partially based on the enthusiastic reactions he regularly encounters among visiting Canadian delegations, and was emphatically reinforced during the May 2018 Champions League Final festivities in Kyiv. The Holiday Inn hotel within the Toronto-Kyiv Complex hosted large numbers of corporate guests attending the match, with many visiting Kyiv for the first time and expressing what Kryvosheya describes as “positive shock” at the dynamism and entrepreneurial vibe they encountered while in the Ukrainian capital. Meanwhile, for the past two years the Toronto-Kyiv Complex has played host to Kyiv Art Week, attracting the participation of dozens of galleries from across Ukraine and various European capitals including Berlin, Warsaw and Copenhagen. Like the Champions League Final, this contemporary art event does not place the focus specifically on business but does attract executive-level audiences who might well go on to become investors in the country. “Many of the gallery owners confessed to me that they were initially skeptical about the value of coming to Ukraine,” says Kryvosheya. “However, they have all now added Kyiv to their annual calendars and are encouraging their peers to do likewise. Some even referred to Kyiv as “The New Berlin” and raved about the startup culture of the city.”   Strategic Partnership This focus on positive first impressions is a long way away from the kind of downbeat narratives more typically associated with Ukraine. Kryvosheya acknowledges that he has a more optimistic outlook than many, but makes no apologies for talking up Ukraine’s ability to attract international investment. “Not a single one of the many doomsday predictions for the Ukrainian economy since 2014 has actually come true,” he says. “There has been no collapse, no default. On the contrary, GDP growth figures and other key economic statistics have actually been better than expected. If the country has performed this well during a major crisis period, it does not take much imagination to see the possibilities going forward.” He is equally dismissive of those who point to the relatively low levels of bilateral trade between Canada and Ukraine as evidence that the importance of the recent free trade agreement is exaggerated. “There will always be naysayers and so it’s no surprise to see critics underestimating the importance of cooperation with Canada. They fail to recognize the fundamental benefits it brings for Ukraine,” says Kryvosheya. “Despite the relatively low starting point in trade volumes, current growth trends send out a strong message, as does the support coming from both governments. What we are witnessing now is sustainable growth on solid foundations. Ukraine can be proud of having Canada as a strategic partner, and this partnership can only boost Ukraine’s own international reputation.”     Sourse: http://bunews.com.ua/interviews/item/growing-canadian-cooperation-can-enhance-ukraines-international-investor-appeal

"Two companies to build wind power plants in Odesa region for almost 200 MW - UWEA"

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"Ukrainians name major obstacles to European integration"

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9 July, 2018

"Charter on Distinctive Partnership between NATO and Ukraine signed on this day"

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"EU decision on granting €1 bln of financial assistance to Ukraine comes into force today"

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7 July, 2018

"USA welcomes Ukraine's new law on national security"

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"Primary registration of electric vehicles in Ukraine retains 50 percent growth in first 6 months"

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6 July, 2018

"Trade volume between Ukraine and China reached $7.7 bln in 2017"

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"German company to launch new project to support Energy Efficiency Fund"

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5 July, 2018
RACHEL WOLFSON Cryptocurrency/Blockchain Journalist UGTI on Facebook How a leading cyber security company uses Blockchain technology to prevent data tampering While cryptocurrencies remain vulnerable to a number of cyber security attacks, the underlying blockchain technology is being used to protect user data from being modified. We believe that blockchain technology will be transformative in the tech and IT sector in the coming years, similar to what the internet did for the world back in the 90s and early 2000s, said John Zanni, President of the Acronis Foundation. We started a few years ago working with the Ethereum blockchain to see how to better protect data. Today, part of our storage and backup software lets users notarize any digital data and put that fingerprint on the blockchain to ensure it can’t be tampered with. As the physical world meets the digital world, data has become a key player for a number of businesses. Yet ensuring that data remains safe, secure, private and authentic has become an ongoing challenge. For example, the recent Equifax cyber-security breach that occured in September 2017 compromised sensitive information of nearly half the U.S. population. Cybercriminals accessed approximately 145.5 million U.S. Equifax consumers’ personal data. Equifax has also confirmed that at least 209,000 consumers' credit card credentials were taken in the attack. Moreover, one of the biggest challenges a business faces today in terms of cybersecurity is “data tampering,” which is the threat of data being altered in authorized ways, either accidentally or intentionally. Authenticity of data is actually one of the most important factors when it comes to cyber protection. Data can always be changed and modified, Serguei Beloussov, CEO and founder of Acronis, told me. Blockchain technology can be used so that data can be signed with a digital signature. That digital signature, called hash, can then be stored on either a public or private blockchain ledger, which is highly immutable, making its possible to check if data was modified at any given time.   How Blockchain Technology Protects User Data While blockchain technology is most commonly defined as a decentralized, distributed ledger used to record transactions across multiple computers, it can also be seen as a distributed database that maintains a growing list (also known as a chain) of data transaction records. Consider that every participant of this decentralized system has a copy of the list of transactions. This means that no “official” copy exists. The distributed nature of the chain prevents tampering and revisions, as every action on the blockchain is fully transparent. In turn, data that is stored on a blockchain can easily remain authentic, since the security of every transaction is recorded. For example, in order to ensure that data isn’t tampered with, Acronis applies blockchain technology to compute a cryptographic hash, or “fingerprint,” that is unique for each data file it stores. This hash is an algorithm that produces the same output when given the exact same input file, making it useful for verifying the file’s authenticity. Any change in the input file, however slight, results in a dramatically different fingerprint. Because the hash algorithm is designed to work only in one direction, it is impossible to determine the original file inputs from the output alone, making the process tamper-proof. Let’s image that we have a piece of data and we create a unique description for this data. Even if we modify only a single bit of that data and generate the signature again, created hash value will be completely different. So such hash value is effectively a unique signature of your data, explained Beloussov. With Blockchain, you store that hash in multiple places, so you have multiple journals where you have written your signature in a specially encrypted fashion. If someone would want to modify such a record, they will have to get all of those places to agree to modification. Even after that, one would need to spend a lot of compute capacity to un-encrypt it from all of the journals after the record, and encrypt it back. Even if this theoretically could be possible to get done, it would be extremely expensive to compute, as well as complicated Dr. Abdalla Kablan, who is a renowned fintech expert and advisor on blockchain and AI for the Government of Malta, further explains why data stored on the blockchain is immutable. Typically, once data is stored on the blockchain it cannot be manipulated or changed – it is immutable. This is because of the architectural nature of blockchain structures where every block has a specific summary of the previous block in the form of a secure hash value. Since these blocks are structured in the form of a 'chain' sequence, the timing, order and content of transactions cannot be manipulated. Also, these blocks cannot be replaced unless all the 'nodes' achieve consensus or agree with the proposed change, Dr. Kablan told me.   Blockchain In The Real World When applying blockchain technology for protecting against data tampering in the real world, common use cases often involve protecting transaction logs, proving the existence of legal documents and even confirming creative works originated on a certain date. For example, a use case might involve a musician who is skeptical about publishing music on the internet due to plagiarism and other security concerns. Using blockchain technology, however, allows the artist to create a backup that contains pieces of digital music or other materials that can be copyrighted. Once the backup is complete, a certificate with cryptographic evidence is issued to help copyright claim, in case of infringement. The record of the original music pieces and their creation dates are recorded in the blockchain, allowing for confirmation that a piece of music existed at a certain time in the past and was authored by that artist. “In general, blockchain technology today focuses mainly on cryptocurrency and fintech. Yet the world needs to look beyond that to see how businesses and individuals can take advantage of this technology. The day someone figures out how small businesses can apply blockchain technology in a multitude of applications is the day it will really flourish,” said Zanni.     Sourse: https://www.forbes.com/sites/rachelwolfson/2018/07/03/how-a-leading-cyber-security-company-uses-blockchain-technology-to-prevent-data-tampering/#21cdfc6c4529

"Lviv region expecting 20% increase in tourist flow"

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"EP president signs decision to grant Ukraine EUR 1 bln in assistance"

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4 July, 2018

"American AGCO wants to boost Ukrainian Agri machinery market share to 20% – vice president in Europe Rob Smith"

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"Government approves investment memorandum between Ukraine and Saudi Arabia"

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3 July, 2018
CLIFF FLUET Digital media partner at Lewis Silkin UGTI on Facebook Bitcoin was just the beginning of the imminent blockchain era Mention “blockchain”, and most people still immediately think of bitcoin – or ethereum, or ripple, or other cryptocurrencies. That’s not surprising, given that bitcoin was the first expression of blockchain technology. As the values of cryptocurrencies have soared and fallen, speculation has risen that the “bitcoin bubble” is about to burst. However, it is the blockchain technology which underpins cryptocurrencies that has the potential to have the most profound impact, and which is staking a claim as being the most talked about disruptor at London Tech Week, especially today. Blockchain is digital ledger, an interdependent, interlocked system of records which, cryptographically sealed, are immutable and highly resistant to fraud. The technology was developed to get around some of the problems that had previously stopped cryptocurrencies getting off the ground, namely how to prevent digital money being copied or spent more than once. Fundamentally, it permits robust transactions that can be verified without the need for an authorising third party, such as a bank. And while it might have started with currency, that is by no means where the power of this technology ends.   Internet of things As connected devices – from cars to TVs to fridges – become more popular, the volume and speed of retail transactions via these products will inevitably mushroom. Blockchain provides not only the framework to enable these transactions to take place securely, but also the computing power to handle vast quantities of real-time purchases which traditional digital payment systems will struggle to cope with. It can also be used to secure the immense amount of personal data that these devices will hold about our lives.   Supply chains Further down the retail pipeline, blockchain enables companies to monitor the movement of goods across a supply chain. This not only builds in the ability to improve product standards – for example, by being able to track provenance, or to pinpoint where safety checks may have been missed – but also to streamline and safeguard the payments process for suppliers and contractors.   Intellectual Property Blockchain can also take the notion of supply chain protection one step further, right back to the progenitor, ensuring that creators, contributors and rights-owners are embodied in their works. This is particularly critical for the creative industries. For example, the music sector has faced challenges over ensuring that rights-owners aren’t cut out of the value chain in the era of digital streaming. Now artists (notably singer-songwriter Imogen Heap) are increasingly turning to blockchain technology to create and safeguard value for rights-holders, while providing listeners unlimited digital access to songs on-demand across infinite platforms.   Professional services One of the key factors that enables blockchain to provide these sorts of solutions is the use of so-called “smart contracts”, by which a transaction is processed due to the automatic fulfilment of certain conditions. From accounting and audit tasks, to legal contracts, to property transactions (the first property bought on blockchain was a $60,000 flat in Ukraine in 2017), blockchain has the potential to streamline and secure many of the most complex matters that professional services firms have to deal with. It is difficult to imagine an industry which isn’t likely to be disrupted by blockchain in the near future. Imagine a healthcare service with a blockchain-based record keeping system enabling faster, more secure access to patient histories, or an e-voting system which breaks the back of electoral fraud. Watch this space. Bitcoin was just the beginning.     Sourse: http://www.cityam.com/287387/bitcoin-just-beginning-imminent-blockchain-era

"Brookfield & Partners from Canada joins IT park project in Ukraine"

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"Hryvnia strongest currency in post-Soviet area - Bloomberg"

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2 July, 2018

"U.S. annuls antidumping duty on ammonium nitrate originated from Ukraine"

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"General Electric signs a contract with DTEK"

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30 June, 2018

"Third international Ukraine Reform Conference will be held in Canada in 2019"

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"S&P raises Ukraine National Scale Ratings to 'uaBBB' on criteria change"

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29 June, 2018

"Renewable energy generating facilities with 109.6 MW capacity are put into operation in Ukraine in Q2, 2018"

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"U.S. House of Representatives committee adopts draft resolution in support of Ukraine's sovereignty"

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28 June, 2018
DMITRY BESTUZHEV Director of Kaspersky Lab's Global Research and Analysis Team UGTI on Facebook Cybersecurity lessons learned one year after NotPetya June 27 marked the one-year anniversary of the ExPetr/NotPetya malware outbreak, which affected tens of thousands of systems in more than 65 countries. Most of the victims were located in Ukraine, the home of a tax software firm called MeDoc, whose product was used as the main attack vector in a supply chain attack scheme. Today, a full year later, Ukraine continues to be a target. In fact, just this week, Ukrainian officials reportedly intercepted hackers planning a massive coordinated cyberattack on the country. In addition to the significant damage caused to organizations worldwide, ExPetr/NotPetya also had the cybersecurity community on its toes, as researchers initially believed it was ransomware like WannaCry. However, further analysis revealed that it was actually a wiper. This conclusion meant that even if victims paid the ransom, they still were not able to get their data back. Secondly, this reinforced the theory that the main goal of the ExPetr/NotPetya attack was not financially motivated, but destructive. A few days later, new evidence showed a link between ExPetr/NotPetya and BlackEnergy APT, which had previously also attacked mostly targets in Ukraine.   One Year Later, Things Remain the Same Now, a year after the NotPetya/ExPetr malware attack took place, we are finding certain features continue to remain the same in the industry. First, the EternalBlue exploit used in the attacks continues to impact users worldwide today. The exploit is being repackaged, and true to its name, shows no signs of dying anytime soon. In fact, from May 2017 to May 2018, more than two million users were attacked by EternalBlue. In addition, in 2018, Kaspersky Lab products detected more than 240,000 users being attacked by this exploit every month on average. The fact that hackers keep targeting users using the EternalBlue exploit in their attacks means that many systems remain unpatched, which could lead to some dangerous consequences. To remain ahead of this threat, organizations should prioritize the security of their networks and install all necessary patches on time, in order to avoid future, continued damage from this exploit. Lastly, the NotPetya/ExPetr attack also served as yet another example that attribution continues to be a very difficult and at times, somewhat impossible task, especially when finding links with open source tools, public frameworks and code reuse by third parties. In the great race to share timely information, it’s important to verify that research is accurate, which can be done through increased collaboration within the research community and beyond. Moving forward, destructive malware disguised as ransomware will continue to be a problem. We’ve seen several major instances of this, and with the continued release and exploitation of vulnerabilities, it makes the game difficult.     Sourse: https://www.information-management.com/opinion/cybersecurity-lessons-learned-one-year-after-notpetya

"Norway wants to invest more in Ukraine – foreign minister"

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"Ukraine wants to broaden cooperation with G7 member states"

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27 June, 2018

"Antimonopoly committee of Ukraine approves ACCIONA Energia’s joining UDP solar power plant project"

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"Estonia views Ukraine as one of its main partners"

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26 June, 2018
NICK GAIDAI Wharton MBA student UGTI on Facebook Hot Investment: Agribusiness in Ukraine? “Ukraine is a good place to invest for United States business. And my home state of Ohio has some similarities with Ukraine in terms of our industrial sector, our agriculture sector, our IT sector, and I think there is an opportunity for more foreign direct investment.”—U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) during his visit to Ukraine in April 2018. From a favorable climate to rich soils, Ukraine has abundant resources and ideal conditions for large-scale agribusiness. Ukraine possesses 32.5 million hectares of arable land, an amount equal to 30.3 percent of the European Union’s arable land, 21.3 percent of the U.S.’s, and 2.3 percent of the world’s total farmland. The sector has demonstrated a 21 percent average annual growth rate over the past 10 years and accounts for over 11 percent of the country’s GDP, contributing every ninth dollar to GDP per capita. Yet Ukraine and its booming agribusiness sector are often overlooked by U.S. investors; total direct investments into the sector constituted a mere $170 million between 2010 and 2017. Opportunities to deploy capital in Ukraine’s agribusiness sector are vast for U.S. investors with above-average risk appetite and a ticket size of $15-30 million seeking IRR in the mid-20 percent range. Here are the four most promising segments of Ukraine’s agribusiness for potential investors.   Grain storage: Lack of capacity requires additional CAPEX The Ukrainian grain storage market is currently underserved. According to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy of Ukraine, annual grain harvests are expected to nearly double and exceed over 100 million metric tons in five years, creating strong demand for investments in new agricultural infrastructure. To ensure safe storage of harvested grains in Ukraine, a 35 to 40 million metric ton storage capacity expansion is needed through additional CAPEX. In a recent study, the World Bank Group discussed three investment cases related to grain logistics in Ukraine. One suggests that a $1.5 billion investment in 6.4 million metric tons of new elevator capacity could reduce grain losses from 15 percent per annual yield to one percent. U.S. investors can benefit from such a project, gaining expected IRR of nearly 25 percent with 1.6 times cost-benefit ratio.   Irrigation: Underdeveloped infrastructure, capital injection is needed Of the cultivated land in Ukraine, only only roughly 30 percent is currently equipped for irrigation due to inefficient and underdeveloped infrastructure. Direct investments in the irrigation market may lead to significant yields increase—up to 95 percent depending on the crop. According to the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine, reconstruction of the country’s current irrigation infrastructure requires a capital injection of nearly $3.5 billion. Meanwhile, EBRD and Ukrainian Agriculture Ministry are discussing launching a two billion dollar project aimed at expanding irrigated areas in five regions of Ukraine. American firms can help achieve higher crop yields in Ukraine by using their experience of managing irrigation systems in the U.S. and worldwide. Development of proper irrigation systems in Nebraska is one such example. With the implementation of this project, Nebraska saw a yield of 10.5 million tons of corn per hectare on irrigated land compared to a yield of 4.0 metric tons per hectare on dry land, as well as revenue growth of roughly $600 per irrigated hectare.   Smart farming: Utilizing advanced technologies to improve efficiency Technological progress has opened new opportunities for U.S. investors in the smart farming market, which is revolutionizing farming practices by optimizing consumption of agricultural inputs and increasing productivity through a broad range of technologies. According to the Boston Consulting Group, smart farming is one of the most influential trends that may affect farming practices and is expected to grow 10 to 15 percent annually through 2020 worldwide. Taking into account that the Ukrainian smart farming market is on the introduction-growth lifecycle stage with only three to four percent of arable land under complex supervision, it is a great opportunity for U.S. investors with $15 to 30 million check size to take advantage of this potentially $200 million market in Ukraine. Such initiatives will lead to an increase in agricultural productivity by reducing production costs and risks through the use of smart technologies, such as precision farming, GPS monitoring, farm management, drone technologies, etc. For example, in 2014 agricultural company Svitanok became one of the pioneers of these technologies in Ukraine. Since then, the company’s yields have been far outperforming Ukraine’s average—3.0 vs. 1.8 metric tons per hectare for soybeans, 4.0 vs. 2.2 metric tons per hectare for sunflower seeds, and 7.5 vs. 3.8 metric tons per hectare for wheat.   Data analytics and ag-tech: Blue ocean for potential investors In Ukraine, the use of data analytics may become a new driver of the agribusiness sector. For instance, SmartFarming, a Ukrainian start-up, helps agriculture firms increase crop yields through data-driven solutions such as precision farming, soil analysis, and crop condition monitoring. By utilizing these technologies, some of SmartFarming’s clients were able to bring down costs by as much as $3,000 per hectare. Furthermore, by using sophisticated computer algorithms to analyze decades, and sometime centuries, of weather and crop data, other Ukrainian ag-tech firms can predict crop yields with shocking accuracy before planting a single seed. Ultimately, there are ample opportunities for both small and medium U.S. investors in Ukraine’s agribusiness sector. These opportunities may generate sufficient returns through the investment in smart farming technologies, irrigation, storage facilities, and data analytics solutions.     Sourse: http://whartonmagazine.com/blogs/hot-investment-agribusiness-in-ukraine/#sthash.BEN5K64T.v94XrMrm.dpbs

"Number of electric cars in Ukraine growing – Ecology Ministry"

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"France's Bouygues shows interest in construction of concession roads in Ukraine"

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25 June, 2018

"U.S. SigmaBleyzer ready to invest $100 mln in production of fossil fuel in Ukraine - regulator"

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"IT Cluster about to launch first stage of it park construction"

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23 June, 2018

"Infrastructure ministry plans to convince Tesla to create Gigafactory in Ukraine"

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"U.S. supports course of reforms in Ukraine - Under Secretary of Treasury"

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22 June, 2018

"Head of supervisory board of Octava Capital to open first commercial Security Operation Center"

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"Share of Ukraine’s shadow economy declines to 31% of GDP in 2017 – Economic Development Ministry"

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21 June, 2018
CYNTHIA JOHNSON Co-founder and CEO of Bell UGTI on Facebook 5 Industries Likely to Be Disrupted by Blockchain In 2018, everyone seems to have a Bitcoin story. Remember that guy you read about who became a millionaire overnight? But the Bitcoin story is much more significant than this. Blockchain, the technology underlying and enabling Bitcoin, has the unique ability to change the world. Blockchain is an open, distributed database of transactions -- think of it as an unhackable digital accounting book -- and it has endless possibilities for making everything we do more secure, efficient and quick.   1. Energy grids. What if you could replace America’s ancient, crumbling energy grids with automatically executing, efficient, green and affordable energy systems that could withstand the ravages of hurricanes and other climate change-triggered extreme weather events? Blockchain offers a path to that future. Already, in Brooklyn and in neighborhoods around the country, innovators are experimenting with blockchain-enabled smart grids that allow anyone with a solar panel to buy and sell energy, executed using automated “smart contracts” based on data gathered through smart meters installed in homes. All transactions all verified and secured by blockchain, and no middleman utility company is needed -- cutting prices and increasing efficiency.   2. Real estate. Anyone who’s ever purchased a home knows how many steps -- and how much of a headache -- that process entails. But blockchain offers the potential for doing the whole thing online, securely, and all at once. Sellers could securely transfer over the title and deed, while buyers would send money via cryptocurrency. Blockchain would also provide a way to send property records to the appropriate government agencies. I asked Rawad Rifai, cofounder of Taurus0x, exactly how blockchain applications impact real estate, and he responded, “Blockchain’s applications in real estate speak to the heart of the technology, its unparalleled and revolutionary potential to conduct instantaneous and completely secure transactions,” said Rifai. "There’s no reason this could not be expanded to retail, entertainment, tourism or any of our day-to-day transactions.”   3. Healthcare. Blockchain could create a future in which all our health data -- doctor visit records, prescriptions, emergency room visits, shots, X-rays and insurance data -- is secured and can be easily shared from doctor to doctor. Nearly everyone changes doctors throughout their lifetime. Imagine having a seamless network of secured records that would ensure that your information travels with you, from birth to end of life. This system could also save your life. Emergency room doctors could be authorized to access your information about allergies, blood type, and even genetic information, to make informed decisions about your care if you were incapacitated and unable to communicate. This system could also be revolutionary in improving health outcomes in developing countries that do not currently have a centralized or digitized health record database. Earlier this year, five healthcare groups started a pilot programsurrounding blockchain and its uses in healthcare.   4. Transportation. Blockchain could create the potential for the Internet of Things–enabled smart cities. Street signs, traffic lights, cars and other moving and static objects would be embedded with sensors, which would collect and send data to a system that would reroute buses, trams, emergency vehicles and other municipal vehicles to find the quickest routes and avoid traffic. The end result? Less congestion, faster commutes and lower carbon emissions. Blockchain-secured sensor data could also help drivers find open parking spots or charging terminals, pay traffic tickets, and report car crashes or maintenance issues.   5. Education. As demand for MOOCs and distance education grows, we need a better system to verify graduates’ educational records. Blockchain could essentially act as a notary, ensuring that people can’t forge diplomas and fool prospective employers. Transcripts, diplomas and certificates could all be secured and stored by blockchain and could be easily sent out to employers and other academic institutions. This would help boost the credentials and reputation of nontraditional educational organizations, and help employers ensure they are hiring the right person for the job. Many industries will feel the positive impact of blockchain. Some will move faster than others, but many industries will eventually need blockchain. The future is wide open, and the opportunities are endless. The most difficult part about blockchain won't be growth; it will be human adaptation and the ability to hire great tech talent for these new companies.     Sourse: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/314548

"Ukraine, Israel agree on free trade deal."

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"U.S., IMF Praise Ukrainian Anticorruption Law But Say More Work Needed"

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20 June, 2018

"Ukraine’s GDP grew by 3.1% in first quarter of 2018"

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"U.S. Senate passes defense authorization bill with $200 mln support for Ukraine"

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19 June, 2018
ALEKS MEHRLE President of UGTI Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook Leadership Matters I was glad today (June 18) to see President Poroshenko's opinion piece in the Washington Post titled "My goal is to defeat corruption in Ukraine" (available at the following link):   https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2018/06/18/my-goal-is-to-defeat-corruption-in-ukraine/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ec60efda1d88   The focus of the piece is on the recent establishment in Ukraine of an anti-corruption court. I agree wholeheartedly with everything in the article and respect the President for expressing his commitment to the anti-corruption court in such a public and unambiguous way. In the long run, I hope that the anti-corruption court becomes and enduring, powerful and self sustaining institutional check within Ukraine on the rampant corruption that has for over a quarter of a century prevented Ukraine from realizing its potential as a shining light in the constellation of western liberal democracies and economies not only in Eastern Europe, but around the world. In the short run, the President and other political and business elites of Ukraine can accomplish far more than the anti-corruption court by treating each new day as an opportunity to lead those many millions of less powerful, wealthy and fortunate Ukrainians to a better future by always asking - with every decision they make - whether they could give more to Ukraine's future by choosing to lead differently today. On June 14, 2018 I had the privilege of joining a distinguished panel in Washington, DC assessing Ukraine's progress and regress over the past year in the context of Developed Market Economics. The panel was moderated by the first US Ambassador to Ukraine Roman Popadiuk (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Popadiuk) and also included Anders Aslund (Atlantic Council - http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/ about/experts/list/anders-aslund); and Jonathan Katz (German Marshall Fund and former deputy assistant administrator in the Europe and Eurasia bureau at USAID - http://www.gmfus.org/profiles/jonathan-d-katz). Ambassador Popadiuk, Mr. Katz and Mr. Aslund are far more qualified than me to comment on Ukraine's economy so I hoped to introduce a more practical analysis of the subject matter to the discussion. In short, while passing improved laws, rules and regulations is commendable it is not enough, on its own, to transform Ukraine or any other country. The will of countries political, business and civic leaders to do the right thing - day in and day out (and in particular in the absence of laws, rules and regulations requiring it) is what breathes life into a free, democratic and just society and freedom, democracy and justice are the greatest guarantors of a nation's prosperity. At a time when the western liberal world order is showing signs of strain and perhaps even questioning its moral authority and relevance Ukraine has a unique opportunity to remind and reinforce in the minds of western leaders and citizens what it is we fought so hard to protect during the Second World War and to build, reinforce and expand during the Cold War. I encourage you to watch/listen to the entire discussion from our June 14 panel at the link below.   https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155371687812595&id=64377182594&_rdr

"Kyiv city intends to expand partnership with Shanghai"

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"Ukraine has a chance to build strong economy in 3-5 years"

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18 June, 2018

"Norwegian company plans to build two solar power plants in Cherkasy region"

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"International conference dedicated to Ukraine will be held at Monash University in Melbourne"

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16 June, 2018

"U.S. Congress mulling increase of assistance to Ukraine in 2019 "

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"Ukraine plans to create institution of intellectual property inspectors"

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15 June, 2018

"Ukraine and high-speed transport project Hyperloop agree on cooperation"

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"Interregional energy efficiency centers to be created in Ukraine"

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14 June, 2018
KEVIN MCCARTY CEO of West Monroe Partners UGTI on Facebook Why Are So Many Execs Sleeping On Cybersecurity? Cybersecurity is like fire prevention: Sure, your house is probably not going to catch on fire this year, but you install smoke detectors and pay your insurance premiums anyway. In fact, these days, it’s much more likely you’ll wake up to find your business has been shut down by hackers than arriving home to a pile of smoldering embers where your house used to be. And yet, I still encounter many business leaders who are resistant to investing in systems and training to protect against cyberattacks. There are all kinds of justifications, from “We’re too small to be a target” to “We spent a lot of money on this a few years ago and haven’t been hacked yet.” Lots of CEOs and CIOs I talk to think they’re safe because they don’t have anything worth stealing. They’re wrong. And the risks they’re taking are growing by the minute. The reality for any business leader is (and this is where the comparison to a house fire departs) that a cyberattack isn’t a possibility -- it’s an eventuality. You will never have enough money to prevent an attack, and there aren't enough systems or humans in the world to detect them all. Therefore, you need to invest just as much time and energy in being able to respond and recover. We know of one company that got hit with a ransomware attack where the hackers demanded about a $100,000 worth of Bitcoin to release the company’s data. The company didn’t pay, and rightfully so, but fixing the breach left the firm unable to do business for two weeks and ultimately cost it over $1 million to recover. And this particular company was lucky: A lot of companies simply couldn’t survive being dead in the water for two weeks without a functioning website, online ordering system or email. Your business is not immune. Hackers cast a wide net in their search for vulnerable targets. Whether your company generates $10 million or $10 billion, chances are hackers have identified your point in the financial value chain and are trying to penetrate your defenses right now. We think of cybersecurity as having four main components: • Prevention: The combination of systems and procedures designed to keep cybercriminals from accessing your networks. Think of it like the hazmat suits workers wear to protect themselves against biohazards. They are very effective at keeping out dangerous bugs but are far from foolproof. • Detection: The last line of protection - or, what your organization does to quickly identify when something or someone has penetrated your defenses. • Response: A well-rehearsed and carefully coordinated action that takes preparation. • Recovery: The ability to resume normal operations. The speed at which you can recover is what determines the business impact. Some security measures are easy to install and nearly invisible, such as next-generation firewalls and intrusion prevention systems. They work in the background and block phishing attempts from sketchy IP addresses, malware and hackers who probe your networks looking for a way in. Others, like two-factor authentication, are more cumbersome and place burdens on your employees that they may resist. Prevention technology can be purchased, of course, but you also can’t neglect the people and processes that are part of the equation -- intrusion detection, response and recovery. That requires training, including tabletop exercises to drill into employees exactly how to respond when there is an attack. And I’m not talking about the IT team sitting around running simulations by themselves. The CEO has to be involved in the exercise -- after all, there are few events that can cost an executive’s job faster than a debilitating cyberattack. It’s also important to secure participation from all stakeholders in cybersecurity -- before an event occurs. That means human resources, legal, corporate communications and outside partners like IT vendors and public relations firms. Specific responsibilities for each group must be established from the beginning, as well as setting up lines of communication to outside entities like regulators, customers and the media. Rolling the dice on a cyberattack creates an enormous financial risk for your business. But the stakes are much higher than that. Doing so is also, in effect, gambling on the livelihoods of all of your employees and the data security of your customers. As a leader, you have a duty to protect them all. So ask yourself: If one of your employees opens a phishing email tomorrow, what technology, people or processes do you have in place to protect that hacker from burrowing into your company’s business? And if they do find a way in, what’s the plan for the next 24 hours and beyond? If you can’t answer both of those questions in detail, you’re sleeping while your house is on fire.     Sourse: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/06/11/why-are-so-many-execs-sleeping-on-cybersecurity/#7d7ebaa56456

"EBRD plans to finance new private renewable energy projects in Ukraine for Eur 250 MLN"

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"Ukraine, China sign memorandum on cooperation and promotion of mutual trade in poultry meat"

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13 June, 2018

"EP approves EUR 1 bln of macro-financial assistance for Ukraine"

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"German and Danish companies build protein supplements plant worth $10 MLN in Ukraine"

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12 June, 2018
JEFF JOHN ROBERTS Law, tech and cryptocurrency reporter at Fortune Magazine UGTI on Facebook PayPal Alum: How Blockchain Will Change Investing and Why Real Estate Will Be First There’s a lot of hype about turning property into digital tokens and trading it on a blockchain—but so far no one is actually doing it. That’s going to change this year, says “PayPal Mafia” member David Sacks, and the first thing we’ll trade are real estate tokens. Sacks is worth heeding. He’s best known as the first COO of PayPal—where he built a payment giant alongside other mafia members like Elon Musk and Peter Thiel—but is also a serial entrepreneur who recently launched a $350 million venture fund focused on crypto. On Thursday, speaking at Token Summit in New York, Sacks explained why he is bullish on “security tokens,” which are the blockchain’s version of traditional securities like shares or derivatives (my colleague Polina Marinova has a nice explainer here). According to Sacks, the advantage of tokens is they reduce or eliminate the “illiquidity discount” for assets that can’t be publicly traded. This discount means people pay less because they’re worried an asset will be hard to resell. Sacks cited the professionally managed real estate market, which is worth $7 trillion but is not very liquid. He thinks it’s possible to unlock a huge amount of value by letting people buy and sell chunks of real estate with tokens—each token would correspond to ownership in a piece of property, and could be easily swapped on a blockchain. Sacks believes this newfound liquidity will attract more capital to real estate, and also create a derivatives market for property. “It will lead to a world where you can short real estate. You can go long Manhattan and short San Francisco,” he told the audience. Sacks also predicts real estate tokens are not a far-off technology, and that investors will be trading them by the end of the year.   Why tokens? In a follow-up interview with Fortune, Sacks predicted that real estate will be the vanguard for a market where all sorts of assets—from fine art to shares in private funds—will be tokenized. Some might wonder, though, when this will actually happen and if tokenization is even necessary. Indeed, skeptics are asking if security tokens are just another superfluous layer of financial engineering. Sacks, of course, doesn’t share this view. He argues there’s a real benefit because tokens create not only liquidity, but also an unprecedented and useful form of transparency. As an example, he cited a recent deal in which investors purchased a private company only to discover the previous owners had issued one third more shares than the paperwork disclosed. On a blockchain, Sacks says, this could not happen since all ownership rights would be inscribed on a permanent, tamper-proof ledger. This belief in blockchain is why Sacks used his new fund, Craft Ventures, to back a company called Harbor that is helping firms create tokenized assets. Harbor wants to serve as a gate-keeper by adding code to tokens so as to ensure they can only be traded by parties who are compliant with know-your-customer rules and other regulations. On a broader level, Sacks is creating a version of the original blockchain—the anonymous bitcoin network created by Satoshi Nakamoto—that is suitable for regulated securities markets. “[Anonymity] is a feature of digital cash, but it’s a bug when it comes to security tokens,” he said, explaining that Harbor’s permission and attribution system will ensure companies that create tokens won’t fall afoul of the law. This may be a lot to get your head around—not least because blockchain companies have yet to create tools to help ordinary investors understand how token trading will work. Brokerages like eTrade or Charles Schwab created websites and apps to show people how to trade to stocks on the Internet, but so far no one has created an easy way to navigate the blockchain. According to Sacks, this is because blockchain is a database layer technology, not an application layer. It will be up to companies to build consumer-friendly tools that serve as a user interface atop the underlying blockchains. “The user interface is likely to look a lot different than the last couple of web developments. It won’t be just websites or apps—that’s last wave thinking. The token itself will be the UI,” Sacks said, adding that the token will contain all the critical information, including ownership rights and trading history, an investor will need.     Sourse: http://fortune.com/2018/05/19/david-sacks-blockchain-investing/

"State Property Fund head signs orders on 22 large objects privatization"

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"Norwegian Scatec Solar to start building 83 MW solar plant in Cherkasy region in 2018"

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11 June, 2018

"Ukraine loses UAH 100 bln because of Russian aggression"

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"Ukroboronprom presents Ukrainian weapons at Eurosatory exhibition in Paris"

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9 June, 2018

"Foreign investors help to increase exports from Ukraine"

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"Small privatization through ProZorro system to start in June"

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8 June, 2018

"Spain's ACCIONA Energia Global to invest EUR 54.7 mln in joint project with UDP to build solar power plant near Kyiv"

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"European Parliament plans to vote on EUR 1 bln financial aid to Ukraine on June 13"

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7 June, 2018
MICHAEL DEL CASTILLO Crypto Staff Writer at Forbes UGTI on Facebook The 10 Largest Companies In the World Are Now Exploring Blockchain Love it or hate, the biggest companies in the world just can't ignore blockchain any longer. The distributed ledger technology that first let owners of the bitcoin cryptocurrency exchange value without a bank has forced its way into the research and development halls of the ten largest companies in the world. Based on the Forbes’ Global 2000 list of the largest public companies in the world, published today, corporations as diverse as the largest in the world, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, investing giant Berkshire Hathaway, and computer giant Apple are all in various stages of exploring the technology. But that doesn’t mean they’re blockchain believers. Most of the companies have been very quiet about their work so far, seemingly choosing to let smaller companies chase after step-by-step updates in media headlines, while they let scraps about their own project slowly trickle out, punctuated by the occasional trash-talk. Nevertheless, that each of the companies at the top of this list based on a composite score considering revenue, profits, assets and market value are exploring blockchain is a testament to how much the technology has captured the imagination of pretty much every industry. At the very top of the list, for the second year in a row, is the imposing Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), with $165 billion in sales, and total assets of $4.2 trillion. After previously denying claims that the government-owned bank was working with the Tzero blockchain-powered stock exchange, we got our first glimpse at what the giant bank might actually be up to earlier this year. In a patent filed with China’s State Intellectual Property Office, ICBC described an idea for using blockchain technology to verify digital certificates using a blockchain, instead of a trusted central authority, according to a CoinDesk report. While nothing else has been publicly revealed about the bank’s mysterious blockchain research, the plans are reminiscent of other blockchain efforts that seek to place stock certificates on a blockchain instead of in the safes of Central Securities Depositories around the world. Following closely behind ICBC, with what appears to be slightly more advanced public work, is the China Construction Bank Corporation (CCB), which counts $143 billion in sales and total assets of $2.61 trillion. Last September, CCB revealed it was using the IBM Blockchain platform to streamline the way banks and insurance companies jointly sell some of their products. In third place on the Global 2000 is JPMorgan, the largest company in the diversified financial category, with $118 billion in sales and assets valued at $2.7 trillion. In spite of company CEO Jamie Dimon’s vociferous railing against bitcoin itself, his company has emerged as one of the most visible, and committed enterprises to the underlying blockchain technology. After first contributing its own internally developed blockchain platform, Quorum, to the open-source community, JPMorgan has seen interest among users including pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (#44 on the list with $52 billion in sales) and information giant IHS Markit (#1,211 on the list with $3.6 billion in sales). Switching places with JPMorgan for the fourth position on this year’s list was Berkshire Hathaway, with $235 billion in sales and $702 billion in assets, also categorized in the diversified financial category. Similar to Dimon’s vocal doubt of bitcoin, Berkshire Hathaway’s founder and CEO, Warren Buffet is an outspoken cryptocurrency skeptic, comparing bitcoin to rat poison, and chiding those who consider purchasing it a form of legitimate investment. But that hasn’t kept his companies from exploring cryptocurrency’s underlying blockchain technology as a way to trace the provenance of diamonds and even freight delivered on Buffet's railroads. Rounding out the top-five largest public companies this year is the Agricultural Bank of China Limited, with $3.4 trillion in assets, but a relatively small $129 billion in sales. Earlier this year the state-owned bank revealed it was working on a decentralized network to offer unsecured agricultural loans to e-commerce merchants, according to a CoinDesk report. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and the Bank of China—at positions six, seven and nine respectively—rounded out the top banks, each undertaking their own blockchain projects to streamline a diverse set of financial workflows. Sliding in the middle of those banks is U.S. tech giant Apple, the only company in the technology industry to make it into the top ten largest public companies, with $247 billion in sales and $367 billion in assets. Apple too had been largely silent about any potential blockchain projects, until CoinDesk reported on a patent filed by the company for using blockchain technology to timestamp data. While the company itself has been mostly mum on its blockchain work, Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak is an increasingly vocal proponent of cryptocurrencies, though he left the firm years ago. Rounding out the top-ten on the Global 2000 list is the largest insurance company in the world, China-based Ping An Insurance, with $141 billion in sales and $1.06 trillion in assets. Though Ping An’s blockchain efforts have been kept largely behind closed doors, the firm joined distributed ledger consortium R3 in 2016, and has reportedly been helping China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology research the technology. Looking further down this year’s Global 2000 list, it appears the vast majority of the largest companies in the world are also exploring blockchain. Just to name a few of the most prominent, are Microsoft (#20), Alphabet (#23), and Walmart (#24), among notable U.S. firms, German auto manufacturer Daimler (#29) Japanese auto manufacturer Mitsubishi (#37) and Russian bank, Sberbank (#47). What is perhaps most striking though, is the diversity of companies on the list that are also exploring blockchain. Having started as a financial technology tool with the creation of bitcoin as a faster, cheaper way to move monetary value across borders has evolved into a technology for moving all kinds of value—and data itself—with less reliance on central authorities. Each of the industry categories on the list—also including oil and gas, telecommunications, semiconductors, food, drink and tobacco, retail and more—include firms exploring blockchain.     Sourse: https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeldelcastillo/2018/06/06/the-10-largest-companies-exploring-blockchain/#158526161343

"Russia’s cyberattacks caused billion in losses to Ukraine – Turchynov"

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"Huawei will help create test site for Hyperloop in Ukraine"

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6 June, 2018

"Ukraine, Estonia to strengthen cybersecurity"

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"US Ambassador: Ukraine to lose billions of dollars if Rada does not adopt Anti-Corruption Court law"

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5 June, 2018
NATASHA TURAK Correspondent at CNBC UGTI on Facebook The next 9/11 will be a cyberattack, security expert warns A cyberattack of devastating proportions is not a matter of if, but when, numerous security experts believe. And the scale of it, one information security specialist said this week, will be such that it will have its own name — like Pearl Harbor or 9/11. "The more I speak to people, the more they think that the next Pearl Harbor is going to be a cyberattack," cybersecurity executive and professional hacker Tarah Wheeler told a panel audience during the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) annual forum in Paris. "I think that the most horrifying cybersecurity attack is going to have its own name and I think it's going to involve something more terrifying than we've thought of yet." Wheeler is CEO and principal security advisor at Red Queen Technologies, a cybersecurity fellow at Washington, D.C.-based think tank New America, and former cybersecurity czar at multinational software firm Symantec. Explaining her premonition, Wheeler pointed to vital health and transport infrastructure she described as grossly under-protected. "I think about the fact that most American healthcare technology is secured, if at all, with ancient, crumbling security infrastructure. I think of planes full of people, the kind of infrastructure that protects flu vaccinations. I think about fertility clinics losing years' worth of viable embryos," she said, stressing that people are not paying attention to that crumbling infrastructure.   CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND INDUSTRY Wheeler is not alone in her apocalyptic outlook. Not a single report from technology companies and researchers in this field claims that the cyberthreat environment is becoming less hostile or less significant. The World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Risks Report 2018 names cyberattacks and cyber warfare as a top cause of disruption in the next five years, coming only after natural disasters and extreme weather events. "In a worst-case scenario, attackers could trigger a breakdown in the systems that keep societies functioning," the report said. Industry and critical infrastructure like power grids and water purification systems could be potential targets for hackers, whether they are small groups or state actors. Retired Admiral James Stavridis, who served as NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, echoed these warnings in a prior interview with CNBC: "We're headed toward a cyber Pearl Harbor, and it is going to come at either the grid or the financial sector... we need to think about this cyberattack as a pandemic." Artificial intelligence-focused security firm BluVector reported in February that almost 40 percent of all industrial control systems and critical infrastructure faced a cyberattack at some point in the second half of 2017.   UNPATCHABLE DEVICES AND THE INTERNET OF THINGS Companies and governments aren't doing enough to protect these systems, Wheeler said. "The inevitability is based in the easy access to the kinds of exploits that still work 10, 15, 20 years after they've been revealed," she said, noting that there are still companies running critical infrastructure, including health infrastructure, on Windows XP and other platforms that are unpatchable — meaning they can't be updated for vulnerability and bug fixes. Many internet of things (IOT) devices, she described, are unpatchable by design. IOT, which has been described as "merging physical and virtual worlds, creating smart environments" through devices connected to the internet and that communicate with one another, represents a whole new level of vulnerabilities. And cybercriminals have an exponentially increasing number of potential targets, the WEF report said, "because the use of cloud services continues to accelerate and the internet of things is expected to expand from an estimated 8.4 billion devices in 2017 to a projected 20.4 billion in 2020." The chief executive of defense firm Raytheon International, John Harris, recently called cyberattacks the "single biggest threat to global security," adding that "the more we are connected, the more we are vulnerable."   LISTEN TO THE HACKERS But Wheeler didn't specify who would likely be behind such acts, stressing that the nature of cyber warfare is asymmetric — and while there are state actors with hostile intentions, cyber weapons are accessible to just about anyone with the skills to deploy them. What's needed, Wheeler stressed, is "sensible, deep, not broad, cybersecurity regulation that has teeth." She urged the private sector to listen to its "early warning system" — what she called the information security community, or hackers — rather than criminalizing their activity. Industry experts have encouraged best practices and a greater awareness of the threats across the public and private sectors, and call on both sides to improve collaboration. The unprecedented global cyberattack has hit more than 200,000 victims in scores of countries, Europol said on May 14, 2017, warning that the situation could escalate when people return to work. In Britain, the attack disrupted care at National Health Service facilities, including The Royal London Hospital, part of the largest NHS Trust in England.     Sourse: http://radiolemberg.com/ua-articles/ua-allarticles/the-next-9-11-will-be-a-cyberattack-security-expert-warns

"Ukrainian space industry increases production in q1 by 12.7%"

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"Exports of Ukrainian goods to the U.S. amounted to $219 mln in first quarter of 2018"

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4 June, 2018

"Ukraine among world's top three honey exporters"

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"Investment in Ukrainian agriculture grows, key source of financing – own funds of companies"

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2 June, 2018

"Ukraine’s export to Netherlands increased by 62% last year"

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"Amobi Capital from USA wants to expand solar power plant in Ukraine to 50 MW"

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1 June, 2018

"World Bank helps Ukraine reform port sector"

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"China wants to cooperate with Ukraine in four industries"

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31 May, 2018
STEPHEN COBB Senior Security Researcher at ESET North America UGTI on Facebook Trends 2018: Critical infrastructure attacks on the rise Cyberthreats to critical infrastructure jumped into the headlines in 2017, starting with a Reuters report in January that a recent power outage in Ukraine “was a cyber-attack”. In last year’s Trends report we said that we expected infrastructure attacks to “continue to generate headlines and disrupt lives in 2017”. Sadly, we were right, and unfortunately, I have to say that the same trend is likely to continue in 2018 for reasons outlined in this update. It should be noted that critical infrastructure is more than just the power grid and includes the defense and healthcare sectors, critical manufacturing and food production, water, and transportation.   Turn it off and on again Let’s look at how things have progressed over time. In late December of 2015, cyberattacks on Ukrainian power companies resulted in electricity service being turned off for several hours to hundreds of thousands of homes in that part of the world. The first article published by ESET researchers in 2016 (on this incident) was Anton Cherepanov’s analysis of Black Energy, the malicious code used in that cyberattack. That specific malware did not directly manipulate Industrial Control System (ICS) devices, but it enabled hackers to penetrate the networks of electricity distribution companies and kill software used by ICS equipment. Press reports then – some with eye-grabbing headlines like “Malware turns off the lights” – did not make that distinction clear. The attack in late 2016, first reported in January of 2017, was quite different, as ESET researchers Anton Cherepanov and Robert Lipovský reported on WeLiveSecurity. Their analysis described a new piece of malware that is capable of controlling electricity substation switches and circuit breakers directly, in some cases literally turning them off and on again (which can severely disrupt supply at this scale).They dubbed this malware Industroyer and made a very strong case for it being the biggest threat to industrial control systems since Stuxnet. When they presented their malware analysis at Black Hat USA 2017, the room was packed and you could have heard a pin drop. Industroyer’s implications for the future of critical infrastructure threats are worrying to say the least, as you can tell from the tone of this interview with Robert Lipovský. The industrial equipment that Industroyer targeted is widely used (well beyond Ukraine – for example in the UK, EU, and the US – and across multiple critical sectors). Furthermore, a lot of ICS equipment still in use today was not designed with internet connectivity in mind, making any retroactive protective measures challenging to implement. Of course, many of the organizations that currently operate critical infrastructure are working hard to secure it. ESET’s research further suggests that any future cyberattack using Industroyer would need to be tailored to specific targets. This may limit eventual outbreaks to well-funded attackers and impede widespread campaigns aimed at turning out the lights, crippling transportation, or halting critical manufacturing. However, it is not unusual for such conditions to change over time as attack code is refined and intelligence is gathered. In other words, the ability to carry out cyberattacks on the power grid will tend to increase through 2018 unless blocked by preemptive measures, like system upgrades, early detection of network probing, and drastic improvement in phishing detection and avoidance.   Infrastructure and supply chain Unfortunately, simply upgrading old ICS equipment with gear that was designed with internet connectivity in mind will not automatically improve security. That is because, as Stephen Ridley, founder and CTO of Senrio (a company focused on the security of connected devices) points out: industrial devices are shifting from application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC) to a generic and cheaper System-on-Chip (SoC) architecture for which code libraries are readily available. While producing cost savings, the newer approach introduces further weaknesses into the supply chain, such as chips with hard-to-patch vulnerabilities, and code re-use that introduces software vulnerabilities. Examples in 2017 are the Devil’s Ivy flaw found in over 200 different models of security camera made by Axis Communications, and the BlueBorne vulnerabilities that impacted several billion devices across the most popular platforms: Windows, Linux, iOS and Android. Forecasts are that more such examples will still be discovered in 2017, and beyond 2018. A different type of supply chain problem made headlines in 2017, in part because it affected the entertainment industry. While arguably not critical infrastructure, this sector learned some lessons in 2017 that are of value to the truly critical parts of the economy. The attempted extortion of Netflixover the “Orange is the New Black” TV series, and the unrelated digital theft of the latest installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise both point to worrying aspects of supply chain security. While many large companies appear to be taking cybersecurity much more seriously these days, with security teams getting both the budget and the C-level backing required to do a good job, many smaller businesses supplying goods and services to larger organizations are struggling. That makes them an attractive target if, for example, they happen to have a blockbuster sitting on their post-production audio processing systems, which happen to be connected to their office network, and whose users have not been trained to recognize phishing emails. 2017 confirmed that security weaknesses at those smaller suppliers were shown to be an effective means to compromise large targets such as major motion picture producers. After several high profile cases made the news, I put together some advice on supply chain security, which is also relevant to organizations involved in critical infrastructure. After all, attackers may find it hard to hack into the network of a large utility company directly, but what if they hack the company that supplies janitorial services instead? In the old days, we used to worry about the “evil janitor attack” in which an ethically challenged but computer-savvy janitor might obtain unauthorized network access while taking a break from cleaning offices on the night shift. While that threat has not entirely disappeared, it has been joined by the threat of a cyber-insecure janitorial supply firm connecting to power plant systems via a vendor services portal (for example) that is poorly segregated from the ICS network. The implication? Critical infrastructure organizations need to keep improving their security in 2018, reducing the effectiveness of phishing attacks (still amongst the most prevalent attack vectors), segregating and controlling network access, reviewing and testing both old and new hardware and software, and doing digital due diligence on suppliers. They also need to watch for and react to the kind of network probing and surveillance that may presage a full-on cyberattack.     Sourse: https://www.welivesecurity.com/2018/05/30/trends-2018-critical-infrastructure-attacks/

"Chinese Anhui Company interested in building industrial park in Odesa region"

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"Portal for attracting investments in Ukrainian seaports launched"

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30 May, 2018

"Council of EU approves EUR 1 bln of financial assistance for Ukraine"

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"Preparation of FTA between Ukraine and Israel to be completed in coming weeks"

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29 May, 2018
OLENA PROKOPENKO Head of International Relations at Reanimation Package of Reforms UGTI on Facebook Ukraine’s $100 Billion question: Why is farmland sales issue so toxic? Ukraine is an agricultural paradise. It possesses a staggering one-third of the world’s ultra-fertile black soil (“chernozem”) and enjoys a reputation as one of the most farming-friendly countries on the planet. Even the Ukrainian flag, with its depiction of golden crops under a blue sky, is an ode to this ancient agrarian heritage. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s strategic location at the crossroads of Eurasia offers relatively easy access to the markets of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Despite this immense agribusiness potential, Ukraine remains one of only six countries globally (along with Cuba, Venezuela, Tajikistan, Congo and North Korea), where owners of agricultural land are not entitled to dispose of it. Ukraine’s moratorium on farmland sales has been in place for 16 years. From a purely legal standpoint, this moratorium contradicts the very essence of ownership rights. As many as seven million citizens of Ukraine, who own 28 million hectares of farmland plots, do not currently have the right to dispose of their property as they see fit. The moratorium also undermines Ukraine’s position in well-respected world rankings that consider private property protection as one of the foundations of economic freedom. For example, according to the Heritage Foundation’s 2018 Index of Economic Freedom, Ukraine received just 41 out of 100 points for property rights protection. Nevertheless, the chances of lifting the moratorium before the end of 2018 are alarmingly low. One of the key factors preventing land sale reform is the lack of awareness among both state authorities and landowners about the potential benefits of a free farmland market. Negative public perceptions of land sale reform are also a major obstacle to progress on the issue. These perception problems are largely the result of aggressive media campaigns by populist political parties who promote the moratorium by playing on Ukrainian society’s timeless agrarian traditions and deep ties to the land. The populist potency of the issue means support for land reform is politically dangerous and unlikely to be forthcoming until fast-approaching presidential and parliamentary elections are out of the way in late 2019.   Myths vs. Data To an external observer, it might be difficult to comprehend why the majority of Ukrainians would support the idea of denying themselves the right to dispose of their own land as they choose. This situation did not arise without some prompting. Populist forces, with backing from numerous somewhat dubious associations of small and medium farmers, have invested enormous resources into the promotion of a number of simplistic but very persuasive myths designed to make land reform daunting for landowners and risky for politicians who might otherwise support it. The most resonant myth is the claim that Ukrainian farmland will be massively purchased by foreigners. This plays on fears for the future development of Ukraine’s agricultural sector while stirring up painful historical memories of unwelcome past foreign influence. In reality, no financial entity, either local or international, has sufficient liquidity to purchase land in such vast volumes. Moreover, according to a recent comprehensive study of land reform in sixty countries conducted by the EasyBusiness think tank, only about 20% of agricultural lands underwent sale following the abolition of land sale moratoriums in the former Warsaw Pact countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The other 80% of landowners who did not sell their land continued farming and were able to benefit from bank loans by using their newly sellable assets as collateral. One broadly believed myth is that the livelihood of the average farmland owner would decrease because of low market prices for farmland. However, according to information provided by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, the average rental cost of one hectare of agricultural land per year is as little as UAH 1,369. This is noteworthy as lower quality land in neighboring countries generates rental fees many times higher. In reality, the main reason why Ukrainian landowners do not currently receive an appropriate income is low rental prices caused by the absence of free agricultural land circulation. Another questionable concern is the idea that the abolition of the moratorium would deprive farmers of a stable income. First of all, it is worth noting that UAH 900 per hectare annually, which is the average amount landowners in rural areas of Ukraine receive, in no way reflects the actual value of the land itself. For example, comparative rates in Western Europe currently range from USD 150 to USD 700, or approximately four to twenty times the average rate in Ukraine. The abolition of the moratorium would allow for the emergence of a land market based on realistic asset evaluation, leading to the establishment of sound market prices for rent. Farmers would be able to rent out their land plots at adequate market prices, thus making the rent of land their actual source of income without necessarily deciding to sell up. Despite the obvious effectiveness of these myths in distorting public understanding of the land sale issue, the economic data paints a persuasive picture. A survey conducted by EasyBusiness indicates that a fully liberalized market would be the most economically effective model for Ukraine and could generate additional GDP of USD 10 billon annually or USD 100 billion over the next 10 years. The end of the moratorium would lead to a surge in interest from both foreign investors and local SMEs. It would drive positive mid- and long-term price prospects for Ukraine’s farmland assets, which remain undervalued due to the moratorium.   Support and Opposition The land reform issue is politically explosive, but it is not short of well-placed political supporters. The Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food, and the Ministry of Finance all support the opening of the farmland market in Ukraine and made efforts to enable progress in 2016-2017 when the issue was still high on the political agenda. Strong support for reform also comes from international organizations including the IMF and the World Bank. The pool of MPs publicly supporting abolition of the moratorium is growing, rising from just three MPs in 2015 to seven in 2016 and sixty-six in 2017. However, this level of parliamentary support remains far from sufficient, while the dominant consensus among MPs is to retain the moratorium. Opposition to reform is strong among farmers interested in retaining cheap land rental rates. Additionally, despite the widespread notion that agricultural holdings are the only beneficiaries of any prospective future land sales, a number of Ukrainian agribusiness holdings do not actually support the reform. This primarily relates to those businesses that have not yet accumulated sufficient capital to buy out the plots they are renting and those who produce low-margin and low added value agricultural commodities.   Political Paralysis Due to the efforts of the Cabinet of Ministers, international institutions, the expert community and MPs, the debate around the moratorium has moved forward in recent years from discussion of whether Ukraine needs a land market to talk of market alternatives and its preferable models. Nevertheless, there is no sign of concrete progress. In 2017, the IMF made adoption of the respective draft law on abolition of the moratorium a condition for continued support, but President Poroshenko was able to have the issue removed from the memorandum for the disbursement of the IMF’s next tranche. It is not clear how this came about, but many attribute it to the lack of progress surrounding the establishment of an anti-corruption court and the need to prioritize this anti-corruption issue above all others. Instead of cancelling the moratorium, the Ukrainian parliament voted in December 2017 to prolong the ban on farmland sales until 2019. Even this was not enough for some political factions. For example, Yulia Tymoshenko’s Bloc sought an extension until 2023. Legislative proposals have long been prepared. The latest available version of the most discussed parliamentary model states that foreign citizens can only inherit land, while Ukrainian nationals are restricted to purchases of up to 200 hectares. Alternatively, the latest available government model envisages the sale of up to 500 hectares to Ukrainian nationals and grants foreigners the right to buy agricultural land starting in 2030. Both models envisage strong restrictions for legal entities. While these models can serve as a good basis for further discussion, most experts and a number of MPs believe there is room for considerable improvement.   Historic Challenge It is important to remember that Ukraine’s present moratorium was originally a temporary measure introduced until the adoption of suitable land sale legislation. Sixteen years later, we are still hearing that Ukraine is “not ready”. This argument, however, only benefits those interested in maintaining the status quo. With populism increasingly dominating the Ukrainian pre-election agenda, no party is likely to risk political suicide by taking the lead in something as misunderstood and volatile as the land sale issue. However, now may be the time to engage in a major public communication campaign in anticipation of renewed parliamentary engagement following the coming election cycle. At present, the sale of farmland is arguably the most misinterpreted and politically toxic item on the entire reform agenda. The government, civil society and Ukraine’s international partners should now seek to close this information gap. Rather than waiting for a new window of legislative opportunity to open following elections in 2019, preparations should begin now to lay the groundwork for reform once the political environment is more favorable. Introducing agricultural land sales in Ukraine would be a truly historic step with major implications for the country’s economy, but it will require equally historic efforts if populist opposition is to be overcome.     Sourse: http://bunews.com.ua/investment/item/ukraines-1oo-billion-question-why-the-issue-of-farmland-sales-so-toxic

"Ukraine, EU plan to develop cooperation under observation programme"

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"Trade between Ukraine and Germany grew by almost 23% last year - Poroshenko"

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28 May, 2018

"Poroshenko, SOCAR president discuss prospects of producing high-quality aviation fuel in Ukraine"

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"Capital investments in Ukraine 37.4% up in Q1, 2018 – statistics"

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26 May, 2018

"EBRD already invested €12 billion in Ukraine and wants to continue cooperation"

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"UEFA Champions League final held in Kyiv today"

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25 May, 2018

"U.S. House of Representatives approves $250 mln in security assistance to Ukraine"

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"Ukraine raises steel output by 6% in April, ranking 13th in Worldsteel rating"

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24 May, 2018
OLIVIA BEAVERS Cybersecurity Reporter at The Hill UGTI on Facebook Experts warn that hackers increasingly targeting Ukraine with malware attacks Cybersecurity experts are warning that hackers are ramping up malware attacks against Ukraine, infecting thousands of devices ahead of an upcoming national holiday in the country. Experts at Cisco’s threat intelligence arm Talos say the dangerous malware, dubbed "VPNFilter," has code that overlaps with BlackEnergy, malware the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has already attributed to Russia. The firm says it is releasing their findings on VPNFilter early in the hopes that affected parties can begin taking steps to protect themselves. "While this isn't definitive by any means, we have also observed VPNFilter, a potentially destructive malware, actively infecting Ukrainian hosts at an alarming rate, utilizing a command and control infrastructure dedicated to that country," Talos wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. The firm said that while it is seeing a "sharp spike" in VPNFilter activity geared toward Ukrainian hosts, the malware has also infected devices around the globe. "Both the scale and the capability of this operation are concerning. Working with our partners, we estimate the number of infected devices to be at least 500,000 in at least 54 countries," Talos wrote. Russian hackers similarly launched a major cyberattack on Ukraine's Constitution Day last year, ravaging computers as part of an effort to disrupt the country's financial system. The NotPetya malware attack — which caused massive damage in Europe, Asia and the Americas — took place in June 2017, the same month as Ukraine's public holiday. Russia in recent years has become increasingly aggressive towards Ukraine, particularly its annexation of Crimea in 2014. Earlier this year, Trump administration joined the British government in attributing the NotPetya attack to Russia. Russia has denied responsibility for the cyberattack. Talos said the code overlap as well as the quickly approaching national holiday prompted them to release their findings before fully completing their research. The group will continue to update their findings as their research progresses. "By this point, we were aware of the code overlap between BlackEnergy and VPNFilter, and that Ukraine's Constitution Day was approaching in June — previous attacks in Ukraine have frequently occurred on national holidays," the firm wrote, saying they saw a rise in activity in early May. The malware, the experts say, could wreak havoc in a number of ways, from theft of website credentials to causing widespread internet disruption. "The malware has a destructive capability that can render an infected device unusable, which can be triggered on individual victim machines or en masse, and has the potential of cutting off internet access for hundreds of thousands of victims worldwide." The malware targets storage devices and routers like Linksys, NETGEAR and other networking equipment, the firm says. "The type of devices targeted by this actor are difficult to defend. They are frequently on the perimeter of the network, with no intrusion protection system in place, and typically do not have an available host-based protection system such as an anti-virus package," the firm says.     Sourse: http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/388969-cyber-experts-warn-hackers-increasingly-targeting-ukraine-with-malware

"IFC Makes Two New Major Agricultural Investments in Ukraine"

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"Poroshenko, Erdogan discuss further cooperation"

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23 May, 2018

"Syngenta together with USAID create platform for agribusiness development in Ukraine"

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"Infrastructure Ministry together with Nokia to implement digital infrastructure"

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22 May, 2018
BORIS ZILBERMAN Deputy Director of Congressional Relations UGTI on Facebook Increasing U.S.-Ukraine Cyber Cooperation is a Step in the Right Direction In early May, the State Department announced a doubling to $10 million of U.S. assistance to Ukraine for the strengthening of its cyber defenses. The increased funding is an important signal that the U.S. stands with Kyiv as it faces a sustained and evolving cyber threat from Russia, yet addressing the ceaseless barrage of cyber attacks from Moscow will take more than the added funding. Currently, Ukraine serves as the proving grounds for Russian offensive cyber capabilities. Moscow’s efforts have ranged from conducting information operations during its annexation of Crimea in 2014, to destructive cyber attacks on Ukrainian critical infrastructure in 2016, to the spreading of NotPetya malware in 2017. As a result, Russia has advanced its cyber capabilities while stretching the U.S. and NATO’s ability to respond. It is clear that if the U.S. fails to address the Russian cyber threat abroad, Russian cyber activities in the United States may progress from network intrusions and information operations to more destructive cyber attacks. The U.S. could help Kyiv’s efforts to counter the Russian cyber threat by supporting and encouraging Ukraine’s membership in NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE) based in Tallinn, Estonia. The Centre, best known for its annual live-fire cyber exercise Locked Shields, is open to non-member partners of NATO. Ukraine is currently a NATO partner country and its participation in the Centre would follow the precedent set by Austria, Finland, and Sweden. NATO previously established a Cyber Defence Trust Fund for Ukraine to help Kyiv develop technical capabilities to counter cyber threats. While the trust fund demonstrates a clear commitment to improving Ukraine’s security, history has demonstrated that Ukraine needs more assistance to be able to defend against an active cyber threat. Joining the CCDCOE would greatly improve Ukraine’s ability to train and respond to modern malware threats. In addition to the benefits of collaborating and learning from other CCDCOE members, Ukraine would also have the opportunity to participate in Locked Shields and other Centre sponsored trainings and conferences. Participating in CCDCOE exercises would provide Ukraine the opportunity to test its current cybersecurity strategy and response plan, identify areas where that strategy has failed, and work with CCDCOE partners on best practices for strengthening its cyber defenses, all in a simulated environment. The U.S. should pursue increasing bilateral and multilateral support to ensure Ukraine can contain and roll back Moscow’s continuing cyber offensive. Russia’s use of Ukraine as a proving ground also enables the Kremlin to test American red lines and the international community’s readiness to respond to escalating cyber attacks. If the lesson that Moscow learns is that it can undertake increasingly actions with impunity, then cyber escalations in Ukraine likely will not stop there.     Sourse: http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/boris-zilberman-increasing-us-ukraine-cyber-cooperation-is-a-step-in-the-right-direction/

"Rada committee gives conclusion to bill on Anti-Corruption Court, except for provisions not agreed with IMF"

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"Trade turnover between Ukraine and Estonia increased by almost a third over past year"

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21 May, 2018

"Abolition of moratorium on land sale extremely important for issue of loans to Ukraine"

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"State Property Fund expects to get UAH 22 bln from privatization in 2018"

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19 May, 2018

"Pharm sales in Ukraine grow by 41% in Jan-Apr – business credit company"

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"Ukraine’s Sergei Loznitsa wins best director award at Cannes Film Festival"

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18 May, 2018

"Transportation by air in Ukraine could grow by 10% every year in coming 10 years"

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"Scientific cooperation between China and Ukraine must reach new level – Chinese Ambassador"

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17 May, 2018
HOLLY DEMAREE-SADDLER Web Editor at World-Grain UGTI on Facebook Rapid growth of blockchain brings change to Agriculture “Tools to connect farmers to the agriculture supply chain via blockchain are already in the works,” Ehmke said. “Some of those developments have the ability to transfer the ownership of grain immediately.” As agribusiness interest increases and use-cases for blockchain technology become more prevalent, agriculture stands to benefit by lower transaction costs, optimized logistics, increased traceability, enhanced food and safety protocols, and potentially greater value creation across the supply chain, according to a report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division. Blockchain, which is an information storage technology that allows people to record transactions in a digitized, decentralized data log maintained on a network of computers, already is being put to use by major technology companies and come commodity merchandisers. “This technology offers an opportunity for revolutionary change in food traceability, tracking of commodities and grain trading,” said Tanner Ehmke, manager of CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division. “The new uses of blockchain may be met with initial resistance, but those who break through and adopt technology early stand to benefit the most.” According to the report, the technology will force supply chain partners to adapt as interest grows in direct-to-farmer marketing channels. “Tools to connect farmers to the agriculture supply chain via blockchain are already in the works,” Ehmke said. “Some of those developments have the ability to transfer the ownership of grain immediately.” In the intermediate term, the adoption blockchain by retailers and merchandisers could pressure others in the supply chain to utilize the technology. Over the long term, it could hasten bifurcation of the agricultural industry, where those who utilize the technology would increase their influence globally, and those who don’t could have access to fewer markets, CoBank noted.     Sourse: http://www.world-grain.com/articles/news_home/World_Grain_News/2018/05/CoBank_Rapid_growth_of_blockch.aspx?ID=%7BDA3EE5D5-AE24-4460-B108-0937776C2F1E%7D

"Cancellation of land moratorium to bring Ukrainian economy up to $1.5 bln annually - World Bank"

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"EU will now invest more in specific development projects in Ukraine"

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16 May, 2018

"Kyiv hosts Agri Invest Forum 2018"

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"First Vice PM Kubiv calls on European Economic Congress participants to join privatization in Ukraine"

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15 May, 2018
LUBOMIR TASSEV Author at Bitcoin.com UGTI on Facebook Ukraine’s Securities Commission Chief Seeks Legalization of Cryptocurrencies as Financial Instruments The Chairman of the National Securities and Stock Market Commission of Ukraine has indicated the regulator favors a decision to recognize cryptocurrencies as financial instruments. Timur Khromayev thinks it’s time to take the matter to the country’s Financial Stability Council. The point of no return has been passed, he says.   Beyond the Point of No Return Ukraine’s securities regulator is expected to raise the question about the status of cryptocurrencies during the next meeting of the Financial Stability Council in Kiev. The chairman of the National Securities and Stock Market Commission of Ukraine, Timur Khromayev, thinks that they should be recognized as financial instruments. A decision to do that would effectively legalize digital coins in the country, although not in all of their possible functions. “I think it is very timely to consider the recognizing of some crypto units as financial instruments during the upcoming meeting of the Financial Stability Council,” Khromayev wrote on his Facebook page. He also insisted that the body should lay out approaches to regulating crypto-related activities and initiate corresponding legislative procedures. Timur Khromayev noted the active development of the crypto industry in Ukraine, which, in his words, has already established certain standards and rules for conducting business. He also stressed: "The point of no return is already in the past. The crypto industry is becoming an integral part of economic and financial relations." Therefore, Khromayev thinks, some adaptation and legal recognition by financial regulators is necessary in order to solve the existing issues. The chairman of the NSSMC proposes to consider crypto assets and operations within the framework of the existing regulations, “based on principle and substance, not form.” He also called for formulating new rules in response to the dynamic development of the industry. Khromayev thinks that the international community is far from adopting common standards. That’s why he believes that regulations will be determined by national legislations.   No Real Progress towards Regulation Yet Three pieces of legislation have been introduced in Ukraine’s parliament since last October – the draft law “On the Circulation of Cryptocurrency in Ukraine”, the bill “On Stimulating the Market of Cryptocurrencies and Their Derivatives”, and a supplementary draft amending the Ukrainian tax code to regulate taxation of crypto incomes and profits and introduce some exemptions. No real progress towards adopting the long-awaited legislation has been reported so far. In November 2017, the NSSMC said that the use of the term “cryptocurrency” in the new legislation was “unjustified”. According to the regulator, digital coins are the result of financial engendering and are not currencies. “Therefore, it is more expedient to use the term ‘crypto unit’,” the Commission said. At the time, NSSMC proposed to legally define digital currencies as either financial instruments, investments assets, or goods. Its representatives noted that under the current Ukrainian legislation, cryptocurrencies could not be accepted as electronic money, foreign currencies, securities, or money surrogates. In March this year, the executive branch of power in Kiev took steps to legalize crypto mining as an economic activity. Ukraine’s Minister of Economy ordered several ministries, agencies, and the National Bank to prepare the necessary documents to include mining in the state register of economic activities.     Sourse: https://news.bitcoin.com/ukraines-securities-commission-chief-seeks-legalization-of-cryptocurrencies-as-financial-instruments/

"State secretary at Norwegian MFA: interest of Norwegian investors to Ukraine growing"

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"Testing ground for Hyperloop chosen in Dnipro city"

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14 May, 2018

"U.Ventures investment fund invests $1.15 mln in three Ukrainian startups"

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"GDP grows in Ukraine by 3.1% in Q1 2018"

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12 May, 2018

"Kyiv expects to receive $1.9 billion from the IMF in June"

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"Swiss company ready to help Ukraine reform agricultural sector"

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11 May, 2018

"Registrations of electric cars in Ukraine 50% up in 2018"

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"Sixth New Ukraine International Investment Conference to be held in Kyiv next week"

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10 May, 2018
NOLAN PETERSON The Daily Signal’s foreign correspondent based in Ukraine UGTI on Facebook As US-China Trade War Looms, Ukraine Stands to Gain Ukraine—Amid the specter of a looming trade war with the U.S., China is boosting its economic ties with Ukraine. For one, Ukraine has overtaken the U.S. as China’s top corn supplier. Five years ago, the U.S. supplied about 97 percent of Chinese corn imports. In 2017, however, Ukraine accounted for about two-thirds of China’s 2.83 million tonnes of imported corn—while the U.S. share was down to a quarter. The swap underscores a narrowing market for some U.S. agricultural exports to China. It also points to the burgeoning economic ties between Beijing and Kyiv, which, some say, could become an obstacle to Ukraine’s post-revolutionary, pro-Western political pivot. “As a friend to Ukraine, the U.S. should caution Kyiv from agreeing too easily to Chinese investment that could undermine its national sovereignty,” said Luke Coffey, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Foreign Policy Studies Center. “There are plenty of cases in Asia and Africa where Chinese-funded projects suffer from questionable infrastructure financing that may create unsustainable debt obligations for countries which undertake them,” Coffey told The Daily Signal. “Ukraine has enough economic problems as it is and does not need more—especially from China.” U.S. President Donald Trump recently announced tariffs on China to deter unfair trade practices. In turn, China retaliated—including a 25 percent tariff on U.S. corn, which Beijing announced April 4. The move paves the way for more Ukrainian corn exports to China. Yet, China had already favored Ukrainian corn supplies before the recent trade spat with the U.S. began. Last year, Beijing tightened its application process to approve imports of genetically modified, or GMO, agricultural products—a move that some say unfairly targeted American crops. According to industry reports, new regulations in 2017 made it more difficult for Chinese grain mills to get permits to process genetically modified corn. U.S. corn is mostly genetically modified, while corn from Ukraine is not. Therefore, to bypass red tape, some Chinese mills have opted to ditch U.S. suppliers and purchase non-GMO corn from Ukraine. Yet, with Ukrainian corn taking pole position in China, some industry analysts say U.S. and South American corn could flood other markets in which Ukraine previously dominated. According to industry reports, that sea change is already happening. Ukraine’s corn exports to Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, and Portugal have all significantly dipped so far this year. Market data shows “a drop-off in Ukraine’s traditional markets as it offloads this year’s crop to east Asia,” the agriculture business website AgriCensus reported.   Up and Up China has had its economic sights set on Ukraine since 2011. That year, under the watch of Viktor Yanukovych—Ukraine’s now-deposed, pro-Russian president—the two countries established a long-term strategic partnership in economic ties and trade. Hu Jintao was president of China at the time. In March 2013, Xi Jinping became president of China. That September, China announced its plan to lease 7.4 million acres of Ukrainian farmland for 50 years. In December 2013, Yanukovych met with Xi in Beijing. Both sides recommitted to their strategic partnership Then, in February 2014, pro-European street protests ousted Yanukovych. The deposed Ukrainian leader fled to Russia, where he now lives in exile. Nevertheless, Ukraine’s post-revolution government has followed through on the Chinese trade relationship that Yanukovych set in motion. Beijing says Ukraine will be a key waypoint in its One Belt, One Road overland trade route from China to Europe—Xi’s foreign policy mantelpiece. To that end, and often under the Western media radar, China has invested in a gamut of transportation infrastructure and agriculture industry projects throughout Ukraine. In December 2017, Ma Kai, a Chinese vice premier at that time, announced $7 billion in Chinese investments for Ukraine, mainly in infrastructure projects. Trade between the two countries is also on the rise, reaching about $5.6 billion over the first nine months of 2017—a 14.5 percent year-to-year increase. China is now the top purchaser of military equipment from Ukraine, totaling $90 million in sales in 2016. Ukrainian agriculture exports have also contributed to the boost in trade. In 2016, China was the top importer of Ukrainian corn. In 2017, China was the fifth-largest importer of Ukrainian agricultural commodities, comprising $1 billion in purchases.   Plan B Spurring economic growth is a top priority for Kyiv. In 2017, 39 percent of Ukrainians lived below the official poverty line, and polling says the economy is the top concern for most Ukrainians. Ukraine’s economy grew by 2.5 percent in 2017, according to the World Bank. This year, the economy is forecast to grow at a similar pace. However, some analysts say Ukraine needs to notch meteoric gross domestic product growth rates for the average citizen to see any noticeable quality of life improvements. “After the downfall in 2014 to 2015, when Ukraine’s GDP dropped by 17 percent, an increase of 2 to 3 percent is essentially stagnation. It is conservation of the crisis,” said Anatoliy Kinakh, president of Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN reported. “For dynamic growth, for qualitative changes in the components of people’s lives, Ukraine needs a pace of at least 6 to 8 percent, and, it is desirable, 10 percent,” Kinakh reportedly said. Western economic aid to Ukraine is typically tied to anti-corruption reform riders. Therefore, some experts say Chinese cash could offer Ukrainian officials a tempting chance to jump-start their country’s economy without the caveat of following through on all the reforms necessary to satisfy Western backers. However, from the U.S. perspective, Chinese investments are generally welcomed so long as they help shore up Ukraine’s economy without compromising the country’s ongoing reforms. “I think the U.S. needs to take a pragmatic but open-eyed approach to this,” Heritage’s Coffey said. “Where China’s investments in Ukraine are legitimate, transparent, and within the rule of law, the U.S. should not be too alarmed.”     Sourse: https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/04/16/as-us-china-trade-war-looms-ukraine-stands-to-gain/

"Government approves list of largest facilities for privatization for late autumn"

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"The $15 Billion Ukraine Could Be Using to Perk Up Its Economy"

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9 May, 2018

"World Bank: Value of Ukraine’s land to triple if farmland sales permitted"

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"Ambassador Melnyk: Germany will support Ukrainian transit in Europe"

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8 May, 2018
NATHAN RODRIGUEZ Co-Founder of Chainbits UGTI on Facebook People in This Village Owns a Cryptocurrency Believe it or not, a small town situated in Ukraine has residents who are all owners of cryptocurrency. This is basically the Ukrainian village of Elizavetovka of the Petrykivsky district in the Dnipropetrovsk region. It was made possible through an initiative by the head of the village council. And yes, digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ether can be utilized in the said village when purchasing various products (e.g. eggs, milk, lard, meat, etc.) Following a local council meeting, the deputies gave Maxim Golosnoy, the chairman of the council, the go signal to carry out operations involving cryptocurrency. And that he must do this “in the interest of the territorial community” as long as no budgetary funds are attracted. It turns out that Golosnoy has found a way to replenish their local budget just by using cryptocurrency. It is worth noting that this is deemed as an experiment to help them earn money from their community. This village automatically becomes the first village in the country where its residents have become owners of cryptocurrencies. And apart from Bitcoin and Ether, the local council is also using Cardano in buying products.   Investing Crypto Golosnoy revealed that he managed to invest at least 13,000 hryvnias (US$494) in Cardano sometime in April. This is the same cryptocurrency that he now provides to around 1,500 residents. Following the rise of his investment (about $1,480), he decided to repay himself the initial investment and gave the rest to the residents. This led to each village becoming an owner of several crypto units. As of this writing, the residents’ cryptocurrency is being handled personally by Golosnoy. He has, however, assured each one of them that they can easily cash out their coins anytime they desire. Interestingly, reports say that the residents are in no hurry, as they still have no better understanding of the very principle of cryptocurrency, let alone the benefits it gives to them.   Village Head Currently, the village head is using his own personal funds in cryptocurrency, not the village budget which people first believed in. Golosnoy added that each year, their village budget would gain a surplus of around 3 to 4 million hryvnias. He hopes that some of the revenues can be invested in digital assets but if and only if the supervisory authorities and the community approve. Apparently, Ukraine has yet to have a legal framework for cryptocurrencies. But sometime in March, the country’s State Financial Monitoring Service of Ukraine had published its official position on digital assets. There were also three draft bills which have already been introduced albeit no one has adopted it.     Sourse: https://www.chainbits.com/news/people-in-this-village-owns-a-cryptocurrency/

"U.S. House committee proposes $250 million defense aid to Ukraine in 2019"

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"Facebook is in top-10 internet resources by popularity in Ukraine, audience reaches 65%"

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7 May, 2018

"Ukraine, Turkey to jointly create An-188 military transport aircraft"

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"Naftogaz and NATO discuss energy security of Ukraine"

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5 May, 2018

"Institute of International Finance ranks China, Ukraine, Argentina, South Africa and Turkey as most vulnerable emerging markets"

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"Ukraine, US discuss expansion of mutual access to markets"

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4 May, 2018

"Ukraine-EU summit to be held in early July – source"

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"Chinese Exchange interested to buy over 25% in Ukrainian PFTS exchange"

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3 May, 2018
ALINA POLYAKOVA Adjunct Professor of European Studies at The Johns Hopkins University UGTI on Facebook The next Russian attack will be far worse than bots and trolls On March 15, the Department of Homeland Security together with the FBI announced that Russian government hackers infiltrated critical infrastructures in the U.S.—including “energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation, and critical manufacturing sectors.” According to the DHS-FBI report, malicious Russian activities have been ongoing since at least March 2016. The Russian malware, which has been sitting in the control systems of various U.S. utilities, allows the Russians to shut off power or sabotage the energy grids. And they have done it before: The same malware that took down Ukraine’s electrical grid in 2015 and 2016 has been detected in U.S. utilities. The potential damage of a nationwide black out—let’s say on Election Day—would be significant, to say the least. And while Russian trolls and bots have captured public attention, they are already yesterday’s game. As I write in a recent Brookings paper, the future of political warfare is in the cyber domain. The disinformation tools used by Moscow against the West are still fairly basic: They rely on exploiting human gullibility, vulnerabilities in the social media ecosystem, and lack of awareness among the public, the media, and policymakers. In the very near term, however, technological advancements in artificial intelligence and cyber capabilities will open opportunities for malicious actors to undermine democracies more covertly and effectively than what we have seen so far. Increasingly sophisticated cybertools, tested primarily in Ukraine, have already infected Western systems, as evidenced by the DHS-FBI report. An all-out attack on Western critical infrastructure seems inevitable.   TAKING A LESSON FROM UKRAINE In the West, Russia’s cyberattacks so far have been at the service of its disinformation operations: stolen data used to embarrass individuals, spin a narrative, discredit democratic institutions and values, and sow social discord. This was the pattern Russian operators followed in the United States, France, and Germany during the countries’ 2016–17 elections. Hacking email accounts of individuals or campaigns, leaking that stolen information using a proxy (primarily WikiLeaks), and then deploying an army of disinformation agents (bots, trolls, state controlled media) to disseminate and amplify a politically damaging narrative. Such cyber-enabled interference falls below the threshold of critical infrastructure attacks of significant consequence that could result in “loss of life, significant destruction of property, or significant impact on [national security interests].” The nightmare of cyberattacks crippling critical infrastructure systems still has the sound of science fiction to most Americans. But in Ukraine, this nightmare is real. As the laboratory for Russian activities, Ukraine has seen a significant uptick in attacks on its critical infrastructure systems since the 2013–14 Maidan revolution. A barrage of malware, denial of service attacks, and phishing campaigns bombard Ukraine’s critical infrastructure environments on a daily basis. In December 2015, a well-planned and sophisticated attack on Ukraine’s electrical grid targeted power distribution centers and left 230,000 residents without power the day before Christmas. The attackers were able to override operators’ password access to the system and also disable backup generators. The Ukrainian government attributed the attacks to the Russian hacking group called Sandworm. “BlackEnergy,” the same Sandworm malware that caused the blackout in Ukraine, has been detected in electric utilities in the United States. Ukraine’s “Christmas attack,” as the 2015 blackout has come to be known, is the worst known attack on critical infrastructure systems. And Ukraine’s systems—defended by a combination of firewalls, segmented access, two-factor authentication, and manual controls—were more secure at the time of the attack than those in the United States. Thanks to Soviet-era manual switches, the blackout lasted only a few hours—a luxury that most U.S. utilities don’t have. Russian attacks on Ukraine have already spilled over to Europe and the U.S. In June 2017, the so-called “NotPetya” virus, which originated in a targeted attack on Ukraine’s accounting systems, spread to 64 countries and affected major international companies, logistical operators, government agencies, telecommunication providers, and financial institutions. The name, NotPetya, referred to the disguised nature of the attack; it appeared as a previously launched ransomware attack (Petya) but was in fact designed to destroy and delete information systems in Ukraine. In effect, NotPetya was a cyber form of “maskirovka,” or tactical deception, often used in Soviet military operations to mislead and deceive adversaries about the true source and intention of an attack. In February 2018, the U.S. attributed NotPetya to the Russian military. Ukraine’s experience with Russian election hacking should also be a call to action. Widely used electronic voting machines in the U.S. have weak security and software full of easily exploitable loopholes. Many were purchased after the contested 2000 presidential elections, which means that some localities are relying on 20-year-old software in the upcoming 2018 midterms. At the 2017 Defcon hacker conference, attendees were tasked with breaking into a range of American voting machines either by finding vulnerabilities through physically breaking into machines or gaining access remotely. The hackers did so in less than two hours. Participants managed to breach every piece of equipment by the end of the gathering. U.S. intelligence officials confirmed earlier this year that Russian hackers infiltrated election systems in seven U.S. states (Illinois, Alaska, Arizona, Texas, California, Florida and Wisconsin) and gained access to voter registration rolls. DHS officials testified in June 2017 that Russians probed at least 21 states’ voter registration systems but did not necessarily “get through the door.” While no evidence has emerged that the Russians altered the voter data in the 2016 elections, they could pull the trigger at any time. As with utilities, the Russians have effectively planted cyber bombs that they can detonate when the political timing is right.   EMERGING THREAT VECTORS The next Russian attack on the U.S. could be massive in scope and debilitating in its effects. It will make social media bots and trolls look benign by comparison. It could be as straightforward and easily traced back to Russia, or it could be far more ambitious. For example, “WannaCry,” the May 2017 ransomware attack that crippled hospitals in Western Europe by exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows, was based on an exploit originally identified by the National Security Agency. The exploit was leaked and a hacker group known as the Shadow Brokers published the detailed code online in April 2017. After the attack was unleashed, the U.S. identified North Korea (not Russia) as responsible for WannaCry in the fall of 2017. WannaCry presents a potential new threat vector: Malicious actors (Russia, China, etc.) hack Western intelligence agencies and leak the information to third parties (Shadow Brokers or others) that then post the exploits publicly, allowing other bad actors around the world to use the tools for whatever ends. In this case, it is more difficult to definitively lay the blame on a single actor, which constrains the West’s ability to respond. "The next Russian attack on the U.S….will make social media bots and trolls look benign." Computational propaganda, or the “use of algorithms, automation, and human curation to purposely distribute misleading information over social media,” is also evolving. Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will enable malicious actors to spread disinformation faster and in a more targeted manner. Detecting automated accounts, often called “bots,” will also become more difficult as these accounts appear increasingly human—they will be able to adapt to human reactions, tailor messaging, and exploit human emotions. In a cyber attack, disinformation campaigns by human like users will be used to mislead the public about the nature and severity of the threat, magnifying the chaos and amplifying the damage.   AN URGENT MATTER The United State and Europe seem ill-equipped to deter and respond to online disinformation attacks, much less a cyber attack on critical infrastructure. A year-and-a-half after the elections, the U.S. has not come up with a comprehensive response to Russian interference. Sanctioning the Russian troll factory, as the Trump administration recently did, will not deter a future attack. In fact, according to the DHS-FBI findings, Russian cyber attacks have only increased since the elections. Sanctions, while an useful policy tool, should be part of much larger deterrence arsenal that should include defensive and offensive measures. In its constant probing, Moscow is testing U.S. resolve to respond, and the weakness of that response so far has undoubtedly served as a lesson for other bad actors—Iran, North Korea, China—seeking to undermine Western societies. As a first step, the U.S. and European countries, should develop a strategy of deterrence against political warfare with clearly defined consequences for adversarial actions. This strategy should have overt and covert operational components, including public statements by political leaders, intelligence communications to convey the potential costs to adversaries, and an increase in covert operations aimed at identifying adversaries’ vulnerabilities. The most important ingredient in crafting such a strategic and coordinate response is political will from the top—something sorely missing in the U.S. today.     Sourse: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/03/22/the-next-russian-attack-will-be-far-worse-than-bots-and-trolls/

"Government committee approves list of large enterprises for privatization"

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"U.S. to double aid to Ukraine to strengthen its cyber security"

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2 May, 2018

"IMF issues new outlook of GDP growth in Ukraine"

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"Poroshenko signs bill on ratification of guarantee agreement between Ukraine and IBRD on lending to SME"

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1 May, 2018
ALEKS MEHRLE President of UGTI Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook Disinformation and Cybersecurity: Effective Response to Russian Information Operations (IO) The Internet is inexpensive to use and its open architecture combined with social media and communications services makes it the perfect attack vector for Russia’s propaganda and disinformation war against the US. Critically, the Internet also makes it possible to obscure the organized command and control behind internet-based propaganda and disinformation campaigns. We find evidence of vulnerability to Russia’s systemic and persistent Internet-based attacks as well as their effectiveness in Brexit and the 2016 US Presidential election. Ukraine, more than any other country in the world, has experienced first-hand the undermining effects of massive foreign-based fake news attacks aimed at destabilizing and manipulating public opinion at home and internationally as well as polarizing national dialogue within society. Though not alone in Russia’s crosshairs, Ukraine is on the frontlines of this battle. Because both Ukraine and the US are open societies they are vulnerable in analogous ways to internet-based disinformation and propaganda. Therefore, the US has a unique opportunity to build capabilities and resilience in countering internet-based propaganda and disinformation efforts by learning from the Ukrainian experience. To more effectively work in furtherance of both the US and Ukrainian national security interests our US Ukraine Cyber Partnership team that includes me; Bob Flores, former CTO of the CIA; Matthew Murray, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and Junaid Islam, Chief Technology Officer and President, Vidder, Inc. established a relationship with the Hybrid Warfare Analytical Group of the Ukraine Crisis Media Center. UCMC has extensive experience in dealing with various types of disinformation produced by Russian state media and has administered numerous activities and campaigns to counter it. Serving as an independent media platform for journalists, public activists, key opinion leaders, civil servants and volunteers UCMC has had a unique opportunity to analyze the intricacies of miscommunication between the actors and targets that were exploited by the pro-Russian elements within Ukraine. It is in this context that the HWAG was formed. HWAG consists of information security professionals that worked under the Chief of Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to change the image of the institution and to respond to ever-increasing and ongoing propaganda and disinformation threats from Russia. They are responsible for a variety of both public and Ukrainian military initiatives to counter Russian influence in Ukraine. Bob, Junaid, Matthew and I look forward to continuing to work with and learn from our colleagues at the HWAG.

"Ukraine and Israel initiates FTA agreement – trade representative"

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"Klimkin discusses intensification of trade and economic relations with Egypt"

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30 April, 2018

"Ambassador Chaly: Ukraine, US have reached new level of military and technical cooperation"

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"Ukraine International Airlines increases net income by 24% in 2017"

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28 April, 2018

"Merkel welcomes U.S. participation in settlement of Ukrainian situation"

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"EU very interested in providing assistance to Ukraine - Hugues Mingarelli"

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27 April, 2018

"Ukraine in Berlin to discuss development of strategic cooperation in space with EU partners"

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"Foreign investors show more interest in Ukrainian assets -EY"

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26 April, 2018
WARWICK ASHFORD Security editor at Computer Weekly UGTI on Facebook Ransomware attack hit Ukraine energy ministry website Cyber attackers have targeted the website of Ukraine’s energy and coal ministry, but the websites of state-run energy companies have not been affected. As of April 24, a message posted in English on the website demanded a ransom paid in bitcoin to recover encrypted files, reports Reuters, quoting a ministry spokeswoman. “Our specialists are working on it right now. We do not know how long it will take to resolve the issue,” the spokeswoman said. Commenting on the attack, James Brown, global vice-president, technology solutions, at Alert Logic, said websites continued to be the “soft underbelly” of any organisation on the internet. “Luckily, in this case, it is an attack against the energy ministry website rather than an attack against the energy grid itself. However, it does raise the issue that even high-profile government ministries can be targeted,” he said, adding that it was a high-profile embarrassment for a government department to be caught out in this way. Chris Doman, security researcher at AlienVault, said that while attacks against Ukraine had impersonated ransomware before to cover their true aim of pure destruction, and in many cases energy companies such as this have been a prime target, this case appear to be something more mundane. The attacker, who is using the handle “Zakaria”, appears to have given the ministry a time limit to pay the ransom of 0.1 bitcoin (£665), but has provided instructions on how to pay the ransom, with the option of contacting the attacker via a Gmail account. According to Doman, the payment address supplied has received payments for presumably previously compromised sites in 2017. “What has probably happened here is that a hacktivist has hacked the site for fun, then the criminal ransomware attacker has used their backdoor to try to make some money. “They appear to have done the same with a Russian website, faneurope.ru, where a hacktivist reported hacking the site, but then someone else added their ransomware payment screen to it,” he said. Lee Munson, security researcher at Comparitech, said it was difficult at this stage to tell whether the ransomware attack was targeted or random. “However, I suspect the truth may be more to do with the potential financial return from a random ransomware attack, with the ministry simply being the most high-profile successful target. “Whatever the truth, ransomware is set to feature heavily in future attacks, both in terms of its ability to generate funds for those behind it, as well as for its disruptive capabilities that can distract ahead of other types of attacks,” he said. Commenting on ransomware attacks in general, Eva Prokofiev, senior threat intelligence analyst at CyberProof, said such attacks were relatively easy to build and execute, and they could have a very good return for threat actors. “Any organisation looking to protect their digital assets from ransomware should ensure they are adequately communicating the threat to board members and executives to ensure proper investment in proactive cyber defence, rather than wait for the company to come under attack,” she said. Mark James, security specialist at ESET, said ransomware attacks not only caused extreme disruption, but in some cases, could also mean the loss of personal or private files forever. “Any organisation that opts to pay the ransom should understand that their money could end up funding further illegal, illicit services or products, and because they have let the attackers know they are willing to pay, they are also highly likely to receive further attacks. “Offline or hardware point-in-time backups are the only 100% way to recover from a ransomware attack. Yes, you might get your files back if you pay the ransom, and yes, you might be lucky enough to win the lottery tonight, but sadly the odds are not in your favour,” he said. Earlier this week, it emerged that the US city of Atlanta spent more than $2.6m on emergency efforts to respond to a ransomware attack that destabilised municipal operations in March. The attackers reportedly used SamSam ransomware to infect the city’s IT systems and demanded payment of around $50,000 in bitcoin to restore them, but then appeared to have taken the payment portal offline before the city had chance to pay, according to Wired. The high cost of recovering from the attack further underlines the importance of ensuring that organisations’ IT systems are protected from ransomware attacks through good cyber security practices such as an efficient patching regime, network segmentation and making regular, tested backups of all data.     Sourse: https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252439798/Ransomwareattack-hit-Ukraine-energy-ministry-website

"Open data brings over $700 mln to Ukraine’s economy in previous year"

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"EU preparing new program for attracting investments in Ukraine - EU Commissioner Hahn"

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25 April, 2018

"G7 praises Ukraine for decentralization, economic reforms"

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24 April, 2018
HENRY SHTERENBERG Founder Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook Suntri Blockchain is aims to change Agro Sector of Ukraine and the world It's been very exciting time for me over the last 10 months since I became a CEO of start-up called Suntri. It is my view that Suntri Platform, version 1.0 will be released in early June of this year, will play a major role in digital transformation and blockchain industry on the global stage. Suntri’s vision is to promote trusted and transparent interconnectivity across all economic activity between individuals, businesses and governments through use of Suntri Blockchain integrated with other leading technologies and smart contracts.I recently gave an interview related to the project Suntri is working on in Agricultural sector. Enjoy edited version of it. More on Suntri, its projects in the weeks and months to come. Edited excerpts from the article that appeared in APK-inform.com. For the full article (in Russian) please follow the link:   https://www.apk-inform.com/ru/exclusive/topic/1095708#.Wt7sdq2B30G   What can you say about the technology of blockchain?   Blockchain technology is a transformative technology, i.e. technology at equivalent to the industrial revolution, invention of computer, growth of internet and the creation of smartphones. For example, the iPhone has turned 10 years old recently. Without it, as you know, it is still difficult to imagine our existence today. Everything world is changing quite rapidly due to technology. Blockchain technology will become one of the technologies that will change our world as we know it.. The second fundamental component is the fact that blockchain technology will change all relations, peer-to-peer, business-to-business, government-to-business, ect. The third component of this technology we call TRUST, which today does not exist in our society. For the first time in human history, TRUST will be imbedded in the technology itself and not in Governments, Corporations or People. This makes possible to open Ukrainian market and other emerging economies for hundreds of billions in investment capital. Investments that will be transparent, understandable and will make real impact on the economy. But I also want to note that blockchain technology itself has limited use. I represent a company that develops technology that integrates blockchain with technologies of artificial intelligence, big data, quantum technology, etc. Together, this will become a very powerful tool for the future. Our company Suntri is working on the operating system on blockchain technology. Our goal is to become the industry standard. It's clear that there are no guarantees, but we are striving for this. But look, literally in the next year or two, different types of companies with different proposals and solutions will come to the market. Competition is good. Our approach is somewhat different. We are a technology company. We work with global leaders of the industry to develop industry specific blockchain based operating system. We utilize their industry expertise and they utilize our expertise in blockchain.   What are the advantages of blockchain?   All that we do today is stored in centralized systems, regardless of where your server is located, in office or on cloud. The probability of hacker attacks is very high. So, the first and main advantage of blockchain technology is decentralization. The level of security in this case is quite high. The second advantage of this technology is its inability to change anything in its initial sources, if all participants in this chain do not agree. If a piece of information is already created, then it cannot be changed. And the third advantage, I think the most important for a country like Ukraine, is the transparency of the technology. If we can implement this technology in our country, we can suppress corruption and the shadow market amongst other economic benefits. In the future, the most important application will be not only in blockchain technology itself, but in its ability to integrate with other new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, big data, quantum technology, etc., which in turn will literally turn the world around.   What opportunities does the blockchain give to farmers?   The blockchain technology itself won't help farmers, but with the proper use of this technology, it is possible to create an entirely new economic system in the agricultural sector, which makes possible to increase the farmer's earnings by 3-5 times not only in Ukraine but throughout the world. One of the most interesting and large projects that we are currently working on is the monetization of the land without its sale. To date, the political situation in Ukraine related to moratorium on land sales, is that no matter what opinion you adhere to, open the land market or keep it close, you still in no position to win politically. In turn, we found a solution where we can monetize land for farmers without selling it. If you look globally, the farmers are the lowest social-economic part of the population, but at the same time the most important. After all, the world population will hit 9 billion people in near future. All need to eat. The opportunity that we now intent to provide to small and medium size farmers is to greatly improve their incomes and levels of production with very little effort on their part. The situation for small and medium Ukrainian farmers is challenging. First, the cost of money is very high - 17% officially, but mostly it is 23%+ annual interest rate. Second, the small farmer does not have access to the latest agricultural technologies. And third, it is the presence of a trader, who’s job is to squeeze as much margin out of the farmer as possible. The main goal of the trader is to buy low, to sell high. We want to reverse this situation. In our view the most important area of the development of the agricultural sector today is the effective and sustainable use of land. In most of the emerging economies, we literally "kill" the land, using it incorrectly from the scientific point of view, which as a result leads to a decrease in yields in a short-term and poor land productivity in long-term. The concept that we have come up with is a collaborative business model that provides three main advantages for the farmer: 1) it is a reduction in operating costs per hectare; 2) though use of latest Agrotech increased output per hectare from 4 to 6 times, and 3) higher sales price due to direct sales without any intermediaries, namely traders, who take away profits from farmers. Our business model call for 80% of the total turnover to go to the farmer.   What is the role of the state in the introduction of technology in a particular country?   The role and benefits for the state in this case is quite high. In the future, all states will become much smaller and much richer. Introduction of this technology will provide an opportunity to get rid of the shadow economy and avoid delays in paying taxes. For example, if I raised corn on a hectare of land and sold it, then the tax payment will be automatic when transaction is completed at local, regional or national level.It will become very difficult to carry out any fraudulent activity because all operations will be transparent, from the amount of diesel used by the tractor in the process of cultivating the land and ending with the real assessment of land size. Everyone will know if you have 9.5 thousand hectares or 10 thousand hectares.   Speaking about Ukraine, what are the chances of the transition of local companies to the blockchain? Does someone from Ukrainian companies work on this system?   Yes, there are already companies in Ukraine that started working on solutions based on blockchain technology. But these are only isolated cases. At the governmental level, everything is still only words. In particular, Groisman's statements about the start of digitization of land are still only statements. At the same time, it should be noted that the digitization of land does not in itself give any economic growth or advantage. We, in turn, as representatives of an American company in Ukraine, have plans to launch a project, of which I spoke earlier, in autumn of this year. Our task is to provide an opportunity for direct investment in the agricultural sector of Ukraine. The main thing is that the land will remain in the hands of the farmer, or the state in which it is territorially located. Investors financial benefits will come from output of each hectare of land. After all operating expenses, from 80% of net income will go to small and medium size farmers and 20% to the company. Dividends of 75% company earnings will go to investors, 5% will be management bonus and 20% will remain as retained earning within the company. In addition, I believe that in the next couple of years, Ukraine can become a leader in the production of organic products, demand and the price of which is growing all over the world. According to our estimates, Ukraine can supply organic products to America at the prices that is lower than the cost of non-organic food to the shelves of supermarkets in North America.   Are there any risks when working with this technology?   If we are talking about Ukraine, then the most difficult moment, and I would say the biggest problem, when moving to this technology, is mentality of Ukrainian farmer. When talking to farmers of any size, I hear the same question: “how we going to get screwed?”. No trust! All have become accustomed to the fact that with any transaction, there might be “unforeseen additional costs”. In terms of technology and business processes. The business process itself does not change in the agricultural sector, just the number of players in a chain, from the producer to the buyer, decreases dramatically. The blockchain based operating system that we are in the process of developing will not affect the business process in any way, but it will lead to much higher margins. In terms of strategy or logistics, I do not see any big risks other than standard business risks.   How, in your opinion, this will affect the further development of the agricultural sector?   If bloсkchain technology will be incorporated in Ukraine’s Agro sector, it will be a revolution. Don't forget that the entire agricultural sector is a huge ecosystem, which includes different kinds of participants, from scientific researchers who are responsible for the question of how and what to grow to people who deal with logistics issues, from elevators to packaging. Therefore, a huge number of players in the agricultural sector will benefit enormously from not only use of blockchain technology, but of completely new business models. First, in Ukraine we can make our small and medium farmers richer. Second, we can destroy the shadow economy in the agricultural sector. Third, we can remove all subsidies allegedly allocated by the state to farmers. Fourth, we can ensure an increase in direct revenues from the agricultural sector to the state budget. Fifth, given the geographical location, Ukraine can become a hub for transportation of all agricultural products. I believe that the potential of Agro industry in Ukraine is simply enormous. In autumn we will test this business model on up to 100 thousand hectares, which will enable us to scale to millions of hectares in the following years.

"Growth of IT sector in Ukraine in 2017 is 20%"

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"South Korea, Ukraine agree to strengthen economic cooperation"

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23 April, 2018

"Ambassador Yovanovitch: US has provided almost $1 bln in aid for Ukrainian security"

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"S&P improves forecast of Ukraine's GDP growth rate in 2018"

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21 April, 2018

"Ukraine's economy keeps growing in Q1: central bank"

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"China’s State Council Information Office intends to strengthen communication with Ukraine"

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20 April, 2018

"Norway's Scatec Solar puts 150 MW solar power plants' construction in Ukraine into its portfolio"

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"French Alstom looking for platform to open production facilities in Ukraine "

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19 April, 2018
SEVKI ACUNER Head of Ukraine at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) UGTI on Facebook Ukraine: Maintaining the Momentum Ukraine is Europe’s largest state in terms of territory and is well known across the world for its extremely fertile black soil ideal for agribusiness. The country’s favourable geographical location, on the Black Sea coast and right on the border with the European Union, has made it a destination of choice for many investors looking to expand crop cultivating, cattle breeding or food processing activities. The country is nowadays harvesting over 60 million tonnes of grain, which makes it very attractive to all grain traders. Ukraine’s agriculture is a jewel in the crown of the national economy and it has a lot of potential which can be much better utilised if land reform can be implemented. There are 40 million hectares of land in Ukraine and a well-functioning land reform can bring a lot of investments into the sector In recent years Ukraine, which boasts highly-skilled but affordable labour force, has been attracting a variety of manufacturers and IT companies, which outsourced their businesses here. Among the things that make Ukraine interesting is that over the past few years, it has been an economy where a lot of improvements and reforms have taken place. For example, major changes completely re-shaped the country’s oil and gas and banking sectors. Corporate governance reform and unbundling of the country’s oil and gas giant Naftogaz of Ukraine allowed it to make a dramatic U-turn and return to profitability. The job done by the banking sector regulator, the National Bank of Ukraine, is outstanding. The NBU can be credited for a swift and dramatic sector clean-up, which allowed stamping out related party lending and curtailing other poor practices thus bringing back confidence in domestic financial institutions. The EBRD is very proud to be part of these efforts of the government through the ongoing political dialogue and technical support of relevant reforms. No wonder the EBRD is fully committed Ukraine, which is consistently among the top three countries of investment for the Bank . In fact, we are the largest financial investor here with cumulative commitments of over 12 billion euros across some 400 projects since the start of our operations here in 1993. Over the past four years the Bank’s investments reached 3.6 billion euros and we managed to disburse more than two thirds of this amount. We want to continue working in the same fashion: there are plans to finance further electrification of rail tracks and replenish rolling stock of the country’s main railway operator Ukrzaliznytsya, to address solid waste management issues at western Ukrainian municipality of Lviv, We continue doing a large number of transactions with the private sector in agribusiness, general manufacturing, banking sectors and most importantly, increasingly with small and medium sized enterprises. In order to support the latter, the EBRD opened three further offices in across the country and is working with EU in the framework of their the EU4Business programme to help develop SME’s competence and competitiveness as well access to finance. EBRD is working with the government to develop a concession framework that would enable private operators to come into the infrastructure and similar sectors. Ukraine’s airports and roads offer opportunities both for contractors and investors, provided that the right legislation is in place. There are several thousands of state-owned enterprises in the country and their proper reform, the introduction of corporate governance standards and possible privatisation be of great interest for potential investors and, of course, for Ukraine itself. Transparent and non-discriminatory privatisation will not only bring much needed cash for the state coffers but will also attract advanced technologies, which will make the economy more competitive. Looking forward, the EBRD will be helping Ukraine in promoting privatisation and commercialisation of the public sector as well as improving its governance. Special attention will be paid to the country’s energy security thorough the introduction of renewable and alternative power generation facilities thus creating a better energy mix. Ukraine’s SMEs should pay a greater role in the domestic economy and contribute more significantly to the country’s GDP. The EBRD will offer different instruments: from advisory, technical cooperation to financing in order to achieve this objective. Improvements in the banking sector regulation and supervision, commercialisation, and eventual privatisation of some of the state-owned banks as well as the development of capital markets and non-banking institutions will make it stronger and more sustainable. The EBRD will offer different instruments: from advisory, technical cooperation to financing in order to achieve this objective. Improvements in the banking sector regulation and supervision, commercialisation, and eventual privatisation of some of the state-owned banks as well as the development of capital markets and non-banking institutions will make it stronger and more sustainable. The EBRD will help Ukraine in this process and will also provide necessary assistance and expertise need for the reform of state-owned banks.     Sourse: http://emerging-europe.com/voices/ukraine-maintaining-momentum/

"International Finance Corporation may buy grain storage facilities in Ukraine"

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"Ukraine Power Resources vows to attract EUR 140 mln in wind power in Odesa region"

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18 April, 2018

"Finance minister doubts that land reform to be approved before election"

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"Malaysia interested in purchasing Ukrainian weapons, vehicles, aircraft"

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17 April, 2018
ALEKS MEHRLE President of UGTI Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook A Farewell to Fake News: Civil and ConsenSys for Social Impact at George Washington University On April 12 GW held a fantastic event titled "A Farewell to Fake News" that I had the privilege of co-organizing together with my colleagues at George Washington University, ConsenSys and Civil. Thank you to everyone who made this event possible, in particular Dr. Leo Chalupa, Tom Russo, Joanne Campbell from GW; Christine Mohan from Civil and Valeria Kholostenko from ConsenSys Social Impact. ConsenSys, the world's largest Ethereum-centric blockchain software engineering company founded by Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, is a global formation of technologists and entrepreneurs building the infrastructure, applications, and practices that enable a decentralized world. With ConsenSys as a hub nearly 50 companies make up the spokes in the most robust blockchain ecosystem of its kind in the world. https://new.consensys.net/ One of the ConsenSys spokes, Civil, has as its mission "journalism: supporting it, distributing it and protecting its ideals." This work is incredibly important to the mending and preservation of the fabric of our society and has never been more important during my lifetime than today. https://joincivil.com/ Civil is a Marketplace for Sustainable Journalism that recognizes the ad-driven revenue model that traditionally funded quality journalism has not translated to the digital economy and is leveraging blockchain technology to ensure journalism remains a strong in its critical role as a fundamental pillar of free, democratic societies, and newsrooms around the world. The Civil news platform launches in May, their our core pillars are local, international, investigative and policy - four of the most underserved areas in journalism today. They've garnered significant interest from journalists and readers, with coverage by Columbia Journalism Review, Nieman Lab, the Chicago Sun-Times and Fast Company. In helping to bring this event to GW I had the privilege of working closely with fellow Holy Cross alum and Civil Co-founder Christine Mohan. Christine has 25 years of experience with media and technology firms in New York City, Boston and Washington DC. At Civil she manages partnerships and community, facilitates social media, and organizes national and international industry events. She spent 12 years at The New York Times Company and The Wall Street Journal in corporate communications, product marketing and web operations roles. Christine and Civil co-founder and CEO Matthew Iles were joined by an incredible GW panel of: • Frank Cilluffo: GW - Associate Vice President & Director, Center for Cyber and Homeland Security. • David Ensor: GW - Director of the Project for Media and National Security served as the 28th director of the Voice of America. • Neil Wasserman: GW - Adjunct Professor Computer Science. Thank you to everyone at GW, Civil and ConsenSys for Social Impact. Keep up the great work. Coincidental to this post, ConsenSys is hosting its first event in Kyiv today (April 17). If any of our readers attended, I'd love to hear how it went. Feel free to write me at aleks.m@ukrainegti.com .

"Ukraine could receive $2 bln from IMF in May or June"

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"Index of business expectations in Ukraine reaches a record set"

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16 April, 2018

"Croatia, Ukraine to develop economic cooperation"

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"Ukraine increases Agri exports to EU by 28%, but the largest importer of Ukrainian agrarian is India"

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14 April, 2018

"Ukraine wants to sign FTA agreement with Turkey in 2018"

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"NATO wants to adopt Ukraine’s experience of countering hybrid aggression"

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13 April, 2018

"List of large privatization is planned to be approved on April 27"

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"India interested in technical and military cooperation with Ukraine – Ukroboronprom"

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12 April, 2018
SANDY FORREST Client Executive for Cyber Security at ATOS UGTI on Facebook In the age of cyber trust, robust cyber security is more important than ever According to government data, almost half of all UK firms were victim to a cyber attack in the 12 months leading to April 2017. High-profile attacks such as WannaCry shone a spotlight on vulnerabilities in the public sector too. With cyber security breaches regularly in the headlines, there are knock-on effects not only on how people think about their own security, but also on the organisations they entrust to safeguard their data. To find out more, we commissioned independent research with over 3,000 service users and customers looking at how attitudes to cyber security are changing. The results, published in our new report, The currency of Cyber Trust, reveal the importance of cyber trust in business today. Of the people we surveyed, 63% said that recent cyber attacks have made them more aware of the issue of cyber security. While this is probably no surprise, perhaps what’s more significant is that 58% also told us that cyber security is now a deciding factor when choosing which organisations they interact with. And this isn’t necessarily good news for all organisations: 38% of respondents said they do not trust organisations with their personal data.   The value of transparency The research highlights both the challenge public and private sector organisations now face to retain cyber trust and also the opportunities this presents, namely, to underpin wider trust in your business and act as an enabler for your digital strategy. Based on the findings, our report sets out steps that organisations can take to gain (or regain) the cyber trust of their customers. This might be something as straightforward as communicating your cyber security policies to your customers, informing them quickly about an attack, and being more transparent about steps to improve security protocols after the breach has occurred.   Help customers to help themselves We also learned of potentially dangerous knowledge gaps. Cyber security is a technical subject which, between the various acronyms, vectors and protocols, can appear overwhelming to people from a non-IT background – or even those who know their DDoS from their Trojan Horse. For example, we discovered that most customers (61%) don’t actively stay informed about the latest cyber threats, which means there’s an opportunity – if not a responsibility – for organisations to educate their customers about how better to protect themselves.   Integrating cyber security into user experience The good news is that most people are willing to compromise on user experience in return for enhanced cyber security, with only 17% not willing to compromise at all. Where the real opportunity lies is in improving cyber security and user experience in parallel. Customers are more likely to accept additional security measures if their digital experience is well designed. But for this, they need to understand the benefits to them, with the necessary guidance and information. As public concerns about cyber security increase, and with people now ready to walk away from services they don’t trust, there are advantages for organisations who are prepared to differentiate themselves. It’s a question of staying innovative, being transparent and enrolling customers in a partnership to protect both them and the cyber security of your organisation.     Sourse: https://atos.net/en/blog/age-cyber-trust-robust-cyber-security-important-ever

"Ukraine and Germany plan to hold business forum"

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"Ukraine imports over 1.7 thousand electric vehicles since start of year"

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11 April, 2018

"Space Industry of Ukraine exports about 50% of goods/services in 2017"

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"Ukraine's trade representative hopes to hold talks with United States about steel, aluminium duties"

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10 April, 2018
MARK RACZKIEWYCZ The Ukrainian Weekly’s in-country correspondent UGTI on Facebook Introducing the new Baltic blockchain hub that is banking on major interest from Ukrainian clients People might be sick of hearing about the rise of virtual currencies and their potential for economic disruption, but the use of the blockchain technology that underpins them is gaining traction. Ukraine features pre-eminently for mining the world’s so-called crypto currencies as its much vaunted information technology (IT) industry contrives uses for this unique software to ultimately build trust between citizens and their governments, while providing tools that offer security to business relationships and protect the integrity of crucial documents. This Ukrainian enthusiasm for all things blockchain-related was evident at the opening of the Blockchain Centre Vilnius in Lithuania in early 2018. This Centre is positioning itself to serve as a knowledge hub for the emerging technology in Europe. Part of a larger eponymous network that spans Melbourne and Shanghai, it hopes to attract the interest of a significant Ukrainian contingent. While acknowledging Ukraine as both an integral IT outsourcing destination replete with “talent” and where there is an “ongoing problem of confidence in public institutions,” Paulius Kuncinas, chairman of Blockchain Centre Vilnius, told Business Ukraine magazine that he wants the Baltic country’s hub to be a place for Ukrainians to feel comfortable and help them do business. “This should be a place to meet partners and somewhere they could raise capital and network. This is their home outside of Kyiv, Dnipro, Kharikiv, Lviv and Odesa,” he said of Ukraine’s largest cities where existing IT industry communities flourish.   Game-Changing Technology As the platform that drives virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain is a potential deal breaker and game-changer in both the public and private sectors. What exactly is blockchain technology? It is encrypted software often compared to either Lego blocks or pages in a book. It cannot be easily hacked or manipulated. Its practitioners say it is “immutable,” to use their terminology, because of the sequential nature of their blocks. To tear out a “page,” for example, is impossible without somebody noticing the intrusion on a particular block’s “fingerprint”. Each “chain” has its unique content code and comes referenced to its predecessor and successor, making data changes difficult. The technology relies upon a peer-to-peer relationship. It differs from the traditional client-server model whereby an administrator manages data and can easily make changes to it. In other words, for a hacker to infiltrate a blockchain, they would have to re-write the whole system, a labour-intensive effort that even the most sophisticated of the current artificial intelligence augmentative systems cannot accomplish. This is why the Ukrainian government is using the technology to manage its registry of farmland with the help of technology from BitFury Group, a global technology firm that has an office in Kyiv. The announcement of this initiative came in April 2017. By September, Ukraine’s Justice Ministry had started using the platform to auction seized assets and begun transferring state property and land registries. In this particular case, the technology helped create a ledger of transactions – a chain of blocks – to permanently record and track assets or transactions. This is a potentially crucial upgrade in a country rife with institutional corruption and suffering from numerous examples of shady business partners illicitly taking over businesses by doctoring land or business ownership titles with the use of dishonest notaries and judges. “In Ukraine, people don’t trust the government and there are in certain cases valid reasons for this,” Gleb Paienko, software senior project manager for Bitfury in Ukraine, told Business Ukraine magazine. “We tell our government interlocutors that with blockchain you can’t change data or remove it, so that when a new government is in place, they’ll have pre-existing records preserved.”   Ukrainians Leading Global Innovation Ukraine currently ranks among 14 global leaders in blockchain innovation, Ukrainian government advisor Kostantyn Yarmolenko told guests at the latest World Economic Forum in Davos. As home to Eastern Europe’s largest pool of programmers, Ukraine was specifically mentioned as a “network hotbed” in the Blockchain Research Institute’s report that its CEO and co-founder Don Tapscott also presented at Davos. Additionally, Ukraine helped contribute to the 45% of developers that helped launch “initial coin offerings (ICO)” in 2016 among former USSR republics, said Paienko of Bitfury. So far, the financial services sector uses the technology the most. The technology assists banks in areas of transparency, trade finance and as a payment system. Other commercial uses include securing provenance, patents and copyrights, said Kristof Van de Reck, Holland-based regional head of Europe and council member of the non-profit NEM.io Foundation. His foundation has developed the technology that a group of Australian farmers now use for tracking supply-chain logistics. Still, the technology “isn’t ready for prime time yet,” said European Central Bank financial coordinator Dirk Bullmann, because “there’s no level playing field. The technology is still looking for a catalyst.” Other potential uses include preserving or securing identification, licenses, certificates and voting, governance and “track and trace” of transactions or products,” added Van de Reck of NEM.io Foundation. Some want to use the technology to reverse the “expropriation of data” from consumers that financial and online social media companies have done, explained Swiss-based non-profit 20|30 & Pillar Project co-founder Tomer Sofinson. He wants to create a “single” virtual currency wallet controlled by the consumer and which data vendors, online or off, cannot access. This could allow customers to regain “control of their own information.” Because the technology is still at the trial-and-error stage, it is difficult discerning where the hype ends and where meaningful application begins, visionaries at the Vilnius event conceded. “It’s a ‘chicken or egg’ issue, really,” said Dr. Antif Ansar, program director at the Said Business School at Oxford University, who advised the government of Gibraltar on regulating the use of blockchain technology. The hype certainly drives interest in the technology. Just by mentioning that it will start using blockchain, “a company can raise its share price,” quipped Layla Dong, who flew to Vilnius direct from the World Economic Forum in Davos where she had been part of the Global Shapers Community. It also encourages charlatans and helps to fuel the proliferation of business scammers that launch ICOs without even using blockchain. To help prevent fraud, hubs around the world like the one that opened in Vilnius in January serve to educate and connect stakeholders, explained Davidson of Melbourne’s blockchain centre. “It is highly unlikely that anyone who comes to the Blockchain Centre here in Vilnius or in Melbourne for any period of time is going to invest in a scam,” he said. “Our physical location is a conduit for all members of society to come together such as European central bankers, cryptographers, new start-up businesses, legislators, and regulators. This (Vilnius hub) is going to be the right environment for people to look at this technology sensibly and create ideas.” In order for this exciting technology to blossom, firm foundations and sustainability are essential. The alternative could be another dot.com bubble, said Dr. Ansar of Oxford University. As one of the pioneer countries that are already putting early-stage blockchain technology to use, Ukraine in a good position to lead the global community when it comes to practical implementation, said Kuncinas in Vilnius. “The people of Ukraine deserve better. In that sense, blockchain could be a revolutionary tool for Ukraine,” he said. “It could have a huge impact in terms of overcoming trust issues.” According to Kuncinas, the resulting economic benefits could help to shape the country’s broader development. “Ukraine has a similar problem as Lithuania. It is slowly depopulating. The only way that countries can solve the problem of brain drain and emigration is by creating these kinds of jobs.”     Sourse: http://bunews.com.ua/economy/item/innovation-introducing-the-new-baltic-blockchain-hub-that-is-banking-on-interest-from-ukrainian-clients

"World Bank names conditions for economic growth in Ukraine"

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"World Bank keeps forecast for Ukraine’s GDP growth in 2018 at 3.5%"

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9 April, 2018

"MEP Boni to initiate closer EU-Ukraine cooperation on cybersecurity"

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"Trade between Ukraine and Belarus 15-16% up"

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7 April, 2018

"China’s CMEC and DTEK plan to build 200 mw solar plant in Ukraine, volume of investments exceeds EUR 230 mln"

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"MEP Boni to initiate closer EU-Ukraine cooperation on cybersecurity"

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6 April, 2018

"Ukraine issues first e-visa"

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"Energy Ministry next year to represent program of Ukraine's energy forecast balance"

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5 April, 2018
SERGIY VAKARIN UkraineIS Chairman Ukraineis on Facebook UGTI on Facebook Blockchain for cars and spacecraft, Spotcoin in Ukraine. The road ahead for Ukrainian IT In March I participated in MobiCoin launch at the MWC, met with NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik and ICO-ready Spotcoin founders in Ukraine and discussed blockchain, spaceborne computers and our cybersecurity apps   Cryptocurrencies and cars CEE region is known for most advanced blockchain solutions. The Blockchain Research Institute recently released “The Networked Hotbeds of Blockchain,” and its famous CEO Dan Tapscott published the map of the key 14 hubs for blockchain innovation in the world, including Ukraine, Estonia and Georgia. And a year ago Czech Republic became the world pioneer in allowing a cryptocurrency in car sales when Tesla retailer Alza announced they would accept bitcoin. Their success inspired Mayfair dealer Dadiani Fine Art to start UK’s “first luxury cryptocurrency exchange” that offers Formula One cars in partnership with Heritage F1. The company accepts bitcoin and selected altcoins. Four rare F1 cars were already sold for about £4 million in litecoin to a Chinese millionaire. Last month Daimler AG showed that car manufacturers can launch their own cryptocurrencies. Daimler, the giant that manufactures Mercedes-Benz presented the MobiCOIN project at the Mobile World Congress 2018. This new coin will be used to reward drivers for driving safely and smoothly at low speed. This was not the only cryptocurrency launched at the MWC. Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten announced its own Rakuten Coin. The new cryptocurrency will allow loyal customers to buy goods and services from Rakuten globally, mitigating the exchange rate fees and helping the Amazon’s rival to spread its business worldwide. Soon after the MWC, Huawei announced development of blockchain-based smartphones.   Spotcoin presentation in Ukraine Cryptocurrency transactions, especially expensive car purchases, require reliable protection of digital identities. Upon return from the MWC to Ukraine, I discussed this issue with the founders of Spotcoin Tim Gick and Guram Rukhadze who came to Kyiv to present this new Georgia-based cryptocurrency. Spotcoin is designed to bridge the gap between the traditional banking sector and digital currency marketplace. The company started as an OTC clearinghouse for easy movement between fiat and cryptocurrencies. If you have a large amount of cryptocurrency, you may find it difficult to sell it. Spotcoin is intended as a stock market for fast purchases/sales of cryptocurrencies. Spotcoin is running an ICO later this year. The founders market it as kind of an eBay for digital currencies. Cooperation between two hubs of blockchain innovation, Ukraine and Georgia, would bring synergy to both countries. We agreed that Ukraine’s worldwide reputation as a reliable software hub will continue to grow. To build a reliable platform for digital currencies, good software support is essential, and Ukraine comes as a natural choice for Spotcoin’s office that will develop software for this cryptocurrency.   Blockchain starts a space journey Software plays an important role in space industry, and Ukrainian programmers are involved in international cooperation with global space giants – for example, they develop apps for NASA and write code for SpaceX launches. Now organizations like NASA and ESA explore possible uses of blockchain technology in space projects. NASA is teaming up with different companies to develop autonomous computing projects in space. Blockchain is one of potential solutions. At NASA Glenn, Thomas Kacpura’s team is experimenting with blockchain-based decentralized machine learning and artificial intelligence to design smart spacecraft with autonomous decision-making, without having to ask people back on earth. Blockchain is intended to link the deep space network. Autonomous work of spaceborne computers is essential for the future interplanetary trips. These computers should be capable to make decisions on data priority in communication with Earth, as bandwidth and connection reliability will be a bottleneck. At the MWC I visited the HPE pavilion with supercomputers (known as Spaceborne computers) that are undergoing testing at the International Space Station. Also, I met with Vodafone&Nokia’s Mission to the Moon project that will launch a 4G network in space, and presented our cybersecurity solutions. This was also a topic of my discussion with Randy Bresnik, the astronaut who took the Ukrainian flag to the ISS and brought it back to Ukraine. The Spaceborne Computer experiment was launched last year, soon after he took the command of the ISS. Cybersecurity is crucial for space projects, digital identities of car owners and for platforms like Spotcoin. In many of these projects, Ukrainian software will be the central element. GU     Sourse: https://global-ukraine.com/en/2018/03/blockchain-for-cars-and-spacecraft-spotcoin-in-ukraine-the-road-ahead-for-ukrainian-it/

"U.S. Senator Robert Portman: Ukraine needs to continue economic reforms"

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"Two more low-cost airlines may launch flights to Boryspil airport"

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4 April, 2018

"Mexico imposes anti-dumping duties on imports of steel pipes from Ukraine"

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"EBRD plans to implement 30 new financing projects in Ukraine in 2018"

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3 April, 2018
ALEX BART Managing Partner&Founder of ESCP UGTI on Facebook New Investment Climate in Ukraine with Empire State Capital Partners Recently Natalie Gryvnyak spoke with Alex Bart, founder and managing partner of Empire State Capital Partners, an investment bank in Kyiv. Tell me about the group Empire State Capital Partners. When was it created? What was the aim of its creation? Alex Bart: Thanks, Natalia. I am American, my Ukrainian partner Yaroslav Udovenko, and Martin Birch, who is British, formed Empire State Capital Partners in 2014. The three founding partners have more than 30 years’ direct experience gained solely in the Ukrainian corporate and investment banking arena. In 2014, we found some investment capital and started up Empire State Capital Partners with quite a diverse team. We built an independent American-style investment bank here in Ukraine, maintaining key multi-level relationships with the U.S. government, bulge-bracket investment banks, as well as American and European institutional investors and family offices. We date our formation from May 2014, and so every mid-May we host a high-profile investment conference which has seen attendance from the U.S. ambassador and leading figures from government and industry. By the way, we are still accepting registration requests from investment professionals for this year’s conference May 15-17 (http://newukraineevents.com/). Our Venture Capital arm is called ES Ventures, with strategic partners from Israel and Silicon Valley California, in the United States. I feel the best way for Ukraine to move forward is innovation, because of the great engineers and programmers here. For example, we closed a 500,000 U.S.-dollar deal into an Odessa-based company called Kwambio, which specializes in 3-D printing. This company successfully went through the TechStars Boston Accelerator program with great success. In January we were with them at the CES Consumer Technology conference in Las Vegas where they received extremely positive feedback from the likes of GE, Lockheed Martin, and Tesla. We also have an NGO arm called Business Incubator Group Ukraine (BIG.U), which facilitates the promotion of entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) development across Ukraine. Not just technology companies, but actually anything: like cafés or small production, small farmers, women’s entrepreneurship. BIG.U will be a consolidator, because right now there are quite a lot of low- and non-profit organizations—European programs, American programs, 500 different SME events on Facebook. We want to create a hub in each region with students, professors, and volunteers working in regional departments where you can just come in and get a direction about everything having to do with SMEs. Tell me about the new investment climate as you see it in Ukraine. Though challenges remain, Ukraine has seen real progress over the last few years. Increases in international reserves and reforms in financial services, including shuttering insolvent banks, contribute to Ukraine’s macroeconomic stabilization. Reforms have seen Ukraine rise on the Ease of Doing Business Index from a low of 152 in 2011 to 76 in 2017, with a 77% improvement in the regulatory environment in the same period. Right now we’ve got an active deal pipeline for FY 2018, and with growth projected to be about 3% in 2018, we’re optimistic about continued Year-Over-Year increases in FDI. We also just recently closed a deal with Bank “Vostok” for 8 million U.S. dollars for financing SMEs in Ukraine. That deal was financed through World Business Council and guaranteed by the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). We’re excited about the prospect of more OPIC-type deals, M&A subsidiary and bolt-on acquisitions, as well as big-ticket bond issuances. Thank you for this opportunity to introduce Empire State Capital Partners to your readership.

"Nestle to invest UAH 700 mln in Ukrainian factory"

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"Ukraine’s Mriya aircraft takes off for first commercial flight"

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2 April, 2018

"Ukraine-Belarus trade grows by almost 20% in 2017"

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"G7 ambassadors congratulate Ukraine on launch of healthcare reform"

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31 March, 2018

"Ukraine agrees to increase frequency of flights to Germany and Hungary"

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"United States’ assistance to Ukraine is larger than ever"

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30 March, 2018

"Ukraine to begin grain shippings to Qatar"

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"NBU intends to switch to passive currency interventions"

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29 March, 2018
OLEXANDR HONCHAROV Director of the Institute for economic development of Ukraine UGTI on Facebook In what sectors should Chinese or American invest to get profit in Ukraine? Ukraine's regulated market is very weak and small, but if we look at our low-quality bonded loans, we will see a two-digit yield Today, the wealthiest Ukrainians tend to spend their hryvnia savings, fearing high inflation and devaluation of the hryvnia. As the situation is very unsteady, nobody, except the National Bank of Ukraine, tries to predict the hryvnia exchange rate. Chairman of the National Bank Council (NBU) Bohdan Danylyshyn predicts that only by March-April 2018, hryvnia would stabilize. Of course, such an uncertain situation is really worrying. The treasury is emptying, the state debts are steadily growing, but at the panic should be stood down. The forecasts began to come true; in particular, at the end of the last year, I expected that in 2018 the NBU will have to increase the discount rate at least twice. Many experts did not agree with this view, they say, on the contrary, the interest rates will be lowered. From January 26, the NBU was forced to raise the discount rate by 1.5 percentage points (by 16 %). And what should the National Bank do when inflation increases? I want to remind once again that if the hryvnia depreciates by 1% (against the US dollar), then consumer prices grow by 0.2-0.3%. In such a situation, Ukrainian authorities should seek free $ 10-12 billion aid from the United States and the European Union by the end of 2018. For the West, this amount is quite small, especially taking into consideration the fact of pumping hundreds of billions of euros into Greece. European Union has a reserve fund of 750 billion euros, including 250 billion euros from the International Monetary Fund. However, instead of carrying out constructive negotiations with our Western partners, our Ministry of Finance is still making decisions on increasing state debt. It seems like the financial authorities believe that Ukraine just cannot survive without the IMF loans. At the same time, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde met with President Petro Poroshenko in Davos. She focused on accelerating the pace of reforms for the sake of economic growth and raising the standard of living of Ukrainians. Reasonably, there is only one way out: Ukraine should involve transnational corporations that re-structure our economy in a new way. This is very important now, as Ukrainian markets suffer a huge deficit of investment ideas, which we could sell to large foreign investors (from China and the US). But who will fill sell Ukrainian business stories? Of course, our regulated market is very weak and small, but if we look at even low-quality bonded loans of our issuers, we will see a two-digit yield. In 2018, we should increase corporate bond issues, as their attractiveness will increase. The key idea for foreign investors is to trade the rapid growth of Ukrainian bonds. However, the risks of Ukrainian corporate bonds are quite high (for example, unexpected movements occur quite regularly). Well, there is even nothing to say about the initial public offerings (IPO) of Ukrainian issuers of the recent years. But this fact that causes the greatest perplexity, for example, among Chinese institutional investors, who began to enter Ukraine’s markets. Our Chinese colleagues have already realized that very few people understand how to shape the value of Ukrainian companies and what their market capitalization depends on. It is high time to raise the financial literacy of a new generation of our leaders. The state regulator should hugely liberalize the entrance conditions of the Ukrainian market. Finally, Ukrainian business should learn from the Chinese how to sell the future and brands. It is high time for a real revolution in Ukrainian organized markets. After all, the onset of even greater shocks in trade and in the economy of Ukraine is only a matter of time. Ukraine should take this challenge and be ready to realize smart and breakthrough solutions, especially in trade. Nobody will argue with the fact that trade and international trade are the most accessible and effective instruments of economic growth for Ukraine. According to experts, 1% of the growth in foreign trade can result in 1.5-2% of Ukraine's GDP growth and citizens' incomes. With the help of the market mechanisms, trade increases choice for us and contributes to improving the quality of production, conserving natural resources and equalizing the relative wealth of the nation.     Sourse: https://112.international/opinion/where-could-chinese-or-american-invest-in-order-to-get-profit-in-ukraine-25070.html

"Poroshenko signs law on simplification of oil and gas production"

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"Small business optimistic about prospects in 2018 – EBA research"

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28 March, 2018

"Ukraine, Israel to sign free trade area agreement in near future"

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"Ukraine joins Global Beneficial Ownership Register"

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27 March, 2018
VICTORIA VLASENKO Editor at Innovation House UGTI on Facebook Ukraine preps to fight off smart viruses and cyber attacks When will computer viruses have any intelligence? Will Ukraine be ready for this? Innovation House has made some inquiries about this issue. Over the past few years Ukraine has turned into the testing ground for cyberweapon. Ukrainian companies had to face attacks that are new to the world. Thus, in December 2015 hackers have used BlackEnergy virus to interfere in the operational process of energy producers. This has caused disruption in the electricity supply to hundreds of thousands of consumers. In June 2017 Ukraine faced with the largest in its history virus attack: virus called Petya/NotPetya has infected Maersk, Deutsche Post, WPP, and other major corporations in 65 countries across the world. It should come as no surprise that Ukraine has been robustly trained of how to meet attacks of the future. World’s best experts would have come here to study the threats. Some companies of international renown could open their competence centers here. But this is not the case. Ukraine still lagging behind global cybersecurity ratings. Thus, according to the report of the International Telecommunication Union for 2017, Ukraine’s cybersecurity level was lower than in Moldova, Tajikistan, Georgia, Russia. So what are the reasons of such standing behind? Innovation House has visited IDC Security Roadshow 2018 conference and tried to sift this issue to the bottom.   Security gets smarter… viruses too On February 9 the 23rd Olympic Winter Games officially kicked off in Pyeongchang, South Korea. More than 27 million spectators were watching the ceremony. However, it has not been without challenges. Сyberattack hit systems, which led to 12 hours of downtime on the official website, the collapse of Wi-Fi in the Pyeonchang Olympic stadium, and the failure of televisions and internet in media rooms. Virus stole passwords and looked for the fastest path to spread along the system. “It is not artificial intelligence yet, but it already has some automatic learning elements,” – Volodymyr Ilibman, Security Account Manager at Cisco, said. Petya/NotPetya virus that has attacked Ukraine in summer 2017 has also shown some sparks of “intelligence”. It was spreading from one computer to another in the form of an avalanche. “Every sign indicates that sooner or later both viruses and useful software will have some “intelligence”. The fight against such viruses will be incredibly tough. Smart cybersecurity systems powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning will confront them,” – Mr. Ilibman said. The study conducted by Cisco shows that 83% of companies around the world are going to cut their security costs through automation. 92% of IT-experts believe that behavioral analytics will help to identify illegal intruders. Ukrainian companies may find themselves unprepared to attacks of the future. Experts say that despite previous experience, little attention is paid to the security issues.   We have experience, but have no labor power “In the old days we walked along these streets and had no fear, now we are walking along these very streets and are frightened,” – this is what Victor Zhora, member of Ukrainian Information Security Group, said about the readiness of business to attacks. Volodymyr Styran, co-founder at Berezha Security, explained the words of his colleague in such a way: having learned from the experience, the business started to be more afraid of attacks, but did not start to pour considerably more cash and resources in security. For instance, only two customers have addressed to his company after Petya. These are large businesses that came for a comprehensive audit and understanding of how to reorganize their infrastructure and raise the staffing level. A total of several dozens of customers came to Berezha Security during four years of company’s existence. However, there are other examples too. Stanislav Pokhylko, Business Development Manager at Oberig IT, told that amount of work performed by his company has increased after Petya. “Our experts were working days and nights to restore the business systems of many major Ukrainian companies. And then these companies became our key customers,” – he said. Security experts complain that Ukraine is in the serious shortage of qualified personnel. Therefore, even if there is a will to do something, there is no understanding what exactly shall be done and how to utilize funds most efficiently. The system of education is unable to train personnel, business pays no enough attention to this issue. “Security teams held meetings, conferences, engage in self-education with little or no involvement of business,” – Volodymyr Styran explained. It is not yet fully understood by business that cyberwar has started and that it is endangered.   New targets According to Cisco, in 2018 malicious persons will actively explore industrial automated facilities in search for vulnerable areas there. This is sad news for Ukrainian companies. “We have analyzed Ukrainian companies and found only age-old systems there. Controllers that are used for ventilation system control, video controllers – all this is vulnerable to attacks,” – Volodymyr Ilibman, Security Account Manager at Cisco, said. Even strategic assets – such as telecommunication companies or energy producers, are not always properly secured. As alleged by Innovation House’s source in Ukrenergo, the enterprise shall raise tariffs to steer some money to cybersecurity. And since the company operates in a non-competitive market, all tariff escalations are being done through the National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Public Utilities. “First of all, in our country consumers are supersensitive to raising of tariff rates. Secondly, when the issue of where to spend money is raised – for cybersecurity or to provide inhabited localities of Anti-Terrorist Operation Zone with electricity, then, sure thing, preference is given to the latter,” – the source in Ukrenergo said. Volodymyr Styran believes that, in theoretical terms, it would be good to connect privately owned strategically vital enterprises to state CERTs – Computer Emergency Response Teams. “But having realized that Security Service of Ukraine may creep anywhere, private companies will never accept such cooperation,” – added he. Banks have positive experience in doing business with the state in the cybersecurity field. “Thanks to interaction with CERT via National Bank of Ukraine we receive notifications when cyberattack are conducted and when some addresses shall be blocked,” – Max Moloshaga, Chief Information Security Officer at Piraeus Bank, said. No confidential information is transferred in this case. What banks do is only inform each other about any changes. So, as a matter of fact, National Bank of Ukraine has no connections to banks, except for its own electronic payment system. According to Max Moloshaga, this year Ukraine is going to open 5 different CERTs that will inform companies connected to them about cyberthreats. According to Cisco, in 2018 various smart devices will also be target for hackers. Illegal intruders make botnets (network of viral-infected devices) from gadgets, video cameras, digital video recorders. Mirai is the most famous botnet. It unites hundreds of thousands of devices. Since the end of 2016 it has conducted several attacks, inclusive of on the only external Internet channel in Liberia, which resulted in a situation where entire country was without internet.     Sourse: https://innovationhouse.org.ua/en/statti/ukrayna-gotovytsya-k-umnym-vyrusam-y-kyberatakam-budushhego/

"Trade between Ukraine and India 19% up, reaches $2.8 billion in 2017"

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26 March, 2018

"Ukraine’s exports of cultivated berries grew 19 times over past four years – expert"

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24 March, 2018

"Trump signs U.S. budget providing for $620 million to Ukraine"

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"PM Groysman: We will restore roads in Ukraine in 3-5 years"

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23 March, 2018

"MP Taruta proposes to create national innovation agency for technical support of startups"

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"Ukraine, France can increase mutual trade turnover up to $3 billion"

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22 March, 2018
LUBOMIR TASSEV Author at Bitcoin.com UGTI on Facebook Ukraine to Legalize Crypto Mining as Economic Activity The government in Kiev has taken concrete steps to legalize cryptocurrency mining. Ukraine’s Minister of Economy has ordered several ministries, agencies, and the National Bank to prepare the documents necessary to include mining in the state register of economic activities. Ukraine’s legislature does not seem to be in a hurry to adopt new crypto legislation, but the executive power in Kiev has taken matters into its own hands. At a meeting on Thursday, the Minister of Economic Development Stepan Kubiev ordered several other departments and agencies to do what’s necessary to include cryptocurrency mining in the state classifier of economic activities. The ministries of economy, finance, justice, energy, the agency responsible for the e-government and the Ukrainian statistical service should prepare a draft document to amend the register. The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) and the Security Service (SBU) have also been invited to participate. Kubiev was quoted in a press release as saying: "By adding the crypto mining sector to the classifier, we will bring it out of the shadow economy and collect more budget revenues." The Minister of Economic Development pointed out that the legalizing of the mining industry may reduce the outflow of qualified IT professionals from Ukraine. Stepan Kubiev believes the measure will also ease the pressure on the crypto community in the country.   The Rada Is Lagging Behind the Government The initiative of the Economic Ministry is by far not the first attempt to legalize a crypto-related activity in the country. Cryptocurrencies were discussed during a cybersecurity meeting in January. The National Security Council set up a working group tasked to finalize regulations pertaining to the circulation of digital coins and the taxation of crypto transactions. Ukraine’s Cyberpolice unit has also called on government institutions to either legalize cryptocurrencies, or ban them. The country’s justice minister Pavel Petrenko has stated that cryptos, like bitcoin, should be brought into the legal field. The State Financial Monitoring Service has already announced its official position on cryptocurrency matters. Ukraine’s parliament, however, has not made any significant progress towards adopting the necessary legal framework. Three drafts have been introduced in the Verkhovna Rada since October. The first bill defines cryptocurrency as property that can be exchanged for goods and services. The second draft law states that cryptos are financial assets. A third, supplementary bill amends the tax code to introduce tax exemptions for profits and incomes from crypto trading and mining. Some reports in February suggested that Ukrainian legislators may separate crypto mining and cryptocurrencies in the new legislation. According to the latest information on the website of Ukraine’s legislature, Finance Minister Olexandr Danilyuk was expected to discuss the bills on the circulation and stimulation of cryptocurrencies with members of the Finance and Banking Committee. The announcement of the hearing was published on February 7, however, no details were released after that.     Sourse: https://news.bitcoin.com/ukraine-to-legalize-crypto-mining-as-economic-activity/

"British-Ukrainian maritime industries forum held in Ukraine (Odesa)"

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"US to increase spending on support for Ukraine"

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21 March, 2018

"Ukraine, Britain to increase cooperation in cybersecurity"

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"Ukraine among world's three cheapest countries to live"

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20 March, 2018
FEBIN JOHN JAMES Writer in Innovation, Technology, Bitcoin on Medium UGTI on Facebook Here Is the Epic Future Blockchain Is Going to Create I have been following Blockchain for quite a while now. I understood the technology was innovative. But, I always wondered if it was hyped ? Diving deep into the field and interacting with thinkers assured me it wasn’t. Few insights written here, surfaced in my conversation with the Marketing Director of Vanywhere ,Gil Ram (Thank you Gil).   Open Business It’s actually called Decentralised Autonomous Organisation, I use “ Open Business” to make it sound simple. Open Source communities which are the backbone of organizations like Linux, Google, etc have the least or no politics. I am not talking about the organization but their projects For example, Hyperledger is a project by Linux Foundation. It will help you build applications for private Blockchain. People around the world contribute to this project. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are if you do good work, your code will be merged to the source. You are solely recognised for your work. I have observed people who know how to play cheap politics overpower people who work hard. In a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation, everyone’s work will be recorded on a transparent Blockchain. Your salary would be provided by the system which evaluates your work. Open Business will have the future of Open Source projects. Anyone anywhere with a business idea could start a Decentralised Organisation. Anyone could be a part of it, a programmer could be automatically added to the system based on his git profile. Every member of the organisation would be paid solely based on what each one brings to the table.   The Future Is Going to Be Great For Producers You might have been already bored by the words “Eliminating middleman”. Let me tell you why it is a big deal. If I have to sell a book on Amazon, they take 50% of the sale as commission. Writing a book is hard work. It would take months to write a book. It would take double the time to find a publisher. These publishers have their own biases (JK Rowling Turned Down By 12 Publishers), even if your work is good it would never see the light. In case you get lucky and your book was published. The majority of the cut goes to the publisher. If you self-publish the book you have to break your sweat on marketing it. On top of that seeing Amazon take a huge cut is really painful. Only a few people dare to fight these challenge and become producers. Producers in almost every industries are exploited. The vegetables you ate today was produced by a farmer. In India, most farmers live in poverty. Datatery Popat Ghadwaje, 42, committed suicide after days of hushed chanting “the sky betrayed”. We can’t control the sky. But, giving a good deal of their hard work is a must. Governments try to solve the problem by giving farmers easy/reduced loans or pensions. These things don’t work. We need to go to the root of the problem and address it. We need system thinking here. We need a system that enforces farmers to get properly rewarded for their hard work. Middleman is hungry for power, fame, and money. Blockchain replaces them with computers. Computer systems are not hungry for power, fame, and money (Except for Bitcoin). Can a computer system replace middleman? What does a middleman do? He finds producers and consumers, buys from the producer for less and sells it to the consumer for a higher price. This can be easily replaced by a program, except the computer will give the producer a reasonable price. It’s also important that the program is transparent and not controlled by an individual. This system is what the Blockchain enables. The future is going to be great for writers, composers, singers, farmers, or producers in general.   What about freelancers? Upwork takes 25% of my earnings, if I earn $1000 for a project, they take $250. That is a substantial amount! So how does Blockchain help? Upwork has infrastructure cost, they need to pay for their server, database, maintenance, etc. On a public blockchain like Ethereum, the infrastructure cost is reduced drastically. Reading data from Ethereum is free. On a centralized infrastructure which Upwork is based on, the more the people, more servers to handle the load and more money is needed. On a decentralised network, more the people, less money is required because the load is used to favour the Blockchain network. On a blockchain based platform, the fee can be as less as 4%–2%. I have to only pay around $40 or $20 as commission. That’s drastically less compared to $250.     Sourse: https://hackernoon.com/here-is-the-epic-future-blockchain-is-going-to-create-afe167c90568

"Antonov State Enterprise has 85% rise in net profit in 2017"

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"MPs offer 10-15 year preferences for developing production of electric cars in Ukraine"

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19 March, 2018

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15 March, 2018
OLEKSIY NASADYUK Head of the Top 50 Leading Law Firms of Ukraine annual research program UGTI on Facebook Ukrainian law firms seek new niches in booming bitcoin and it sectors The latest annual Ukrainian legal industry analysis finds law firms looking ahead with a growing focus on the fast-emerging crypto currency sector and other IT-related niche segments as the post-Maidan market for legal services continues to evolve. The legal industry in Ukraine continues to play a key role in the reform processes taking place in the country, both in terms of directly contributing to the reform of the judiciary and in response to the fast-evolving economic climate. The latest edition of the “Top 50 Leading Law Firms in Ukraine” survey, conducted by Yuridicheskaya Practika publishing house annually since 1997 and published this month in English-language format by Business Ukraine magazine, reveals a legal sector firmly on the road to recovery following the slump of 2014-15. It is also an industry seeking to reinvent itself in order to meet the changing demands of Ukraine’s shifting economic landscape.   Contributing to Ukraine’s Post-2014 Transformation The past year has been a particularly dynamic one for law firms practicing in Ukraine. Along with developments in the legal services industry, the professional community has also been intricately involved in the broader national process of judicial reform. Notably, in 2017 practicing lawyers were able to put themselves forward as candidates for the new-look Supreme Court, with nine candidates eventually becoming judges following a lengthy selection process. The effectiveness of Ukraine’s recalibrated Supreme Court will be one of the key issues to monitor over the coming year. It is part of the wider judicial reform process central to Ukraine’s post-Maidan transformation. “The key challenge for lawyers and for the whole of Ukraine is the pace and success of judicial reform. This will directly affect the investment attractiveness of the country. When the prospects for domestic and international investors of Ukraine become clearer, we can expect to see significant economic growth. This growth will also impact the legal market,” says Asters law firm Managing Partner Oleksiy Didkovskiy.   Niche Appeal While traditional legal sector focuses such as litigation, corporate and tax law are still the most profitable segments of the market, there are signs of a shift towards specialization amid growing levels of interest in emerging fields of practice connected with tech innovation and the most impressive sectors of the Ukrainian economy. This acclimatization fits well with the Ukrainian legal services industry’s famously well-versed adaptation ability. Indeed, the Ukrainian legal business is so adept at changing step to accommodate economic and political turbulence that many professionals prefer not to talk in terms of difficulties but rather to speak about crisis opportunities. As the industry continues to recover from the lows of 2014-15, market analysis points increasingly towards the appeal of niche sectors. The most profitable niches at present include energy and agriculture – both sectors that have witnessed significant increases in activity since 2014. The most striking current trend is the growing popularity of IT-related legal services. This reflects the rising importance of the IT sector for the Ukrainian economy as a whole, as well as the rapid physical expansion of the sector. The emphasis on technical innovations extends to the sphere of legal services connected to bitcoins and crypto currencies, while crossing over into the Legal Tech sector. Ukrainian legal services professionals are now regularly speaking about Legal Tech in the context of industrywide modernization, with bots carrying out tasks like patent research and producing draft contracts. The vast majority of Ukraine’s legal market participants have now come to recognize the futility of ignoring technological progress in their field, and the most forward-looking market players are actively looking to introduce artificial intelligence tools and other innovations into their day-to-day operations. “Legal consulting in the IT sector and FinTech innovations both look like attractive prospects for 2018 and in a longer term perspective. Considering the ongoing digitalization of business and the pace of development, today this sector is one of the most prospective for everyone including for lawyers,” says Antika law firm Managing Partner Alexey Kot. The booming world of crypto currencies has rarely been out of the headlines over the past year and Ukrainians have been among the most responsive audiences to the opportunities presented by this emerging financial sector. Unsurprisingly, this focus has also made itself felt in the legal industry. “The market is seeing demand for legal support for transactions with ICO (Initial Coin Offering) elements and IT solutions involving blockchain technologies. There is also interest in services related to the investigation of fraud in these spheres,” says Sayenko Kharenko law firm Partner Vladimir Sayenko. Meanwhile, according to Lavrynovych & Partners law firm Managing Partner Maksym Lavrynovych, we can expect to see significant development of legal services protecting the rights of crypto currency miners in Ukraine over the coming two to three years. “The current absence of a legal response to issues related to mining and crypto currencies is the prerequisite for this growth,” he explains.   Industry Overview Market analysis identifies a somewhat paradoxical situation in the personnel sector of Ukraine’s legal services market. On the one hand, the market appears to have an oversupply with legal experts, but on the other hand, many law firm partners note the difficulties of finding lawyers who meet all their requirements. This is particularly true when it comes to niche specializations. We can expect this picture to develop in the coming years as lawyers and law school graduates seek to hone their skillsets to meet the needs of the industry more specifically, but it is unlikely to change significantly in 2018. While there is clearly an expanding market for lawyers with niche skills, the levels of movement within the industry are relatively modest at present. Indeed, more than half the employees from surveyed law firms have not changed their place of work for the past three years. The portrait of a leading law firm in Ukraine has not changed much over the course of the past year. Based on the latest survey results, it is more than sufficient to have a team of 25 to 30 lawyers in order to manage a top law firm in Ukraine, while less than half this number will suffice to achieve success in the boutique category. However, it is worth noting that the three law firms occupying the top spots in this year’s Top 50 ranking all have more than 80 lawyers on their staff. In terms of senior management, law firms featured in the Top 50 have an average of five to six partners. Just two of the Top 50 have more than ten partners, while at the other end of the scale, 13 law firms have three partners or fewer. Overall, the average ratio of partners to salaried lawyers across all surveyed law firms is one to six. According to the results of this industry survey, Ukraine’s legal sector is a particularly experienced segment of the Ukrainian economy. Almost two-thirds of surveyed lawyers, or 62.5%, have legal industry experience of more than five years, while 34% can boast over a decade of practicing law in Ukraine, and 11.9% are real veterans with 15 years or longer under their belts. This creates the impression of a mature and adult legal services sector, but it is also important to note the role played by young specialists. With the industry emphasis slowly but surely shifting towards new tech-related segments and other niche markets, younger market entrants may soon find themselves in growing demand – assuming they have acquired the requisite skills to tap into the needs of the evolving industry.     Sourse: http://bunews.com.ua/economy/item/ukrainian-law-firms-seeking-out-new-niches-in-tech-sector

"Ukraine’s investment potential in renewable energy estimated at EUR 12 bln – Zubko"

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14 March, 2018

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13 March, 2018
ALEKS MEHRLE President of UGTI Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook Civil: a Marketplace for Sustainable Journalism I am excited about the opportunity to help Civil (https://joincivil.com/) organize an event in Washington, DC and wanted to introduce readers of the UGTI email to this important company in advance of its launch in the spring of 2018. Civil is a Marketplace for Sustainable Journalism that recognizes the ad-driven revenue model that traditionally funded quality journalism has not translated to the digital economy and is leveraging blockchain technology to ensure journalism remains a strong in its critical role as a fundamental pillar of free, democratic societies, and newsrooms around the world. The Civil news platform launches in May, their our core pillars are local, international, investigative and policy – four of the most underserved areas in journalism today. They have garnered significant interest from journalists and readers, with coverage by Columbia Journalism Review, Nieman Lab, the Chicago Sun-Times and Fast Company and encourage you to check them out.

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12 March, 2018

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10 March, 2018

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8 March, 2018
CHRISTOPHER MILLER Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty correspondent based in Kyiv UGTI on Facebook What's Ukraine Doing To Combat Russian Cyberwarfare? 'Not Enough' KYIV - Dmytro Shymkiv fidgeted in a chair as his boss, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, testified via video linkup from a few doors down in the Kyiv trial of his exiled predecessor, Viktor Yanukovych. A big part of Shymkiv's job as deputy head of the presidential administration is focused on the cybersecurity of the president's office and the country. At this particular moment on February 21, his most important task was to keep the signal up and clear so Poroshenko could speak uninterrupted during the televised treason trial. "I'm very worried about cyberattacks," Shymkiv confessed to RFE/RL as the president delivered his testimony. With one eye glued to a screen showing Poroshenko and the other on his constantly vibrating mobile phone, which flashed updates from his IT team, Shymkiv said he feared a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack by Russian hackers that could take the video feed offline. "It's happened before," said Shymkiv, who before joining the government in 2014 was general manager of Microsoft Ukraine, referring to past DDoS attacks timed to disrupt presidential appearances.   Testing Ground Before Russian hackers allegedly targeted the United States and its 2016 presidential election, they were accused of taking aim at Ukraine and even its own presidential vote in May 2014 -- and with a lot more than just DDoS attacks. For its part, Russia has denied cyberattacks against Ukraine or the United States. But authorities here and in Washington attribute the attacks to Russia. They say they haven't stopped and are expected to continue. In fact, they say Russia is using Ukraine as a cyberwar testing ground, or as Wired described it in a lengthy and detailed report on the matter last year, "a laboratory for perfecting new forms of global online combat." Yet, for a country that is such a persistent target, Ukraine remains largely "unprepared" for cyberattacks from the likes of Russian and other skilled hackers, Shymkiv conceded. In separate interviews, Ukraine's chief of Cyberpolice and members of a prominent pro-government hacker team agreed; while acknowledging that the country has made some progress on the cybersecurity front, they suggested or said outright that its defenses are nowhere near where they should be as a regular target of cyberattacks. They cited poor communication between state institutions, a resistance to change, a confused policy approach to cyberdefense, and a lack of funds to recruit skilled personnel and buy much-needed equipment.   Ukraine Hit 'Every Day' Ukraine has been locked in an undeclared war with Russia since 2014, when the Kremlin annexed the Crimean Peninsula and fomented a shooting war in eastern Ukraine that has killed more than 10,300 people and is grinding into a fifth year. The war is being fought not only in the literal trenches but in cyberspace, through disinformation, fake news, and of course, cyberattacks. Since 2014, suspected Russian hackers have taken aim at critical targets in Ukraine with ever-growing sophistication. Ukraine's chief of Cyberpolice, Serhiy Demedyuk, said in an interview with RFE/RL that it was difficult to track Russian cyberattacks here because they occur "every day." "What we see is that Ukraine really is a [Russian] test site for malicious software," Demedyuk said in his office on the outskirts of Kyiv on February 21. In December 2016, Poroshenko claimed Ukraine had been struck by 6,500 cyberattacks on 36 targets in the previous two months, most of which Kyiv attributed to Russian aggression. His government has not provided more up-to-date statistics. While attribution can be difficult, Demedyuk and Shymkiv said Ukraine has managed to directly link Russia to most cyberattacks, citing the characteristics of the attacks and their timing; many occur on historically significant dates in Ukraine, or just before or during holidays, thus maximizing the effect. Two such cyberattacks targeted Ukrainian power plants ahead of holidays in December 2015 and December 2016, and left hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians without electricity for hours. Last year, Ukraine's Boryspil and Odesa international airports were hit by cyberattacks at the height of tourism season, along with the Kyiv subway's ticketing system, supermarket checkouts, bank ATMs, and the radiation-monitoring system at the defunct Chornobyl nuclear power plant. Luckily, those attacks caused more confusion than damage and potential crises were averted. But ransomware attacks dubbed Petya, NotPetya, and Bad Rabbit also ripped through the country, crippling businesses for days or weeks. NotPetya, in particular, spread to 64 countries, including Poland, Germany, Italy, and Russia, and caused billions of dollars in damage. The U.S. and U.K. governments both released extraordinary statements attributing NotPetya to the Russian military's cyberarm. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders went further, calling it "part of the Kremlin's ongoing effort to destabilize Ukraine," which "demonstrates ever more clearly Russia's involvement in the ongoing conflict." Indeed, experts say evidence in many of these cyberattacks points back to the same Kremlin-linked hackers believed to have targeted the 2016 U.S. election. And they fear these may be only the beginning, as Russia continues to test new cyberwar methods -- where else -- in Ukraine.   More To Come The U.S. intelligence community "expect[s] that Russia will conduct bolder and more disruptive cyberoperations during the next year, most likely using new capabilities against Ukraine," read a worldwide threat assessment authored by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and published on February 13. "The Russian government is likely to build on the wide range of operations it is already conducting, including disruption of Ukrainian energy distribution networks, hack-and-leak influence operations, distributed denial-of-service attacks, and false-flag operations." And Coats, a former senator appointed by President Donald Trump to be the United States' top intelligence official, said it was expected that once Moscow perfects new tactics in Ukraine, it will turn them on Western countries. "In the next year, Russian intelligence and security services will continue to probe U.S. and allied critical infrastructures, as well as target the United States, NATO, and allies for insights into U.S. policy," he said. Coats reportedly told a congressional committee the same day the report was released that he had already seen evidence Russia was targeting U.S. midterm elections in November. "Frankly, the United States is under attack," Coats added, according to Reuters. Many experts believe the United States and its European allies are woefully unprepared for future cyberattacks and have called for defenses to be strengthened.   Ukraine's 'Vulnerabilities' Exposed In boosting their own defenses, U.S. and European officials might look elsewhere for inspiration than Ukraine, which has struggled to batten down its proverbial hatches in the face of Russian cyberoperations. In direct response to the Russian cyberthreat in recent years, Ukrainian institutions have developed special cybersecurity units: the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has an in-house team; the Interior Ministry and National Police created the Cyberpolice force led by Demedyuk; there is a Center for Cyberprotection within the State Service for Special Communications and Information Protection; and the Defense Ministry has been slower to react but is currently discussing the creation of cyberunits for military purposes and cyberdefense, according to Shymkiv. A ministry spokesperson told RFE/RL they could not offer more specific information. Coordinating all of Ukraine's cybersecurity initiatives is the National Security and Defense Council (RNBO), which opened a new cyber-focused center for doing so last month. Some state companies have also taken the initiative. For instance, Ukrainian power distributor Ukrenergo, one of the main targets of cyberattacks in the past two years, said last month that it was investing up to $20 million in a new cyberdefense system. But many Ukrainian institutions and companies -- including those who help lead cybersecurity efforts or guard highly sensitive information -- fail to communicate or coordinate with one another, and remain vulnerable to cyberattacks and information leaks, according to self-described "pro-Ukrainian" hackers who spoke to RFE/RL. One of them, "Sean Townsend," the pseudonymous spokesman and one of the founding members of the hacktivist group Ukrainian Cyber Alliance, said that a recent flash mob organized by him and a dozen or so Ukrainian hacktivist colleagues that they promoted on social media proved cyberdefenses here remain weak. Townsend and the Cyber Alliance usually focus on Russian targets. But worried about Ukraine's cybersecurity, they turned their sights toward their own country in an effort to help find where it might be vulnerable and plug whatever holes exist. Townsend was startled by what they found. "There were many cases where highly classified information was stored simply unprotected," he said. For instance, when Townsend probed Energoatom, the state nuclear-power-plant operator, he "found vulnerabilities that would easily allow hackers to enter the [energy] system" of one of its facilities. Energoatom responded days after the Cyber Alliance published some of its findings online, which caused public concern about a "new Chornobyl." The company essentially dubbed Townsend's findings fake news and said it would be "impossible" to hack the critical energy infrastructure at its power plants. Townsend said he was certain that what he found "could be perfectly used to penetrate power-station equipment." As if that wasn't enough of a concern, he added, among the power plant's unsecured computer networks he was able to obtain countless gigabytes-worth of sensitive documents, including the building plans for the reactor and information pertaining to Westinghouse Electric Company, the U.S.-based provider of nuclear fuel to Ukraine. The story was similar with Ukraine's Defense Ministry. "We found several computers with classified files about Ukrainian forces" that could provide their Russian counterparts with valuable intelligence, Townsend said. Unlike Energoatom, the ministry reacted quickly. "When we notified our military that they have computers leaking data to the Internet, they found them and shut them down," Townsend added. In all, Townsend said more than 200 cases of vulnerabilities were found among Ukraine's state institutions and companies. But not all of them have been addressed. In fact, responses from companies and institutions where vulnerabilities were discovered were mixed; some thanked the Cyber Alliance and addressed the issues, while others shrugged or denied their existence. The Kherson regional administration, annoyed by the alliance's discovery of vulnerabilities that would easily allow ill-intentioned hackers to penetrate its system, even filed a criminal complaint against the Cyber Alliance with the Cyberpolice. Townsend, who said he cooperates closely with Demedyuk and the Cyberpolice, also claimed to have found vulnerabilities in the systems of the presidential administration and the RNBO, both of which he said reacted swiftly and fixed the issues. Townsend placed much of the blame for the inconsistent responses to cyberthreats on poor communication between the various cybersecurity units in government institutions plus a "policies for the sake of policies" approach by the government. "Many of our leaders think we need to simply write down new rules, enforce them, and control how people are executing them, and then all will be well," he said.   Western Help Shymkiv said the U.S. and Western European governments have helped Ukraine strengthen its cybersecurity through training and financial support, but he would like to see much more cooperation. His "dream," he said, was to build a U.S.-led, nongovernmental cybersecurity center in Kyiv that would act as a computer emergency-response team for the public while also focusing on training. Shymkiv said he had discussed the idea with Washington officials who found the idea "interesting" but have indicated there are still some hang-ups preventing them from acting on the idea. "Everybody's concerned [with] how many Russian spies we have in the government," Shymkiv said. "That's why I'm saying, 'Let's build this from scratch...on the principles and approaches defined by the U.S.' Plus, he added, with Ukraine a regular target of Russian hackers, there is a lot the United States could learn from its experience and apply at home." The U.S. Embassy declined to discuss Shymkiv's idea on the record, and intelligence officials in Washington could not be reached for comment. There is some movement within the U.S. Congress to further help Ukraine in the cybersecurity sphere. On February 7, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act. The Senate introduced a mirror version of the bill on February 27. The bills call for the State Department to increase cooperation with Kyiv over shared Russian cybersecurity threats by doing several things, including: providing Ukraine necessary support to increase protection on government computers, particularly systems that defend critical infrastructure; reducing Kyiv's reliance on Russian technology; and helping Ukraine to build capacity, expand cybersecurity information sharing, and cooperate on international response efforts. That is all music to the ears of Shymkiv, Demedyuk, and Townsend, who say replacing outdated equipment will go a long way toward protecting Ukraine from cyberattacks.   Stealthier, Evolving Methods But until those bills become law or similar help from elsewhere is provided, Ukraine must muddle through and remain vigilant, which Shymkiv said meant continually educating staff. In recent months, Shymkiv said, he had noticed stealthier and more sophisticated phishing attempts aimed at the presidential administration by hackers he believes are working in Russia. These efforts to extract sensitive information are disguised as messages from internal systems administrators and appear carefully crafted to appeal to specific employees, himself included. "They are extremely well done," Shymkiv said. "[The hackers] are hacking our brains. They target people's trust." But if the Russians were trying to hack the video link through which President Poroshenko was delivering his testimony while Shymkiv spoke, they failed. As Poroshenko finished, Shymkiv breathed a sigh of relief. But he said he never lets his guard down. "Every day [Russian hackers] are trying to collect information of our people," he said. "They are trying to get inside our systems...and to disrupt us."     Sourse: https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-struggles-cyberdefense-russia-expands-testing-ground/29085277.html

"Ukrainian market of electric vehicles continues to grow due to used cars"

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"Austrian president to visit Ukraine next week"

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7 March, 2018

"European Investment Bank allocates EUR 16.4 mln for education and infrastructure in Ukraine"

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"EBRD grants loan for construction of three solar power plants in Ukraine"

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6 March, 2018
JOHN WHITE CMO and founder of Social Marketing Solutions UGTI on Facebook 9 Industries That Will Soon Be Disrupted By Blockchain Let's face it. Many people are resistant to technological changes in both their personal lives and at the office. However, what they often lack is the vision to see how the new technology they are resisting will improve their lives in the future. Emerging technologies are exciting and bring innovation and new opportunities across the globe. They change our life by altering the way we think and operate on a daily basis. Technological innovation can impact a lot more than our daily lives. In fact, it can disrupt entire industries and change the way we do business. As new technologies are developed, affected industries are forced to adapt or be replaced. The newest technology that is quickly becoming the next major disruption is blockchain technology. Blockchain is a digital ledger system used to securely record transactions. It is poised to impact the way business is done across the globe. Here are nine prominent industries that are slated to be overhauled by blockchain technology in the near future.   1. The Banking Industry Blockchain technology has the potential to solve several significant problems faced by the banking industry today. Right now banks store money for their customers, and they also handle the transfer of that money. Blockchain inherently has a secure system that would provide permanent records of the millions of transactions that take place in the banking industry each day. This ledger system could significantly lower the risk by providing secure records. Furthermore, money could be transferred cheaper and faster by the decentralization provided by blockchain.   2. The Real Estate Industry Anyone who has ever purchased or sold a home knows just how much paperwork is involved in a real estate transaction. Blockchain technology can completely change the current headache that all of these documents cause. By using blockchain, all of the documents and transaction records can be stored securely with measurably less work and less cost. According to Piper Moretti, CEO of the Crypto Realty Group and licensed realtor, the use of blockchain can also potentially eliminate the escrow process. The technology can create smart contracts that release funding only when the conditions are met. Additionally, many people in the process of working with a real estate agent know how frustrating the commission rates can be, with many charging up to 6 percent. Deedcoin is looking to change that with its cryptocurrency-powered platform. Through using Deedcoin's platform and proprietary tokens, those rates decrease to just 1%. Deedcoin's distributed architecture gives power back to homeowners and buyers by tokenizing the process and eliminating any middlemen, barring direct interactions between agents and customers.   3. The Healthcare Industry The healthcare industry has been in need of a significant disruption when it comes to sharing and storing medical data and records. The potential for error, fraud, and lost records has created distrust between consumers and healthcare providers. Blockchain technology can revamp the trust by securely storing medical records that can be accurately and safely transferred to and accessed by the doctors and people who are authorized. Blockchain will aid in the authorization and identification of people. In fact, one startup called Ontology is already working to make positive, multi-source identification a reality across all industries using the blockchain technology.   4. The Legal Industry Blockchain technology is poised to disrupt some areas of the legal industry by being able to store and verify documents and data. For example, litigation dealing with resolving concerns over wills of the deceased or any other documentation can be eliminated. Records (including wills) stored on the blockchain will be quickly and securely verified. Any changes to the documents will be authenticated and stored. Blockchain technology can also eliminate legal issues dealing with inheritance, even including cryptocurrency assets. Safe Haven, for example, gives users the opportunity to secure digital assets so that the investor's legacy can be passed down to his children or designee safely and securely. This technology eliminates lengthy court battles arguing over digital inheritance.   5. The Cryptocurrency Exchange Industry Digital money is the way of the future, and it is thanks to blockchain that it can be securely transferred and recorded. However, the "mining" required to verify and authenticate every transaction of digital money requires an enormous amount of computing power. In recent years, this has created a lot of issues on several platforms when certain transactions "ran out of gas" or fizzled out due to the sheer amount of computation required. This issue was costing users valuable time and money. New developments in blockchain technology are changing the way the cryptocurrency exchange industry operates. Zen Protocol has developed an alternative to other platforms, which has solved the most significant issues in the cryptocurrency space. Unlike other platforms, Zen Protocol utilizes smart contracts that know in advance how much computation each contract requires. That means that unless there is enough "gas" to support that contract, it won't run.   6. Politics In the recent past, government parties here in the U.S. and around the world have been accused of rigging election results. But that won't be possible if blockchain is used because it would take care of voter registration and verification of identity, and it would count the votes to ensure only legitimate votes were counted. Gone are the days of recounting votes and voting day drama.   7. The Startup Industry With thousands of startups looking for investors, there is no current way for them to get in front of the right investors without jeopardizing the security of their ideas. Likewise, there is no right way for investors to find the companies they are interested in backing. Blockchain technology can change all of that. In fact, it has already started. Companies such as Pitch Ventures are creating a way for startups to pitch investors live in a secure manner. Entrepreneurs create summaries of their product or service and investors can quickly sort and find potential opportunities. Ethereum's Smart Contract address allows a secure medium for the pitches, so privacy is maintained.   8. The Video Industry Video is predicted to form 82% of all Internet traffic by 2021, and blockchain may play a significant role by decentralizing the video infrastructure. Decentralizing video encoding, storage, and content distribution will dramatically reduce the cost of video traffic by tapping into $30 billion in wasted Internet computing services. Startups like VideoCoin are already making good on the promise of freeing up this capital, which will allow entirely new and innovative ecosystems of video apps to emerge on the market.   9. The Education Industry The education industry is poised to see some significant breakthroughs utilizing an emerging version of the Internet that combines blockchain, cryptocurrency, and virtual reality. This new Internet will be known as "3DInternet," and it has the power to create a global classroom like never before. SocratesCoin is making big moves to make this a reality. The company will create a global community of faculty, students, campuses, and curriculum. The students will encompass all ages, cultures, and locations. SocratesCoin has secured Nauka University, which will utilize 3DInternet to unite science, thought leadership and science through education.   Blockchain-distributed ledger technology provides a safe and auditable way to record and transfer data. It can transform the way we live our everyday lives and disrupt any industry that uses data or transactions at all. And all of this disruption is a good thing. Whether or not you like to introduce new tech into your life, I think we can all agree that added security to our financial data would give everyone more peace of mind.     Sourse: https://www.inc.com/john-white/9-industries-that-will-soon-be-disrupted-by-blockchain.html

"Total investment in Ukrainian IT companies triple in 2017"

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"Ukraine, United Kingdom sign memorandum of cooperation in tackling cybercrime"

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5 March, 2018

"European Commission plans to allocate EUR 33 mln to Ukraine for budget support programs"

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"Finland will issue EUR15 mln for education and energy efficiency projects in Ukraine in 2018-2021"

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3 March, 2018

"Defense minister of the Kingdom of Sweden to arrive in Kyiv on March 5"

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"Ukrainian farmers’ demand for mineral fertilizers met by 79% now"

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2 March, 2018

"State Statistics: Ukraine’s exports of goods to EU grew by 30%, imports – by 21% in 2017"

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"President signs law on privatization"

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1 March, 2018
LARRY MYLER CEO By Monday, Inc., adjunct professor in the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at BYU UGTI on Facebook Farm-To-Table: How Blockchain Tech Will Change The Way You Eat Forget about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for a minute. The underlying technology is what I’m interested in. Blockchain is working its way into all aspects of B2B commerce, including our food chain. Here’s the why and how of this latest expression of a technology that is bringing massive change, and benefit, to yet another industry. According to the World Health Organization, 10% of us fall ill with a food-borne disease each year. Most of these diseases aren’t hard to prevent, but without clear and consistent oversight they remain prevalent. With the meteoric rise of the blockchain phenomenon, food commerce will soon get the shakeup it needs.   Transparency in the Age of Smartphones When a consumer enters a grocery store, she often has no idea how her food was handled or sourced. She could pick up a head of lettuce contaminated with E. coli, as dozens of Americans did in late 2017. Maybe she grabs a dozen eggs loaded with the anti-flea insecticide fipronil, like a dozen out of 700,000 eggs that ended up in Great Britain. Or, instead, maybe she reaches for her smartphone, scans a QR code on the food in question, and reads a report on where her groceries came from. TE-FOOD is an example of a new type of company offering a tracking system intended to provide all food industry participants—from farmers and wholesalers to retailers and consumers—with robust information about the products they buy and sell. This kind of technology rides the wave of the farm-to-table movement, while helping to iron out some of the chief concerns held by grocery shoppers and restaurant customers. Andrea Reusing, the chef at Lantern and a contributor for NPR, says, “The ubiquity that makes farm-to-table meaningless also gives it its power.” Though "farm-to-table" has gained buzzword status, there are no regulations on what farm-to-table food actually entails. According to Reusing, the phrase implies “adherence to fair labor standards, supply chain transparency or avoidance of GMOs,” but has become “increasingly unhitched from the issues it is so often assumed to address.” This is where the blockchain revolution re-imagines the meaning of farm-to-table. It documents all of the B2B relationships that lead up to the final B2C transaction. Consumers can see exactly when their food was grown, what sorts of pesticides and antibiotics were used and how it compares to other products on the shelves. An educated consumer only needs her smartphone to determine which grocery item is the cleanest, healthiest and most ethical.   Eradicating Food-Borne Disease Before food even reaches restaurant plates or grocery shelves, blockchain technology could prevent the spread of contamination of diseases like E. coli. A system like TE-FOOD acts as a third party, enabling buyers to more nimbly monitor the quality of food and the schedule on which it is transported. When a food producer notices a potentially dangerous anomaly, it would take only a few clicks on a screen to identify other contaminated products, as opposed to a time-consuming, costly and potentially imprecise by-hand investigation. If a contaminated product finds its way to a grocery store chain, the storeowners could use blockchain tech to perform an agile recall. A more targeted system to recall food cuts down on time, money and food waste, creating a win for business owners and environmentalists alike. Why has it taken so long to make the food industry more transparent? According to Reusing, it’s all about the money. “Food production and processing… is nearly always configured to rely on cheap labor.” The end consumers and retailers are the ones who benefit most from transparency, but the burden of paying for traceability often falls to those B2B suppliers at the beginning of the supply chain, like farmers. This is why a consistent system—one that everyone in the supply chain uses—is integral. A blockchain system allows all players to get on the same page and track food in a more cost-effective way. Historically, if farmers wanted to track their cattle, they would use an RFID tag (a radio frequency tag that transmits data). Each tag costs between $2 and $5 and only covers the cost of the farmer’s portion of the supply chain. To date there is no comprehensive farm-to-table tracking option. Compare that to a TE-FOOD-type system of QR code security seals and stickers, which cost less than $1 per animal. That’s an 80% decrease, and it covers the entire supply chain, from slaughterhouses to food producers to wholesales and the end retailer. This is a compelling reason to embrace blockchain. Given the current success in using blockchain to track the food industry in the Ho Chi Minh City region, other members of the international community can expect their countries to follow suit before long. Should governments step in and engage with these solutions, improved farm-to-table traceability will arrive even more quickly. As consumers become more interested in the stories behind their food, government involvement and legislation seem increasingly likely. Blockchain tech has amassed a long list of industries it is poised to revolutionize. Food and health, two of our most fundamental quality-of-life sectors, may be the next to change. We could be looking at a future with higher standards for health and a stronger understanding of our food, with the added bonus of a discounted price tag. While we may never eradicate food-borne disease, blockchain technology will certainly bring a new level of affordable transparency and accountability.     Sourse: https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrymyler/2018/02/16/farm-to-table-how-blockchain-tech-will-change-the-way-you-eat/#469f12d42c45

"Altostrata from Ireland plans to invest EUR 225 mln in construction of solar power plant in Ukraine (Dnipropetrovsk region)"

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"European Commission ready to approve EUR 1 bln financial package to Ukraine"

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28 February, 2018

"Energy Efficiency Fund can raise EUR 100 mln from partners in March"

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"Ukraine, Denmark sign agreement on further cooperation within energy center"

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27 February, 2018
BOHDAN DANYLYSHYN Ukrainian politician, economist and statesman UGTI on Facebook What should medium-term strategy of Ukraine's economic development look like? Earlier I attended a meeting of the Ukrainian government, where I considered the "Report on the progress and results of the Program of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in 2017". The government has launched a number of reforms that, if properly coordinated and directed, can significantly change both the institutional form of the relationship between the state and business entities and form a new structural framework for economic development. On the whole, I positively assess efforts of the government to ensure the reform of economic relations in the country. The Cabinet of Ministers within the framework of the policy of economic growth has worked out a number of initiatives, the introduction of which will significantly accelerate the development of key sectors of the economy, primarily the industrial and agricultural sectors, as well as attract investment and innovation in the economy and citizens' lives. However, in our opinion, the government should not forget that Ukraine has formed an economic model, which has three features: export orientation, a significant level of import dependence and relative underdevelopment of the domestic market. But the ratio of exports of goods and services (as well as their imports) to GDP fluctuates around 50%. At the same time, the indicator of net exports remains negative. So, if in 2016 it amounted to -5.5 billion dollars, then in 2017 – it was already - 6.8 billion dollars. An important factor is the negative balance of foreign trade in goods, which increased in 2016-2017, from - 6.9 billion dollars to - 9.2 billion dollars. So, as an obvious way to accelerate economic growth, short-term (2020-2025) incentive measures should be considered: - restructuring of export activities; - reduction of import dependence; - development of the internal market.   Restructuring of export activities - a short-term aspect Given the existing market advantages in the production of agricultural goods, the main focus should primarily be on increasing the production of high-tech goods, the cost of which in foreign markets can be five to six times higher than the cost of raw materials. This, for example, concerns the transition from the export of conventional grain to the export of lactose syrups produced from it, amino acids, gluten, bioplastics, vitamins. Similar opportunities exist for the export of high-tech whey produced from conventional milk. Secondly, it is necessary to deepen our relations with the EU within the FTA, that is, to achieve a softening of the conditions for access of Ukrainian products from the internal market of Europe by increasing the current quotas and reducing the current tariff restrictions. Thirdly, it is necessary to ensure the full implementation by Ukreximbank of its "core" functions regarding the support of domestic exporters with the simultaneous practical launch of the Export Credit Agency.   Reduction of import dependence - a short-term aspect In 2017, commodity imports to Ukraine increased by $ 8.5 billion, of which almost half (3.9 billion) accounted for the increase in imports of mineral products (primarily oil and petroleum products, coal, anthracite, briquettes, etc.). This became an additional factor in increasing the energy dependence of the national economy. In the course of 9 months of 2017, the cost of imports of hard coal from the Russian Federation increased by 67.6% in the corresponding period of 2016, and by 20.9% in physical volumes. This requires an early geographic re-profiling of imported energy supplies while reducing the energy intensity of the national economy.   The development of the domestic market - a short-term aspect Accelerated economic growth is impossible without first addressing the problems we have at customs, because of which "gray" and "black" imports suppress the production of analogs of goods. Secondly, it is advisable to create a kind of development fund that would be formed from several sources of financing (budget, private, foreign, donor, etc.), aimed at developing modern production technologies and would be supervised by the supervisory board from respected Ukrainian and foreign participants. Thirdly, the introduction of such a fund requires a clear definition of promising technologies, as well as mechanisms and instruments for their support: tax, fiscal, credit, foreign exchange, and others. Unfortunately, today such a list of technological priorities and the system of their targeted support in the country de facto does not exist. However, in reality, there are other phenomena when the state accumulates funds during the year on its own treasury account in the National Bank, and then "releases" up to UAH 50 billion to the market within two to three weeks before the New Year holidays, as, for example, we saw in 2017. As a result: hryvnia depreciates, inflation grows, the National Bank raises the discount rate, bank loans increase and it becomes incomprehensible how they can support economic growth if their value starts to reach 18-20% per annum (in national currency).   Investments Modernization of the national economy is impossible without the receipt of foreign direct investment, which is directly related to the import of new technologies. Both the state and national business should increase capital investment. The business should be a positive example in this respect, demonstrating effective cooperation in the form of a successful public-private partnership in implementing joint development projects.   Preservation of labor potential of the country Without the implementation of these measures aimed at technological modernization of production, it will be impossible either to achieve accelerated growth of the national economy or to preserve its labor potential. After all, if during 2015-2017, 800 thousand of labor migrants left the country left and did not return, then in 2018-2019 another 500 thousand people can join them. Not only the domestic experts but also the leading Western centers (in particular, the Atlantic Council) note the negative consequences of the loss of the most active, professionally trained and valuable workers. It should be noted that we are unlikely to be able to keep promising young people in the country on the existing raw materials base of domestic production. Moreover, the nearest neighbors are able to offer them more interesting working conditions.   Medium-term strategy of economic development based on technological modernization In general, all these issues are interrelated. Therefore, they should be combined into a single strategy of economic development on new technological principles. The latter should be designed for a medium-term period, for example, 2019-2025. It is advisable to entrust it to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine with the involvement of the National Bank of Ukraine, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, as well as representatives of the expert environment. Such a strategy of technological modernization should link the production of the real sector to the single complex, with the activities of specialized scientific institutions and applied production and research centers, which for today does not exist. The development of such a strategy should be initiated as early as 2018 so that by 2019 it would be possible not only to have agreed content but also to begin its practical implementation. The key task of such an economic growth strategy should be to ensure the development of the national economy at a pace higher than the world average. The announced 5-7% annual increase in the real GDP of Ukraine is desirable.     Sourse: https://112.international/opinion/what-should-medium-term-strategy-of-ukraines-economic-development-look-like-25840.html

"Venture investment in Ukrainian start-ups triples in 2017, to $300 mln – Economy ministry"

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"Ukraine, Indonesia to develop scientific cooperation"

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26 February, 2018

"Ukroboronprom ready to join Hyperloop project"

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"Ukraine slightly reduces steel output in Jan 2018, ranks tenth in Worldsteel rating"

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24 February, 2018

"Ambassador Chaly: United States views Ukraine as serious strategic partner"

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"UK to promote conducting transparent privatization in Ukraine – embassy"

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23 February, 2018

"Ukrzaliznytsia, GE sign 15-year contract worth $1 bln on delivery of locomotives, their localization and maintenance"

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"Ukraine pins hopes on China International Import Expo to boost exports"

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22 February, 2018
KOSTIANTYN TSENTSURA Student, journalist UGTI on Facebook 18 tech companies in Ukraine among world’s top outsourcers Eighteen information technology companies operating in Ukraine have made it onto the list of the best tech firms in the world – the 2018 Global Outsourcing 100. Twelve Ukrainian-founded software developers, along with six international IT companies that have Ukrainian offices, are on the list of 100 most successful tech companies worldwide. Compiled by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP), the alphabetical order list has now been posted on the IAOP’s website. The main criteria for ranking the companies were profitability, team growth, customer recommendations, and level of corporate social responsibility. The top 100 outsources list is designed to help IT companies find business partners by highlighting the best of them. The Ukrainian firms are located in the country’s biggest cities – Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv, and Dnipro. They are: Ciklum, Infopulse, Miratech, Innovecs, Softengi, SoftServe, ELEKS, Intellias, N-iX, Sigma Software, Program-Ace, and AMC Bridge. Three tech firms with Ukrainian offices have their headquarters in the United States (EPAM, TEAM International Services, Softjourn) and other three are originally from Switzerland, Norway, and Russia (Luxoft, Itera, and Artezio). ...     Sourse: https://www.kyivpost.com/technology/18-tech-companies-ukraine-among-worlds-top-outsourcers.html

"Infrastructure Minister of Ukraine to announce start of Hyperloop project"

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"U.S. Orbis asset management will issue $30 MLN for lending to farmers"

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21 February, 2018

"Asset management company Horizon Capital wants to invest up to $200 MLN in Ukraine"

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"United States and European Union are largest international donors to Ukraine"

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20 February, 2018
ALEKS MEHRLE President of UGTI Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook International Cybersecurity Leaders Forum: The U.S.-Ukraine Cybersecurity Partnership Our Track “1.5” Initiative launch with GW’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security launch on February 7 was a great success. For those unable to attend in person but interested in the topic and discussion you can watch the video below.     https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=-D7uWltP-98&app=desktop

"World Bank sees growth of Ukrainian economy"

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"Most large Ukrainian companies seek to increase expenses on cyber security in 2018"

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19 February, 2018

"Over a dozen world-famous companies have desire to participate in Ukraine’s GTS management"

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"Europe-Ukraine Forum to be held in Poland in March"

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17 February, 2018

"President of European Commission assures that the EU is ready to strengthen support for Ukraine in 2018"

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"PrivatBank posts UAH 1.1 bln profit"

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16 February, 2018

"Finance minister, IMF experts discuss reform of State Fiscal Service"

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"Ukraine sees 19% real growth of wages in 2017"

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15 February, 2018
CHRIS BING Cybersecurity reporter for Scoop News Group UGTI on Facebook U.S. moves to develop grand cybersecurity partnership with Ukraine, a favorite target for Russian hackers During a week where multiple senior Ukrainian government officials came to visit Washington, a bill designed to foster further collaboration on cybersecurity efforts between the U.S. and Ukrainian governments passed the House of Representatives late Wednesday night. Known as the “Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act of 2017,” the bipartisan legislation was first introduced by Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., in April 2017 just three months after news surfaced that a massive electric power blackout in Kiev had been caused by a complex cyberattack. Cybersecurity experts later attributed the attack to Russian hackers. The bill, which was cosponsored by Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., passed with a 404-4 vote. In practice, the bill would encourage greater cooperation between the U.S. and Ukraine regarding several key digital defense priorities, including a promise that the U.S. will support the Ukrainian government when or if requested. The legislation proposes organizing the partnership through a Department of State initiative, including regular reporting back to Congress about the agreement’s ongoing effectiveness. While the U.S. and Ukraine already work together on various diplomatic missions, the Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act deliberately requires for the U.S. to help provide Kiev with “advanced security protection on government computers, particularly systems that defend Ukraine’s critical infrastructure; provide Ukraine support to reduce reliance on Russian technology; and help Ukraine to build capacity, expand cyber security information sharing, and cooperate in international response efforts,” according to the bill. Boyle, a member of the House Foreign affairs committee and outspoken advocate for more robust relations with Ukraine, said the bill represented a “strong step forward in the ongoing fight to counter Russia’s intensifying cyber-aggression.” “Over the last few years, Russia has been using Ukraine as a field test for cyber attacks that endanger the national security of our great ally Ukraine, its regional neighbors, and the United States,” Boyle said. “H.R. 1997 sends a strong signal to Russia and all those who threaten the cybersecurity of America and its allies that we are ready and able to protect ourselves against this escalating threat … Time is of the essence, with American and Ukrainian elections each right around the corner.” The legislation now heads to the Senate for a vote. At the moment, there is no companion bill in the upper chamber. Boyle’ bill is important for a number of reasons, including the fact that Ukraine is not yet a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). With membership comes a legal framework for how and when the U.S. could respond to attacks against Ukraine under Article 5 of the treaty. The Act provides another avenue for the U.S. government to voice their commitment without having NATO accept Ukraine’s application; a move which some in the Putin regime say could trigger a military conflict.     Sourse: https://www.cyberscoop.com/us-ukraine-cybersecurity-act/

"Ukraine’s economy sees growth eight quarters in a row – State Statistics"

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"U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Sullivan to visit Ukraine"

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14 February, 2018

"Ukraine to present national stand at EXPO-2020 in Dubai"

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"Draft U.S. budget provides $200 mln in security assistance for Ukraine"

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13 February, 2018
LARRY MYLER CEO By Monday, Inc., adjunct professor in the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at BYU UGTI on Facebook How Blockchain Technology can help B2B companies become more profitable The Bitcoin frenzy has made it very difficult to understand blockchain technology and advanced ledger technologies. Until they are more easily understood, B2B interests cannot take advantage of the potential profits. But that won’t be the case for very long. Blockchain is a sophisticated algorithm created for cryptocurrency. It drives a distributed data structure that manages electronic cash movements. It replaces the administrative role of a central bank or government backing. The blockchain is the repository and distributor of virtual coins. Crypto-coins are not carried or handled, but they do trade, multiply and function thanks to the blockchain at the center. If you picture a business ledger that updates itself in real-time, multiplying that picture by billions of data spaces will give you some illustration of the way blockchain works. For B2B companies, it can be a virtual bank—moving money, accepting deposits, completing transactions and more. This differs from online banking where your business is subject to regulation, monitoring, business hours and other restrictions.   How Does Blockchain Technology Help B2B companies? • Efficient supply chains. The blockchain is open to all members of the network. An IBM report notes, “This ‘shared version of events’ enables improved supply chain efficiencies, better multi-party collaboration, and streamlined resolution processes when exceptions or disputes occur.” It does not replace legacy chain supply software, but it engages new realities like the expanding data flows presented by the Internet of Things. • Improved sales processes. “The B2B sales process is based on relationships and responsibility,” said Jeremy Epstein, blockchain marketing expert and CEO of blockchain consulting firm, Never Stop Marketing. B2B sales relationships are ongoing, have a longer lifespan, and in general, require a longer sales cycle than B2C sales. “Trust is essential to B2B sales success and blockchain technology represents a way to expedite the creation of trusted relationships at lower costs” he continued. His eBook, The CMO Primer for the Blockchain World, points out that only 50% of businesses check buyer credit worthiness, request secure forms of payment, or both. And 81.5% of companies report employing credit management policies to mitigate trade risks. • Ease and speed. Joe McKendrickpoints out that, with this open access system, “blockchain's value proposition is that it takes out the middlemen in transactions, enabling more autonomous types of engagements.” Easing and escalating the speed of financial transactions, blockchain replaces banks, credit card processing and checking. This reduces cost to B2B vendors and customers. • Beyond fintech. B2B Business Network believes, “Outside of fintech applications, blockchain has yet to make its impact felt.” However, contributor Derek Handova predicted B2B applications will catch on soon. In 2016, the writer saw it serving only the finance/tech world. But, he envisioned future value in real estate transactions, identity management, healthcare records and more. He called it a “Swiss Army Knife of technology.” • Safe and secure. Phoebe Luckhurstinsists, “The future is in the chain.” But she also admits that the blockchain is only as good as its code, and codes have been cracked. Goldman Sachs agrees on its credibility, calling it “a faster, safer way to verify key information and establish trust.” And Professor Kevin Werbach at Wharton refers to “a new architecture of trust,” a system where you do not deal with an intermediary person, institution or authority. • Real savings. B2B merchants in retail or online need the cost savings promised by blockchain dealing. First and fundamentally, it speeds the transaction, immediately moving the customer payment to the vendor. Second, this speed ripples back through the supply chain and forward to the customer’s satisfaction. Third, it facilitates distribution and logistics, increasing efficiencies down the line. And, fourth, by bypassing credit card processors and other merchant services, blockchain reduces the overhead reflecting the price of service.   Blockchain is Picking Up Velocity This technology may have the public confused. Most people had never heard of it until Bitcoin started to catch everyone’s attention. Virtual coinage and cryptocurrency are a long way from being ubiquitous terms, but that is changing fast. Epstein notes, “We are living in the ‘age of accelerations,’ as Tom Friedman calls it. In fact, there are studies out now that say millennials would prefer to hold cryptocurrencies over stocks. Granted, some of that is due to the crypto-mania currently taking place, but it is noteworthy.” A closer look at blockchain and distributed ledger technology reveals the deep impression it has made on major banks, Big Data, social media platforms, browser powerhouses and eCommerce leaders. IBM is already using blockchain in its television commercials for business cloud services. The next generation of providers and consumers will know the tools and language well. The transactions will be second nature to them, and anything not blockchain will seem archaic, risky and foolishly expensive. The reality is, most people will not even know they are using a blockchain back-end, but just like WiFi, fast internet, and phones today, in the near future the expectation will be intermediary-free transactions. The cryptocurrency platforms have invited people to come to them. Other than the sophisticated code, they have no product to offer. Conversely, a credit card provides the illusion of cash that is on hand and available. Thanks to some governmental oversight, we have credit card statements that we almost understand. The public has adapted to this, psychologically. Likewise, the business owner has become used to established routines and GAAP oversight. This significant shift in ledger processing will come with a learning curve, and although the new systems would immediately benefit eCommerce, it will require a revolution in how online marketing and sales occur. We can anticipate a time when blockchain will ensure even greater security, more practical applications and customized products. When customers find it cost effective and easy to navigate, the market will follow. “There’s a saying in the blockchain world,” says Epstein who works with blue-chip crypto projects like OpenBazaar and Zcash. “Five months in crypto is like five years in the regular world in terms of change. My advice is that it’s better to spend the time now to get prepared than to get caught blind-sided.” How long this transition will take is anyone’s guess, but it’s gaining momentum. Increased trust, security and efficiency will always help B2B companies compete. Blockchain can build all three.     Sourse: https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrymyler/2018/01/22/how-blockchain-technology-can-help-b2b-companies-become-more-profitable/

"'Marshall Plan' for Ukraine can be discussed at G7 summit in Canada – Kubilius"

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"Ukrainian banks interested in securities investments of foreign issuers"

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12 February, 2018

"Ukraine agriculture boosted by new financial tool"

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"IMF experts start working in Ukraine"

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10 February, 2018

"Ukrainian Education Ministry, World Bank agree on expert assistance"

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"Fiscal Service: import of new cars to Ukraine 28% up in 2017"

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9 February, 2018

"Belgium's Upgrade Energy wants to build 25-30 MW solar power plant in Zhytomyr region"

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"Ukrainian cyber police want to legalize cryptocurrency"

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8 February, 2018
YULIANA ROMANYSHYN Staff writer at the Kyiv Post UGTI on Facebook Ukraine House Davos succeeds, gives hope for new investment The first-ever conference venue Ukraine House Davos turned out to be a success, welcoming more than 5,000 investors, top executives, activists, politicians and other visitors during its five-day run on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. The event, which ran from Jan. 22–26, featured panel discussions, receptions and speeches promoting the country’s investment opportunities and some of its most talented people. The events focused on technology and innovations, like blockchain, as well as data science, energy, agricultural business and cryptocurrency. Sophia, a social humanoid robot manufactured by Hanson Robotics, also went on display. “Ukraine has to push itself in,” Jaroslawa Johnson, president and CEO of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund, said. “And make sure that everyone recognizes it as an important player, not simply someone in a sidelight of Russia.” Johnson made three previous trips to the forum, an annual conference that gathers the global economic and business elite. She noticed that Ukraine didn’t have a strong presence and, after last year’s test event — Ukrainian Davos Nights in 2017 — the organizers came up with this year’s plan for Ukraine House Davos. Without receiving government support, the Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association teamed up with the Western NIS Enterprise Fund and the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, among others. ...     Sourse: https://www.kyivpost.com/business/ukraine-house-davos-succeeds-gives-hope-new-investment.html

"U.S. House of Representatives supports Act aimed to enhance U.S.-Ukraine cyber security cooperation"

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"IMF mission to arrive in Ukraine on Feb 12"

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7 February, 2018

"First auctions to sell small privatization facilities could be held in June 2018"

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"Antonov Airlines took part in preparations for Falcon Heavy rocket launch"

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6 February, 2018
ALEKS MEHRLE President of UGTI Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook   Please register at the link below and join me and my colleagues at GW tomorrow (Wednesday, February 7) at 10am.   https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ef2qbo6jed10c086&oseq=&c=&ch= International Cybersecurity Leaders Forum: The U.S.-Ukraine Cybersecurity Partnership Ukraine and the United States face many of the same cyber threats and share certain interests. To discuss these challenges, as well as the opportunities they present for cooperation on joint goals, the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security in cooperation with the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States will convene an International Cybersecurity Leaders Forum on Wednesday, February 7th, 2018. Keynote remarks --- by Dmytro Shymkiv, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine; and by U.S. Congressman Brendan Boyle (confirmed, subject to votes), Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Sponsor of H.R. 1997 - Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act of 2017 --- will be followed by a panel of experts.   Opening Remarks: Frank J. Cilluffo - Director Center for Cyber & Homeland Security; Ambassador Valeriy Chaly - Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States; Dr. Leo M. Chalupa - Vice President for Research, The George Washington University.   Keynote Remarks Featuring: Dmytro Shymkiv - Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Former Head of Microsoft Ukraine; Congressman Brendan Boyle (D-PA) (confirmed, subject to votes) - Member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs Sponsor of H.R. 1997 - Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act of 2017. New Speaker Added: Robert Strayer - Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy, Department of State   Followed by a Panel Discussion: Oleh Derevianko, Co-Founder and Chairman, Information Systems Security Partners (Kyiv, Ukraine); Co-Founder and President, Kyiv Cyber Academy Former Deputy Minister and Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Education and Science, Ukraine Bob Flores, Former Chief Technology Officer, Central Intelligence Agency Junaid Islam, Chief Technology Officer and President, Vidder, Inc. Scott McCormick, Chief Technology Officer, Alchemy Data Matthew Murray, International Lawyer Specializing in National Security Affairs Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Europe, the Middle East and Africa   Panel Moderator: Aleks Mehrle - President, UGTI Inc.

"Exports of it services in Ukraine 7% up in 2017"

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"Ukraine among world leaders in blockchain innovation – Justice Ministry"

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5 February, 2018

"Ukraine-EU agricultural products turnover grew by 31% in 2017"

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"Google LLC (Kyiv) sees 75% rise in revenue from advertisement in Ukraine"

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3 February, 2018

"Cyber forces to be created in the ranks of Ukraine’s Armed Forces – National Defense Council Secretary"

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"Company from Ukrainian Solar Systems launches 16 MW solar plant in Zaporizhia region"

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2 February, 2018

"Ukraine House Davos succeeds, gives hope for new investment"

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"Ukraine to participate in China International Import Expo - Xinhua"

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1 February, 2018
ALEKS MEHRLE President of UGTI Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook   Join me and my colleagues in Washington, DC at George Washington University at 10am on February 7 by registering at the "Register Here" link below. Please also note an update to the agenda. Robert L. Strayer, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy at the US Department of State will join Dmytro Shymkiv, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine and Congressman Brendan Boyle (D-PA) (confirmed subject to votes) Member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs Sponsor of H.R. 1997 - Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act of 2017 in making a keynote remark.   International Cybersecurity Leaders Forum: The U.S.-Ukraine Cybersecurity Partnership Ukraine and the United States face many of the same cyber threats and share certain interests. To discuss these challenges, as well as the opportunities they present for cooperation on joint goals, the Center for Cyber & Homeland Security in cooperation with the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States will convene an International Cybersecurity Leaders Forum on Wednesday, February 7th, 2018. Keynote remarks --- by Dmytro Shymkiv, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine; and by U.S. Congressman Brendan Boyle (confirmed, subject to votes), Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Sponsor of H.R. 1997 - Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act of 2017 --- will be followed by a panel of experts.   Opening Remarks: Frank J. Cilluffo - Director Center for Cyber & Homeland Security; Ambassador Valeriy Chaly - Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States; Dr. Leo M. Chalupa - Vice President for Research, The George Washington University.   Keynote Remarks Featuring: Dmytro Shymkiv - Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine Former Head of Microsoft Ukraine; Congressman Brendan Boyle (D-PA) (confirmed, subject to votes) - Member, House Committee on Foreign Affairs Sponsor of H.R. 1997 - Ukraine Cybersecurity Cooperation Act of 2017.   Followed by a Panel Discussion: Oleh Derevianko, Co-Founder and Chairman, Information Systems Security Partners (Kyiv, Ukraine); Co-Founder and President, Kyiv Cyber Academy Former Deputy Minister and Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Education and Science, Ukraine Bob Flores, Former Chief Technology Officer, Central Intelligence Agency Junaid Islam, Chief Technology Officer and President, Vidder, Inc. Scott McCormick, Chief Technology Officer, Alchemy Data Matthew Murray, International Lawyer Specializing in National Security Affairs Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Europe, the Middle East and Africa

"IMF representative predicts Ukraine's economy may grow by 3%-3.5% in 2018"

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"Italians ready to invest in infrastructure projects of Kyiv"

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31 January, 2018

"Results of 2017: Ukrainian airlines see 27.5% rise in passenger transportation, passenger flow at airports 27.6% up"

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"Canadian companies seek to invest in alternative power units in Luhansk region"

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30 January, 2018
DANIEL JEFFRIES Author at the Hacker Noon, futurist and thinker UGTI on Facebook Why Everyone Missed the Most Mind-Blowing Feature of Cryptocurrency There’s one incredible feature of cryptocurrencies that almost everyone seems to have missed, including Satoshi himself. But it’s there, hidden away, steadily gathering power like a hurricane far out to sea that’s sweeping towards the shore. It’s a stealth feature, one that hasn’t activated yet. But when it does it will ripple across the entire world, remaking every aspect of society. To understand why, you just have to understand a little about the history of money.   The Ascent of Money Money is power. Nobody knew this better than the kings of the ancient world. That’s why they gave themselves an absolute monopoly on minting moolah. They turned shiny metal into coins, paid their soldiers and their soldiers bought things at local stores. The king then sent their soldiers to the merchants with a simple message: “Pay your taxes in this coin or we’ll kill you.” That’s almost the entire history of money in one paragraph. Coercion and control of the supply with violence, aka the “violence hack.” The one hack to rule them all. When power passed from monarchs to nation-states, distributing power from one strongman to a small group of strongmen, the power to print money passed to the state. Anyone who tried to create their own money got crushed. The reason is simple: Centralized enemies are easy to destroy with a “decapitation attack.” Cut off the head of the snake and that’s the end of anyone who would dare challenge the power of the state and its divine right to create coins. That’s what happened to e-gold in 2008, one of the first attempts to create an alternative currency. Launched in 1996, by 2004 it had over a million accounts and at its peak in 2008 it was processing over $2 billion dollars worth of transactions. The US government attacked the four leaders of the system, bringing charges against them for money laundering and running an “unlicensed money transmitting” business in the case “UNITED STATES of America v. E-GOLD, LTD, et al.” It destroyed the company by bankrupting the founders. Even with light sentences for the ring leaders, it was game over. Although the government didn’t technically shut down e-gold, practically it was finished. “Unlicensed” is the key word in their attack. The power to grant a license is monopoly power. E-gold was free to apply for interstate money transmitting licenses. It’s just they were never going to get them. And of course that put them out of business. It’s a living, breathing Catch-22. And it works every time. Kings and nation states know the real golden rule: Control the money and you control the world. And so it’s gone for thousands and thousands of years. The very first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang (260–210 BC), abolished all other forms of local currency and introduced a uniform copper coin. That’s been the blueprint ever since. Eradicate alternative coins, create one coin to rule them all and use brutality and blood to keep that power at all costs. In the end, every system is vulnerable to violence. Well, almost every one.   The Hydra In decentralized systems, there is no head of the snake. Decentralized systems are a hydra. Cut off one head and two more pop-in to take its place. In 2008, an anonymous programmer, working in secret, figured out the solution to the violence hack once and for all when he wrote: “Governments are good at cutting off the heads of centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.” And the first decentralized system of money was born: Bitcoin. It was explicitly designed to resist coercion and control by centralized powers. Satoshi wisely remained anonymous for that very reason. He knew they would come after him because he was the symbolic head of Bitcoin. That’s what’s happened every time someone has come forward claiming to be Satoshi or when someone has been “outed” by the news media as Bitcoin’s mysterious creator. When fake Satoshi Craig Wright came out, Australian authorities immediately raided his house. The official reason is always spurious. The real reason is to cut off the head of the snake. As Bitcoin rises in value, the hunt for Satoshi will only intensify. He controls at least a million coins that have never moved from his original wallets. If VC Chris Dixon is right and Bitcoin rocket to $100,000 a coin, those million coins will shoot up to $100 billion. If it goes even higher, say a $1 million a coin, that would make him the world’s first trillionaire. And that will only bring the hammer down harder and faster on him. You can be 100% sure that black ops units would be gunning for him around the clock. Wherever he is, my advice to Satoshi is this: Stay anonymous until your death bed. But resistance to censorship and violence are only one of a number of incredible features of Bitcoin. Many of those key components are already at work in a number of other cryptocurrencies and decentralized app projects, most notably blockchains. Blockchains are distributed ledgers, the third entry in the world’s first triple-entry accounting system. And breakthroughs in accounting have always presaged a massive uptick in human complexity and economic growth, as I laid out in my article Why Everyone Missed the Most Important Invention in the Last 500 Years. But even triple-entry accounting, decentralization and resistance to the violence hack are not the true power of cryptocurrencies. Those are merely the mechanisms of the system, the way it survives and thrives, bringing new capabilities to the human race. The ultimate feature is one that Bitcoin and current cryptocurrencies have only hinted at so far, a latent feature. The true power of cryptocurrencies is the power to print and distribute money without a central power. Maybe that seems obvious, but I assure you, it’s not. Especially the second part. That power has always rested with the divine right of kings and nation-states. Until now. Now that right returns to its rightful owners: The people. nd that will blow open the doors of world commerce, sowing the seeds for Star Trek like abundance economics, leaving the Old World Order of pure scarcity economics in the pages of history books. There’s just one problem. Nobody has created the cryptocurrency we actually need just yet. You see, Satoshi understood the first part of the maxim, the power toprint money. What he missed was the power to distribute that money. The second part is actually the most crucial part of the puzzle. Missing it created a critical flaw in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Instead of distributing the money far and wide, it traded central bankers for an un-elected group of miners. These miners play havoc with the system, holding back much needed software upgrades like SegWit for years and threatening pointless hard forksin order to drive down the price with FUD and scoop up more coins at a depressed price. But what if there was a different way? What if you could design a system that would completely alter the economic landscape of the world forever? The key is how you distribute the money at the moment of creation. And the first group to recognize this opportunity and put it into action will change the world. To understand why you have to look at how money is created and pushed out into the system today.   The Great Pyramid Today, money starts at the top and flows down to everyone else. Think of it as a pyramid. In fact, we have a famous pyramid, with a third eye, on the dollar itself. One of the most cliched arguments against Bitcoin is that it’s a Ponzi or “pyramid” scheme. A pyramid scheme rests on the original creators of the system roping in as many suckers as possible, paying them for enrolling people in the system rather than by offering goods and services. Eventually you run out of people to bring in and the whole things collapses like a house of cards. A Ponzi scheme is basically the same, in that you dupe the original investors with fake returns on their initial investment, a la Bernie Madoff, and then get them to rope in more suckers because they’re so elated by the huge returns. The irony of course is that fiat currency, i.e. government printed money like the Yen or US dollar, is closer to a pyramid scheme than Bitcoin. Why? Because fiat money is minted at the top of the pyramid by central banks and then “trickled down” to everyone else. The only problem is, it doesn’t trickle down all that well. It moves out to a few big banks, who either lend it to people or give it to people for their labor. In fact, having a job or getting a loan are the primary methods that people at the bottom of the pyramid get any of the money. In other words, they trade their current time (with a job) or their future time (with a loan) for that money. It’s just that their time is a limited resource and they can only trade so much of it before it runs out. Think of economics as a game. Everyone in the system is a player, looking to maximize their advantage and the advantage of their team (a company, their family and friends, etc.) to get more of the money. But to start the game you need to initially distribute the money or nobody can play. Distributing money sets the playing field. Now if you were in charge of the money, how would you distribute it to the network? You’d want to keep as much of it for yourself as possible, so you’d set the rules to maximize your own personal advantage. Of course you would! That’s what anyone in their right mind would do, maximize their own power to keep it for as long as possible. That’s precisely what the kings and queens of the ancient world did, and that’s what nation states do today. As Naval Ravikant said in his epic series of tweets on blockchain, today’s networks are run by “kings, corporations, aristocracies, and mobs.” “And the Rulers of these networks [are] the most powerful people in society.” That’s why every single system in the history of the world has distributed the money in one way: From the top down. Because it maximizes the advantage of the kings and mobs at the top. Unfortunately, that means most of the money never really leaves the top. It stays right there, as wasted and frozen potential that’s never realized. There is little to no incentive for the money to move. Since money is power, hoarding it is literally hoarding more power and nobody would willingly give up that power. In other words, the game is rigged. What we need is a way to reset the game. Up until now, our prospects looked very dim. For example, we could pass a law, like a Universal Basic Income (UBI). That would give everyone a stream of money, pushing it out across the entire playing field and giving more people a chance to participate in the system. If more people can participate, we unlock all kinds of hidden and untapped value. How many great inventors never managed to create their next breakthrough because they were stuck driving a bus seven days a week to feed their family, with no hope of free time or any clear path to digging themselves out of debt? How many great writers went to their graves never having written their great novel? How many budding scientists never discovered the cure to cancer or heart disease? The problem with all of the plans before now, from UBI to socialism (high taxes on the rich to spread the wealth across the game) is that to redistribute the money after it’s already been distributed is nearly impossible. The people with that money rightfully resist its redistribution. And as Margret Thatcher said: “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” But what if the money is NOT already distributed? What if we don’t have to take it from anyone at all? That’s the missed opportunity of all of today’s cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are creating new money. And unlike credit markets, which only pretend to expand the money supply, by lending it out 10x with fractional reserve lending, cryptocurrencies are literally printing money. And they aren’t loaning it to people, they’re giving it to them for their service to the network. It’s like microloans, without the loans. As Naval said: “Society gives you money for giving society what it wants, blockchains give you coins for giving the network what it wants.” So instead of giving all the money to a small group of miners, what if we could do better? A lot better? We can. I outlined one way in the an article about the Cicada project, How We Deliver a Universal Basic Income Right Now and Save Ourselves from the Robots. The Cicada design flips the idea of mining on its head. Everyone on the network is a miner and nobody can have more than one miner. Miners are drafted randomly to keep the network running smoothly. You might be walking along, getting coffee and your phone gets called on to secure the network for a few minutes. After that it goes right back to sleep. As a reward, you might win new coins for doing nothing but having the application on your phone. Simple right? Because everyone is eventually drafted, everyone gets paid, in essence creating a UBI right now. And that’s just one way. If you think about it you can come up with dozens. Oh and don’t get caught up with thinking the only way to do this is with an ID. Lots of ways to randomly draft miners without that too. The key is to free your mind of the “Satoshi box” and think different. What we really need is to completely gamify the delivery of money, distributing it far and wide at the moment of creation. Give it out as rewards for using apps, or as distributed mining fees, or as shared cuts of the mining fees to organizations that provide value to the network are just a few more ways to do it right. Those are just the tip of the iceberg. There are thousands of ways but we just haven’t been thinking about the problem the right way. In other words, we missed the real power of Satoshi’s creation: the distribution of money. The first system that truly gamifies the delivery of money will rocket to exponential growth, upending the current system for good. That will set the initial playing field dynamically and allow players who never would have gotten into the game to compete. The more people who can participate, the more efficient and valuable the network becomes. “Networks have “network effects.” Adding a new participant increases the value of the network for all existing participants.” Right now, we’re not adding new participants fast enough to the cryptonets of tomorrow. The system is still vulnerable to the violence hack. Gamified money is the answer to exponential growth. If the system can grow large enough, fast enough, it will become an unstoppable juggernaut, and the rest of the economic universe will need to come over to the new playing field. Once the Amazons and Google’s of the world join the playing field, their self-preservation instinct will kick in and they’ll want to protect and expand it. And this new network will behave differently. Instead of rewarding just the people at the top, who’ve been rigging the rules in their favor since the beginning of time, the game will completely reset with a new set of rules. What’s best for the whole network, not just the few players at the top, is best. “Blockchains are a new invention that allows meritorious participants in an open network to govern without a ruler and without money. They are merit-based, tamper-proof, open, voting systems. The meritorious are those who work to advance the network. Blockchains’ open and merit based markets can replace networks previously run by kings, corporations, aristocracies, and mobs.” Those that join the network and help it grow will thrive and flourish with it. It will amplify their own value, making it grow faster than at any point in history. Every ounce they give to the system will magnify their own rewards. By cоntrast, economies that stand against the network, attempting to cripple it with arbitrary rules, will pay a heavy price. The system will stretch across the globe and only the most essential rules will take root, because in order to upgrade a distributed system, you need vast consensus across the network. Since people can generally only agree on big, essential solutions, no self-defeating, narrow-minded rules will be allowed. Let’s say that a country decides to restrict ICOs to their citizens altogether or make cryptocurrencies illegal. Instead of killing the network, the rules will blow back on their creators. Only their own people will suffer, as they won’t be able to participate in the explosion of new potential that ICOs bring to the table, draining money out of the economy into rival economies. Even worse, if they make cryptos illegal, they’ll simply drive that money underground, which will keep them from getting tax from their citizens, which will starve them of revenue. As the system spreads it will put people back in control of their own financial power. No one will be able to take your money from you. And that is a good thing. Of course, not everyone thinks so. Some folks always worry that people will do bad things with this power, like commit crimes. But people will always do bad things. They do those things now and they always have. Crippling the system for everyone just to get those people is the height of insanity. It has never worked and it never will. Still, some people will never believe that. They trust their central powers unquestioningly. All you have to do is wrap up your argument in “protecting the children” or “fighting terrorism” and you can generally fool half of the people half of the time about any terrible policy you want. Yet I’ve found that people who see central systems as the answer to everything have usually lived in a stable central system for their whole lives. A few days in an unstable system would change their minds very quickly. Don’t believe me? Imagine you lived in Syria right now. Your central infrastructure is destroyed, as is your money. You don’t want the war, but there’s nothing you can do about it. Now your house is gone, your friends and family are dead, your banks are bombed out and you’re cast out, adrift, homeless and penniless. Even worse, nobody wants you. The world has shifted from open borders to building walls everywhere. You’re not welcome anywhere, you can’t stay where you are and you’re broke. But what if your money was still there, recorded on the blockchain, waiting for you to download and restore a deterministic wallet and give it the right passphrase to restore it? How much easier would it be to start your life over? Cryptocurrencies finally offer a way for us to control our own destiny. For the very first time in the history of the world, we have a way to generate and distribute money without a central power. People will have control over the money they rightfully earned. And even better, instead of setting the playing field so the game is always rigged, we can set the game up the way it was always meant to be played, with open competition and flexible rules in a dynamic system that allows everyone to compete. But we need to think big. We need to find a way to distribute the money far and wide without taking it from everyone else. Do that and we change the game forever.     Sourse: https://hackernoon.com/why-everyone-missed-the-most-mind-blowing-feature-of-cryptocurrency-860c3f25f1fb

"Three Ukrainian startups become winners of 2017 Golden Kitty Awards"

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"Finland invests EUR 6 mln in development of ‘green’ projects in Ukraine"

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29 January, 2018

"Qatar interested in infrastructure projects in Ukraine"

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"AIS entering USED commercial electric vehicle market"

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27 January, 2018

"IMF mission can come to Ukraine in mid-February"

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"Petro Poroshenko sure Ukraine will soon enter top 50 in doing business rating"

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26 January, 2018

"First 4G tender to be held on Jan 31"

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"Ukraine raises electricity exports by 28.6% in 2017"

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25 January, 2018
TIMUR CHMERUK Entrepreneur, partner of the international investment company "Base capital management" UGTI on Facebook Globalization of world economy and Ukraine's place in it The logic of the world market development determines the expediency of each country's participation in the processes of globalization and integration into the world economy. In order for enterprises to participate in the formation of an international economic structure and be competitive, they simply must be under the constant influence of foreign competition. Today, everyone is talking about globalization processes in the world, but what is globalization? This phenomenon is characterized by an increase in the influence of various international factors on the social reality of individual states. Particularly interesting is the impact of globalization on the economy, which is manifested incorporations of a transnational type that function effectively in different parts of the earth and actively take advantage of new historical conditions. Globalization stimulates the strengthening of the interconnection and uniqueness of people, as well as of civilization as a whole. However, in addition to the positive aspects, there are also a number of factors that are alarming. Some scholars suggest that the role of transnational organizations will soon be so great that it can cast doubt on the existence of individual nation states. Therefore, what are the threats of globalization regarding the economy, and how can it improve the economic system of the world? Many experts have great hopes connected with globalization in the field of solving complex economic problems. First and foremost, this is the alignment of the economic situation in the world, the improvement of production, the use of high-quality equipment, the exchange of essential products, the improvement of foreign trade, the effective management of finances, the growth of the well-being of the population in countries provided by a common economic system and the absence of a deficit. But there is also the opposite viewpoint, with which antiglobalists act, actively criticizing any processes of globalization. However, everyone agrees that globalization has opened a new stage in world economic relations. The logic of the world market development determines the expediency of each country's participation in the processes of globalization and integration into the world economy. In order for enterprises to participate in the formation of an international economic structure and be competitive, they simply have to be under the constant influence of foreign competition. Despite this, the problems that globalization engenders are also inevitable. Thus, the globalization of the economy in the modern world faces one serious problem. All the leading positions in the world are already occupied by the states that are members of the "Big Seven". It is their share of not less than 12% of the total population of the planet and about 60-70% of world GDP. They play a decisive role in organizations such as the IMF and the World Bank, the WTO and OECD. The G7 countries form the epicenter of globalization processes, the so-called core of the world economy. Two dozen countries managed to join a group of leaders, establish fruitful and mutually beneficial cooperation with them and are actively developing. The consequences of globalization are not only the clash of cultures but also their dense intertwining. For the West, which has always been ahead, the process of globalization offers quite broad prospects and universal opportunities. All other countries were forced to choose between dependence, isolation, and modernization. With the growth of globalization processes, inequalities between states will also grow, which can lead to the emergence of new conflicts. Therefore, the negative consequences are obvious: developed countries will become even richer, and the poor ones even poorer, as a result of which the gap between them will only increase. According to statistics, only a small part of the population, in particular about 14% of the inhabitants of the Western world, benefit from the processes of globalization. The most negative consequences of this process will be felt by countries with the lowest level of development. There will be a demarcation of society in the economic sphere, a sharp increase of unemployment rate, which is caused by the use of innovative technologies and the introduction of robotization. It is known that with the introduction of technology, the need for a large number of workers is reduced: high-tech equipment simply replaces them.   Future of Ukraine  The globalization of the world economy is not only the formation of a free system of world trade. It is also a process of the rapid development of the productive forces, which requires a new type of production relations not only in a single country but on a global scale. Attempts to limit access of foreign goods to the domestic market by administrative methods or create non-market advantages for their own producers will inevitably provoke a similar reaction from the governments of other countries. In addition, under these circumstances, the government, most likely, will not have the opportunity and motivation to implement those measures that would ensure the competitiveness of domestic producers' products in foreign markets. The liberal model of world trade is determined by the level of technologies and financial instruments that we have today. But creating a great opportunity, the liberal model of the economy forms its very strict rules of the game not in a separate country, but at the global level: either competition or forced bankruptcy. But this is the bankruptcy of not a single enterprise, but whole countries that are slowly but steadily degrading - they are left by citizens who travel around the world in search of a better life. This, unfortunately, is happening today in Ukraine. In order for Ukraine to survive as an independent state, we must do everything to create a competitive economy in our country, both in terms of production costs and in terms of investment attractiveness. At the same time, it is worthwhile to be realistic and to realize that today we have a limited number of advantages that can ensure the competitiveness of Ukrainian economy. In my opinion, it is the raw material structure of Ukrainian economy is the main factor that creates extreme dependence on external influences. It should be recognized that the state of Ukrainian economy and public finances, the level of salaries and the welfare of millions of Ukrainian citizens depend on the prices of raw materials on world markets during the last twenty years. Domestic raw oligarchs are objectively not interested in increasing the salaries and incomes of the population, in the development of the domestic market, because in this case the profitability of their business with obsolete, unmodernized enterprises will decrease. That is why Ukrainian enterprises need to modernize, improve production and quality of products. The state should invest in the development of innovations and technologies, because without this we will continue to lag behind the developed economies of the world, and then we can simply turn into a bankrupt state.     Sourse: https://112.international/article/globalization-of-world-economy-and-ukraines-place-in-it-24663.html

"Foreign investors show large interest in Ukraine House in Davos"

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"Nibulon invests $6 mln in agrimachinery since start of 2018"

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24 January, 2018

"Electric car production in Ukraine four times more profitable than in Germany"

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"Antonov Airlines opens office in Houston"

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23 January, 2018
ALEKS MEHRLE President of UGTI Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook Cybersecurity – Why the US And Ukraine Are Cooperating Hromadske Radio (Ukrainian for "Public Radio"), a Ukrainian non-governmental and nonprofit media organization, which aims to create an independent radio broadcasting in Ukraine, recently published an interview on the topic of US-Ukraine cybersecurity cooperation with me and my colleagues Junaid Islam and Stephen Browne. Please have a read and listen in the original English at the first link below or dubbed into Ukrainian at the second link below.     Read more: https://hromadskeradio.org/en/programs/ukraine-calling/cybersecurity-why-the-us-and-ukraine-are-cooperating   Читати: https://hromadskeradio.org/programs/hromadska-hvylya/novyy-etap-spivpraci-u-kiberbezpeci-mizh-ukrayincyamy-ta-amerykancyamy

"EBRD invests EUR 800 mln in Ukraine in 2017"

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"UIA increased passenger traffic by 16.4% in 2017"

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22 January, 2018

"Strategic Advisors group head: FDI should be attracted to Ukraine"

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"Ukraine House opens at World Economic Forum in Davos"

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20 January, 2018

"CMU Has Approved the Concept and Action Plan for Development of Digital Economy in Ukraine until 2020"

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"Ukraine to consider possibility of training highly sought industrial staff according to high German standards"

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19 January, 2018

"Trade between Ukraine, Germany rises by 21.5% in 2017"

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"Poroshenko, Trump to meet at World Economic Forum in Davos"

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18 January, 2018
BERMET TALANT Journalist at the Kyiv Post UGTI on Facebook Key business developments ahead for Ukraine in 2018 Here are the Kyiv Post’s picks for some of the most exciting deals and events coming in the first half of 2018:   4G spectrum auction The faster 4G — a dream for Ukrainian mobile operators and their customers — may soon come true. The state regulator finally set the date for the auction on the 1800 MHz spectrum, which includes the frequency ranges between 1710–1785 MHz and 1805–1880 MHz. The auction is scheduled for Feb. 26. Ukraine launched 3G only three years, more than a decade behind European Union countries. But local providers — Kyivstar, lifecell, and Vodafone — are ready to roll out 4G.   New link with Europe The Beskydy railway tunnel connecting Ukraine with Europe will be open in May, Ukraine state railway company Ukrzaliznytsya announced. The 1,822-meter long tunnel is a section of the fifth Pan-European transport corridor connecting western Ukraine with Italy, Slovenia, Hungary and Slovakia. It will boost Ukraine’s trade capacity with the European Union. ...     Sourse: https://www.kyivpost.com/business/key-business-developments-ahead-ukraine-2018.html

"Ukrainian Pivdenmash to supply 20 engines under European space agency program"

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"Ukrainian DTEK orders 26 wind turbines from General Electric"

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17 January, 2018

"Canadian, U.S. defense ministers discuss support for Ukraine"

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"Foreign Minister of Ukraine sees increased interest in Ukraine from German businessmen"

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16 January, 2018
MONICA GREEN Author, Technological geek UGTI on Facebook Bitcoin Gains More Popularity in Ukraine Ukraine is considered as an immensely important region for both Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Although we barely take notice of this Eastern European country, fascinating things are transpiring there. For the moment, the local government is working on some sort of regulation about the current issue. However, it may still take quite a while, a few months or so, until that happens. Two of the most Google-searched words in the country right now are “Bitcoin” and “Mining.” Not totally shocking, considering the country’s access to relatively cheap electricity. Ukraine is about to play a huge role in the future of cryptocurrency. A good example of this is the fact that there is already a thriving Bitcoin and altcoin community. Moreover, local legislators are now taking steps on introducing regulations for cryptocurrency, which of course is not going to be a walk in the park. At present, the general public is expressing their approval of cryptocurrency in various ways. In 2017 alone, searches for the terms Bitcoin and Mining are unprecedented. This is quite fascinating since many people do not view Ukraine as a top Bitcoin mining hub.   Bitcoin thrives in Ukraine On the other hand, there is the accessibility to cheap electricityin the country. For anyone planning to put up a Bitcoin or altcoin mining operation, Ukraine is worth exploring. This positive momentum also benefits the local residents, as they can earn a lot from their mining activities. This extra revenue is direly needed since the country is undergoing massive inflation. This predicament has been worsening since 2013 with prices for basic necessities keep going high. Paying 18% more for basic needs like food, compared to one year ago is never a good sign. As of the moment, it is still quite uncertain whether Ukraine will implement a Bitcoin and altcoins regulation. While the government has every intention of doing so, it is still uncertain if they can successfully do it. There is a very small difference between regulation and innovation. This is particularly true when dealing with cryptocurrencies no matter what part of the world you are. However, there has yet to be an official guideline regarding this matter. Nevertheless, this situation may still change in the coming months. As long as Bitcoin lingers in the gray area, things look relatively positive for the world’s top cryptocurrency. More particularly, the Ukrainian government has to consider a number of legislative proposals. Although a draft legalizing cryptocurrencies received a positive feedback, nothing is definitely sure. Presenting legal definitions of cryptocurrencies in every possible situation would require a lot of time and effort. It will be entertaining to wait and see how this will conclude in this part of the globe. It is definitely possible Ukraine will set an example for most Eastern European countries regardless of the outcome of this regulatory fiasco.     Sourse: https://www.coinwire.com/bitcoin-gains-more-popularity-in-ukraine

"Ukraine to speed up attraction of investments in renewable energy with International Renewable Energy Agency"

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"SPF to lease site of 60,000 sq m in Chornobyl to build solar power plant"

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15 January, 2018

"Britain notes Ukraine's success in global data openness ratings"

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"U.S. ready to help Ukraine create Financial Intelligence Service"

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13 January, 2018

"Canadian TIU builds 10.5 MW solar power plant in Dnipropetrovsk region"

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"IFC invests EUR 30 mln in Ukrainian packaging firm"

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12 January, 2018

"Ukraine’s Antonov applies for U.S. permit to haul SpaceX's oversized cargo"

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"Ukraine's increased cooperation with China - major 2017 achievement - ministry"

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11 January, 2018
ANNA KYSLYTSKA Analyst at Internews Ukraine and UkraineWorld UGTI on Facebook Business is cautiously optimistic about Ukraine, though many problems still remain As the third year of reforms in Ukraine draws to a close, current and potential international investors are calculating risks with an eye on the economy failures and revealed political liabilities, including the recent slowdown in anti-corruption reform, not to mention the ongoing Russian-provoked war in Eastern Ukraine. Investors are giving it a shot for the robust IT sector and the massive energy resources market and agriculture, as their numbers have been growing slowly but steadily since 2015. According to the survey conducted by the Dragon Capital and the European Business Association, the share of foreign investors who decided to invest in Ukraine or were actively seeking business opportunities in the country has increased: 40% and 22% in 2017 compared to 37% and 18% in 2016 of all investors in Ukraine, respectively. For those companies already investing in Ukraine, this year was marked by little, yet important, achievements of the government. They included the openness of state data, steps noticed in deregulation, the development of electronic services (in particular, the electronic system of VAT refunds), simplification of the procedure for obtaining permits for building construction, a moratorium on inspections, easing of currency control, establishment of the institution of private performers, the adoption of the law on squeeze-out (on minority shareholders). As the Executive Director of the European Business Association, Anna Derevyanko, notes, the year started quite successfully for many industries: “During the past 6 months our member companies registered the government’s special attention towards the development of innovation, IT and creative economy, capacity building, the opening of additional research centers and terminals, expansion or consolidation of networks.” Gradual economic growth is noted by the EBRD, which is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. According to the November report, Ukraine maintained positive dynamics in the first half of 2017, growing by 2.5% year-on-year in the first quarter and by an estimated 2.3% year-on-year in the second quarter. The EBRD forecast for the Ukrainian economy’s growth was 2% in 2017 and 3% in 2018. These are quite promising numbers against the 12% decline in 2015, 6.8% decline in 2014 and zero growth in 2013: “Ukraine has done more to reform its economy in the last 3-4 years after the Euromaidan revolution than it did in the previous 22 years,” says The World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine, Satu Kahkonen. The country“adopted decisive reforms in response to the deep economic crisis in 2014 and 2015. These reforms have helped stabilise the economy, reduce macroeconomic imbalances and produce modest economic growth.” The Doing Business 2018 Report shows positive but slow changes where Ukraine occupies 76th place, rising by four positions since the previous year. However, the component indicators vary significantly: receiving loans, resolving insolvency, enforcing contracts, cross-border trading and getting electricity is close to or below the level of 100 out of a possible 190. These results are not very encouraging: for Ukraine to rise in the rating and catch up with at least its neighbours it has to grow by 20-30 positions a year. The Ministry of Economic Development has estimated that ten points in the ranking are equivalent to about 1 billion dollars in additional annual inflow of investment into the economy. Dmytro Shimkiv, the Deputy Chief of the Administration of the President of Ukraine, recently told UNIAN news agency that investors are primarily interested not in the actual position of countries, but rapid and spectacular growth. Satu Kahkonen says that the current growth of 2% is not enough to make a significant difference: “After a deep economic crisis, the catch-up growth during recovery is typically much higher—a multiple of what we are observing today in Ukraine”. Ms Kahkonen names critical steps for reducing risks for domestic and foreign investors: “the strengthening of impartial and transparent enforcement of the rule of law and anti-corruption measures, further streamlining procedures for permits, licenses, and inspections, as well as increasing the use of electronic solutions, and strengthening enforcement of competition legislation to level the playing field between the private sector and state-owned companies.” According to a survey by Dragon Capital, investors suggest that the Ukrainian government should focus on productive anti-corruption activities, ensuring the rule of law for law-enforcement agencies, reforming the judicial system and, notably, the timely implementation of the IMF program. At the same time, the continuous support of the EBRD and the World Bank gives investors good signs for investing in Ukraine. In June 2017, the World Bank Group Board endorsed the new 5-year Country Partnership Framework for Ukraine. “At the moment, we are preparing a new Development Policy Operation to support the adoption and implementation of key policy reforms to accelerate economic growth and bring public services to people,” says Ms Kahkonen. The World Bank is also waiting for land reform to “move forward with support to agricultural, land and irrigation development to help tap Ukraine’s potential,” adds Ms Kahkonen. It is too early to draw the year balance, yet the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine delivered the results of the 6-month period. According to the report for January-June 2017, foreign investors from 75 countries of the world invested $711.2 million worth of direct investment in the economy of Ukraine, which is 1.9 times less than for the same period in 2016. Slow economic growth and reform implementation make investors act more carefully, but don’t drive them away. According to the Ukraine Investment Promotion Office’s UkraineInvest quarterly report, Ukrainian regions are becoming more attractive for investors in the agribusiness, energy, infrastructure, and manufacturing sectors. That is, Western Ukraine is becoming one of the most extensive automobile parts manufacturing clusters in Eastern Europe, a wood processing cluster is being raised in Zhytomyr, agro-processing and port logistics are evolving in Mykolayiv and Kherson Regions, while energy and manufacturing clusters are opening in Eastern Ukraine. As local investments retain the flow and the traditionally strong national sectors of agriculture and energy demonstrate rising productivity, the country continues its fight for a better tomorrow.     Sourse: http://euromaidanpress.com/2018/01/05/business-is-cautiously-optimistic-about-ukraine-though-many-problems-still-remain/

"Ukraine's central bank mulls introduction of blockchain-based e-hryvnia"

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"Kyiv airport boosts passenger traffic by 64.2% in 2017"

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10 January, 2018

"World Bank retains stable outlook for growth in Ukraine until 2020"

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"Ukraine raises exports of titanium ore by 26% in 2017"

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9 January, 2018
ALEKS MEHRLE President of UGTI Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook Aleks Mehrle Letter to the Editor of Fletcher Magazine Thank you Fletcher Magazine for publishing my letter to the editor commenting on the fantastic article by Heather Stephenson titled "The Reformers" and published in the Summer 2017 issue. Please enjoy the Winter 2017 edition of Fletcher Magazine in which you can find my letter to the editor on page 2.     Link: https://issuu.com/fletchermagazinespring2015/docs/fletcher_magazine_winter_2017_no_cl

"Ukraine sees 54.9% rise in revenue from exports of electricity in 2017"

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"Ukraine’s local budgets to receive 100% of proceeds from single tax paid by farmers"

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8 January, 2018

"Govt permits biofarma plasma to export blood preparations in 2018"

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"Pope urges international community not to forget about conflict in Ukraine"

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6 January, 2018

"Ukraine looking for unconventional, liberal solutions to improve investment climate, boost economic growth"

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"Ukraine's international reserves increased by 21% for past year - NBU"

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5 January, 2018

"FTA with Turkey is Ukraine’s key priority for 2018 – ambassador"

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"West should create fund for Ukraine with $6 bln per year - Carpenter"

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4 January, 2018
ANDRIY KOLODYUK Founder and Managing Partner of AVentures Capital UGTI on Facebook Ukraine shall become global “IT and crypto-offshore” Ukraine is the only world’s country that managed to create 100% private IT field. This is because the state steered almost clear of this process. Now we have the chance to become the global platform in the field of ICO and blockchain. The only thing that shall be done by the state is not to bother. The market will regulate itself. De jure, all the Ukrainian business is in the offshore zones. According to various estimates, up to 75% of Ukrainian export is crossing over through offshore companies. $5 bln. is siphoned off every year through offshore jurisdictions. Startups are no exception – on frequent occasions they are incorporated outside the territory Ukraine, but for some other reasons. If company is aimed at global market, then it has nothing to do, but to open its sales offices across the globe and to be registered there. Or, this shall be done in core target markets, at least. Thus, the companies, whose major customers are located is the States – legal entities in the USA – is the only condition for them to handle selling there. This is the distinctive feature not for the Ukrainian startups only. Offshore scheme provides business with an opportunity to pay less taxes by legal means. On the other hand, offshore gets extra revenues. But how Ukraine, whose companies are currently being registered in offshore zones, may “make profit” of this situation? For many consecutive years I stand for the idea as follows: we shall stop blaming offshores and shall become IT-offshore. As soon as this is done, we will raise investments. Let’s get a view of Cyprus, for instance. In these latter days, it is making concentrated efforts to attract IT-business, and we could compete with it. Just a very short while ago, everyone was discussing the innovations introdused by Belarus. Upon completion of ten-year long experiment with the Innovation Park, one decree was adopted in the country. This decree makes Belarus IT and crypto-offshore in the public eye. This initiative may become a magnet that will boost the inflow of investments. However, this is also a threat for the CIS market (Ukraine, Russia, etc.): some business entities may move to Belarus in search for more comfortable conditions, since it is much more easier and simpler compared to Cyprus or the USA. I will repeat myself and say that this will be a major threat for us when business departs from Ukraine. Our only remedy is to create similar competitive conditions in the short run. We have been working for a long time to turn Ukraine into “global IT/crypto offshore” favorable for global IT companies operation not only de jure, but de facto as well. Some time ago our Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA) has established Blockchain Committee, whose goal is very simple: for the ICO to be performed in Ukraine as the investment raising tool. We work with the government, with the Cabinet of Ministers, for instance. We show the opportunities and arrive at a consensus. Those, who work in top corner offices, already know what bitcoin stands for. But we shall switch from perception to market evolution conditions arrangement. What conditions we are talking about. We need no special legislation for ICO or benefits for blockchain-projects implementation. From a legal perspective, the coast is clear for the ICO to be conducted in Ukraine. I believe that Ukraine will soon make its first transaction. For Ukraine to become “Cyprus for ICO-projects”, the state shall conduct hands-off policy and shall let the market regulate itself – by efforts of the community and such industrial groups as UVCA Committee, Bitcoin Foundation, etc. Therefore, our message to the state is very simple: it just so happened, that you did not help IT guys and now this is the third branch of Ukrainian economy. Therefore, at the very least, please stay out of the way of further development (though, nevertheless we’d really appreciate if someone helps us). Ukraine is the only country that managed to create 100% private IT field. I’m saying this all over the earth, and, I’d go as far as saying, this blows the mind. The state shares the same message too from its own part. When the Minister of Economic Affairs declares that IT is the third our field as to the export, everyone understands that this is true. All the member state of the European Union, Israel, Silicon Valley – their IT field was initiated and supported using the state funds, taxpayers’ funds. I will tell how does the self-regulation occurs, using UVCA as an example. We do not accept to our Association anyone who feels like it. If investor having high money but ill fame comes to us, we give him a cold shoulder. In precisely this way the self-regulation works: it chops off those, who may do damage to ecosystem and to the market. Every investor has both “black list” of startups that will never be invested by him for some reason or another and the list of investors, not suitable for syndications. Other regulation may take place under existing laws. This is a normal practice. If someone has stolen something from you via ICO, then general legislation will sort this out. We promote Ukraine abroad as a new technology partner. We are talking about the economics and about the new place of Ukraine in the global capital allocation. “Ukraine is your partner, and that’s why…”. We do not fooling around with a begging bowl, just the other way round – we show our personal example. Portfolio of our AVentures Capital has 12 companies. Almost all of them, except for us, have international investors, who were taken on not without our contribution. We invest by ourselves and invite others to do so. Personal example is the best signal for international investors. During the World Economic Forum, which will traditionally take place in January in Davos, we will organize Ukrainian House for the first time. As I mentioned before, its goal is to represent Ukraine as a new technology partner. Our broad topic: “Ukraine: creativity, innovations, opportunities” we will show the investment opportunities in Ukrainian IT to the worldwide leaders of business, technology, and investments. We hold nearly 10 various events in Davos to tell as much as it is possible about the opportunities in Ukraine, such as investment panel discussion, AgroTech panel discussion, “Kyiv city as a global Tech Hub” panel discussion, etc. Ukrainian House shall become the unique place for bilateral meetings of startups and world-class venture capital persons from across the world. Moreover, we separate panel discussions dedicated to ICO and crypto currencies “Where is crypto-harbor’s future” and “Is Blockchain safe enough to become the Internet 2.0”. We want to present Ukraine as the place for ICO conduction and to explain the distinguishing features of regulation and non regulation of this field in Ukraine. “Ukraine is the place where ICO of global company may be made,” – this is our message to the whole world, and it would be nice if the state could be the bearer of this idea on the world stage. Ukrainian House will become the chance of a lifetime to show vivid and dynamic European country – Ukraine, and to show people, who live in it and create global innovative companies.     Sourse: https://innovationhouse.org.ua/en/columns/ukrayne-nuzhno-stat-myrovym-it-y-kryptoofshorom/

"Leader of Ukrainian auto market Toyota raises sales by 26% in 2017"

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"Fiscal revenue of Ukraine's consolidated budget almost 27% up in 2017"

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3 January, 2018

"Ukrenergo will implement ERP system based on Microsoft platform"

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"Some 31,000 successful tenders to procure medicines in ProZorro system held in 2017"

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2 January, 2018
HENRY SHTERENBERG CEO & Founder Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook Happy New Year Ukraine! On behalf of UGTI team around the world, we would like to wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2018. We made a lot of progress in last 12 months, so did Ukraine. All signs are pointing to a breakthrough year for Ukraine in 2018. Things will change and they will change for the better. During this time of year, we all take time to reflect back and look into the future. None of us can change the past but we can definitely impact the future. Me and my partner Aleks Mehrle, done a great deal to promote positives about Ukraine and the opportunities Ukraine represents to investors and strategic partners world-wide. We are looking to do much more in 2018. Our focus for 2018 would be primarily on execution of projects related to Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure and Alternative Energy in Ukraine. We want to thank all of our readers and supporters. We are looking forward working much closer with a lot of you in 2018. Happy New Year!

"Ukraine tops ratings of largest gainers in ease of doing business since 2010 – FT"

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"Energy Efficiency Fund begins its work in Ukraine"

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1 January, 2018

"Japan simplifies visa requirements for Ukrainians from January 1"

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"EBRD to provide EUR 150 mln loan for modernization of Dolynska-Mykolaiv-Kolosivka railway track"

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30 December, 2017

"Bloomberg: Stocks of Ukrainian companies are most profitable in 2017"

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"Ukrainian agro-industrial complex will gain record government support in 2018"

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29 December, 2017

"Ukrgazvydobuvannia announces tender for drilling another 42 wells for UAH 6.3 bln"

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"Ukraine expands industrial rocket building cooperation with south-eastern Asian countries"

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28 December, 2017

"About 2,000 ESCO projects can be implemented in Ukraine in 2018 – Savchuk"

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"EBRD issues EUR25 mln loan to MHP to build biogas plant"

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27 December, 2017

"Poroshenko signs law on Ukraine's accession to International Renewable Energy Agency"

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"EBRD issues EUR25 mln loan to MHP to build biogas plant"

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26 December, 2017

"Borschahivsky Chemical Plant wins UNDP tender on oncohematology due to well-balanced price offer"

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"Ukrainian exports grow by 20% in 2017"

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25 December, 2017

"Canada will help implement world standards of strategic planning at Ukraine's Cabinet"

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"Experts presented to the President a draft law on the Anticorruption court that will be submitted to the Parliament"

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23 December, 2017

"Economy ministry estimates Ukraine's GDP growth at 2.3% in Jan-Sept 2017"

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"PM Groysman expects defense industry to drive Ukrainian economy in 2018"

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22 December, 2017

"Ukraine’s exports to Canada in 2017 up by 76%, and imports by 93% "

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"AVentures Capital invests over $3.5 mln in Ukrainian companies"

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21 December, 2017
DIRK MATTHEISEN Writer/blogger political economy and independent consultant institutional governance UGTI on Facebook Why I am optimistic about Ukraine Buffeted by rapacious oligarchs and invasion by Russia, Ukraine seems an unlikely success story. However, renewed economic growth is fueling a growing sense of optimism and of opportunity. There are a few things getting in the way. But first the good news. Ukraine’s economy is projected to grow 2.0% this year and then accelerate to 3.5% in 2018 and 4.0% in 2019, driven by a steady growth in consumption of 3% per year and in exports of 1.6% in 2017, 3% in 2018 and 5% in 2019 (recent government estimates of growth are slightly lower but still very similar). Already in 2017 exports to the EU in the first nine months are up 29.1%, which indicates the rapid pace at which Ukraine is taking advantage of access to EU markets). The business press is full of stories about new businesses and investment opportunities, including highly innovative, internationally competitive startups, such as Google’s Grammarly, which was developed by two Ukrainian entrepreneurs in Kyiv, as well as countless “locally-grown” tech startups and micro-enterprises. There is constant chatter about fashion and advertising video shoots in Kyiv, including the recent Apple Watch 3 video, adding cultural flair to the economic momentum. Ukraine Finance Minister Oleksandr Danyliuk said all the right things in September in the lead up to the World Bank/IMF annual meetings. He pointed to the government’s tough measures to stabilize the economy with the support of a US$17.5b IMF program. He also emphasized the seriousness of the government’s efforts to improve the business climate, such as in tax and customs administration for which Ukraine had hired an international consultancy firm to help run an anti-corruption program and invited the US, Germany, EU, EBRD, and Canada to sit on the supervisory board to ensure the program was not derailed. Danyliuk emphasized that many reforms had been instituted, but it was also now important for the people to feel the effect through improved living standards by not just eliminating high level corruption but of eliminating petty day-to-day corruption. For example, the World Bank estimates that reforming land ownership laws alone could lift economic growth by 1.5%. This is critical because, as welcome as 4% GDP growth may be, Ukraine has to grow faster for people to feel, as Danyliuk emphasized, a meaningful impact on their well-being. At $2,200, Ukraine’s GDP per capita is roughly a quarter of Russia’s (though more equitably distributed) and among the lowest among the former Soviet republics; to counter Russia’s existential threat to the country,Ukraine needs to increase GDP per capita by several orders of magnitude to demonstrate that its economic model can deliver benefits comparable to other countries. To visualize Ukraine’s economic potential, compare its GDP of about $93 bn to Poland’s GDP of about $480 bn with roughly half the area of Ukraine and the same population. Twenty-five years of serious economic reform separate Polish GDP from Ukraine’s. A more serious effort by Ukraine is necessary to make up the difference in a shorter period of time. As Poland shows, economic growth does not solve all the problems, but it is an essential start. To make that happen, Ukraine has to get a grip on pervasive corruption that is fueled by lack of respect for the law, ineffective law enforcement and widespread self-interest over civic interest in government and business. Rule of law was the core of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity which, despite substantial progress, remains an aspiration. Above all, reform has to be credible. Liberalizing the land market is useless without a reliable cadastral system and market transparency that prevents raiding and speculation. Judicial reform is useless if incompetent or corrupt officials continue to be appointed. The recent appointment of 25 judges with histories of questionable decisions and improbable wealth undermines reform. Criminal charges against public officials, such as those against Ukraine’s General Prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko, need to be prosecuted in accordance with the highest legal standards and not subverted by legal artifice that fails to hold wrongdoers accountable. Lack of progress will erode vital international support (as evidenced by the recent halt due to unfulfilled anti-corruption conditions in the EU’s macro-financialassistance program and a slowed IMF program). Political reform is integral to ending corruption and achieving economic success. For reform to work, the political process has to serve society’s needs. It can’t if the political and economic elite, including President Poroshenko and members of his government, behave as in the past. The reformists can try to wait out the entrenched interests, risking that the reform process will peter out; or, they can find ways to breath additional life into the process. Civic activism is essential; and entrenched interests have to support the reform process, which may require some form of selective amnesty for economic crimes committed before the Revolution of Dignity, which these interests fear will expose them to prosecution, and a commitment that they not stand in the way of or undermine further reform. Entrenched interests will not disappear, but they must be made to fall in line. Timing is crucial. The 2019 presidential election is warming up. It can be a watershed moment in surmounting corruption. President Poroshenko has been effective in leading the economic stabilization program with the IMF and in introducing many of the needed reforms. His resolute defense of Ukraine internationally and support for association with the EU has elevated recognition in the West of Ukraine as a democratic nation distinct and separate from Russia. However, he has also failed to live up to personal commitments as president, including putting his extensive business interestsahead of the national interest by forming a blind trust; many of his businesses are held in offshore corporations of the type that are used by oligarchs to hide assets and avoid taxes. Extraordinarily wealthy individuals fuel corruption if not checked by law, and they have yet to yield or share power in Ukraine with the next generation of business, government and political leaders who will build the new Ukrainian society. The 2019 election is a good moment for anti-corruption and political reform not just to be declared but to become real in order to unleash the rewards of reform. Though the protests have been small, the political risk is not. The “impeach Poroshenko” protest, again led by Saakashvili, is a portent of worse to come if reform is derailed. Public unhappiness will grow, especially if the politically unpopular Porochenko continues to provoke friction with highhanded political assaults on Saakashvili and other opponents and backroom maneuvers to enforce his control of the government. The focus needs to be on advancing anti-corruption and economic reforms and upholding the rule of law, including in politics. Messy disputes (such as this) between anti-corruption authorities and security services and mutual claims of corruption don’t help. For all the risks, the promise of change is irreversible. Ukrainian society is no longer capable of sliding back into conformity and submission. Ukraine’s transformation into a more just and inclusive society is in its early stages but even now entrenched interests cannot contain Ukrainian society’s new aspirations nor its new economic promise. Fundamentally, what distinguishes Ukraine is not its historic association with Russia. Cast between competing empires (and sometimes known as the borderlands), Ukraine has a powerful egalitarian tradition based on the independent-minded Cossack warrior-farmer (reviled during Russian-dominated Soviet times as kulaks). This tradition is a distinct cultural identifier setting Ukrainian society apart from a more hierarchical and authoritarian Russian society, something Stalin understood as a threat and attempted to extinguish through state-sponsored genocide in the 1930s. Completing the key reforms today will transform Ukraine into a democratic nation and an economic power in Europe. In the future, when one speaks of Ukraine–a strong European nation at the heart of a unified Europe—one will be able to say that it’s democratic institutions were formed on its distinctive traditions that Russian imperialism failed to crush and on the renewed vitality of its civil society.     Sourse: http://euromaidanpress.com/2017/12/16/why-i-am-optimistic-about-ukraine/#arvlbdata

"Uber opens office in Kyiv, appoints Oleksiy Stakh general manager for Central and Eastern Europe"

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"Volume of Ukrainian exports increased by 20.9% this year"

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20 December, 2017

"Naftogaz Ukrainy plans to place eurobonds worth $1 bln in 2018"

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"IKEA may open first outlet in Kyiv within two years "

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19 December, 2017
ALEKS MEHRLE President of UGTI Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook Extending the U.S.-Ukraine Cybersecurity Partnership: A Track “1.5” Initiative The bilateral relationship between the United States and Ukraine in the area of cybersecurity is still evolving. Yet the two countries face many of the same cyber threats and share certain interests. Against this background, the current context presents an opportunity to expand and deepen bilateral cyber ties, in order to build both capabilities and resilience. Such ties must go beyond government and ensure that companies, who find themselves on the frontlines of the cyber battlefield, help chart the path ahead. As a first step, the two sides must each organize themselves for cyber-success. This means taking measures within government, forging bonds between the public and private sectors, transacting prudently from company to company, and taking steps within each business to advance cybersecurity. While each country must organize consistent with its history and culture, there are lessons learned to be from international experience. To discuss these challenges and work towards solutions, best practices, and other joint goals we have joined forces with a leading cybersecurity team within a US university that will convene a task force, composed of select U.S. and Ukrainian technology, policy and thought leaders. Member-only activities will include networking opportunities and roundtable discussions featuring key experts, interlocutors, and decision makers; and issues of priority concern and interest to Ukraine and the U.S. Events may be convened either on or off the record (or as a hybrid of the two) depending on the group’s preference. There is a window of opportunity to shape and define the future U.S.-Ukraine relationship on a critical set of cyber issues facing both our governments and industries. We intend to seize that window by establishing a new U.S.-Ukraine policy initiative to serve as a center of gravity for policy and research on cybersecurity. Stay tuned for updates, media interviews by key team members in the US and Ukraine and a forthcoming OpEd.

"Ambassador of Norway gets acquainted with potential of Chernihiv region and expresses interest in grain export"

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"IT sector ranked third in Ukraine’s exports last year "

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18 December, 2017

"Ukraine, Portugal sign memorandum on cooperation in energy efficiency and renewable energy"

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"Cabinet intends to adopt deregulation package abolishing over 300 regulations"

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16 December, 2017

"Kyiv airport to increase passenger traffic by more than 60% in 2017, more than 30% in 2018"

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"Ukraine exported agricultural products worth 14.7 bln dollars for 10 months"

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15 December, 2017

"Imports of electric cars to Ukraine in Jan-Nov 13% more than during entire 2016 – fiscal service"

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"IMF mission to visit Ukraine in the beginning of 2018"

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14 December, 2017
SATU KAHKONEN World Bank Country Director for Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine UGTI on Facebook Ukraine Can Boost Annual Output by US$15 Billion with Land Reform Land reform — lifting the moratorium on agriculture land sales — is the most powerful measure the government can take to boost economic growth and job creation, particularly in rural areas. More than 70 percent—some 43 million hectares — of Ukrainian territory is classified as agricultural land. And that land is exceptionally fertile: Ukraine has one-third of the world’s black soil. But despite this abundance, agricultural yields in the country are only a fraction of those in other European countries whose land is not of the same quality. This is because land users have little incentive to invest in land management, as neither land owners nor users know if, when, or how the moratorium will be lifted. Moreover, getting credit is difficult and costly as land cannot be used as collateral. Meaningful reform of the land sector must include providing incentives for long-term investment and proper land management, access to credit, and transfer of land to its most productive uses. The resulting boost to agricultural productivity could add US$15 billion to annual output and increase annual GDP by about 1.5 percentage points. And it would boost public revenue — up to US$2 billion from the one-time sale of state land and US$250 million annually from land leases — freeing precious budget space for schools, hospitals and infrastructure. It would also allow land owners to get a fair return on their most valuable asset. Today, rental prices for agricultural land in Ukraine are a fraction of their market value. Indeed, some 4.5 million small land owners, often retirees, currently receive 10-20 percent of annual income from renting out their land at rates about a tenth of the level in EU countries, and well below developing countries like Argentina and Brazil. This is unfair to landowners and is strangling the livelihoods and future prospects of the country’s rural population. The economic case for lifting the moratorium is clear. But unless this is done transparently, the risks may outweigh the benefits. In a country that has seen enormous public wealth disappear through corruption and theft, and with public institutions charged with the prevention of this kind of malfeasance yet to demonstrate their effectiveness, many fear that any change to the current system will lead to concentration of land in the hands of the elite. Thus, beyond the economic reforms/measures listed above, fair and transparent reform of Ukraine’s land market would demonstrate to Ukrainians — and the world — that the country can ensure that its unique natural resources can benefit all of its citizens. The good news is that such an outcome is possible if the government follows through on actions it is taking on several fronts. First, making land markets transparent: Building public trust in agricultural land markets will require information from registry and cadastre to be integrated and accurate. Prices — at least at the aggregate level — for land rental and sales should be public. And transactions need to be transparent. Measures, such as the use of e-services in the Cadaster and mandatory e-auctions for rental of state land, should be extended to sales. Second, informing land owners of their rights: To use their land most effectively, land owners need to be aware of their rights. One way to achieve this, that has broad support, would be to upgrade the technical and operational capacity of the Parliamentary Ombudsman for Human Rights with the establishment of a Land Ombudsman. That would help provide land owners unbiased legal advice on questions regarding their land rights, and help access the judicial system and get redress if these rights are violated. Third, facilitating access to finance for farmers: Nearly two decades ago the Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto published The Mystery of Capital, in which he identified the link between property rights and economic development. His simple but groundbreaking observation was that worldwide, trillions of dollars of “dead capital” were frozen because poor people did not enjoy the full ownership of their land, including the ability to leverage its value to borrow capital. In Ukraine, the moratorium on land sales has prevented land owners from using their most valuable asset as collateral, making it impossible to access credit to expand production or start a new business. With an appropriate regulatory environment, transparent land sales markets would facilitate much-needed rural investment and enable banks to extend credit to family farmers and rural SMEs. Work on instruments to fast-track development of rural financial markets is already progressing, including working with farmers’ associations to train farmers with no history of credit or record keeping on how to put together viable business proposals. Land reform will be challenging, but the rewards to rural Ukraine, and ultimately to the entire country, promise to be transformative. Moreover, given Ukraine’s potential as a commodities exporter, reform of the sector would impact food security globally. Fortunately, the Government has taken important first steps in the right direction. It has made land reform a priority and begun critical preparatory measures discussed above. So, for the sake of the Ukrainian people and the country's economic prospects, I hope the authorities and politicians have the vision and courage to lift the moratorium this year, so that Ukraine’s potential will finally be tapped.     Sourse: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/opinion/2017/10/02/ukraine-can-boost-annual-output-us15-billion-with-land-reform

"Dragon Capital buying logistics complex near Kyiv"

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"NBU expects to receive two tranches worth $3.5 bln from IMF in 2018"

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13 December, 2017

"Rothschild calls greatest achievement and biggest failure of Ukrainian reforms"

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"Economy ministry proposes creating ‘digital’ governmental committee"

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12 December, 2017
MAKAR PASENIUK Head of Investment Banking at Investment Capital Ukraine (ICU) UGTI on Facebook Agriculture, Infrastructure, Energy Sectors are most promising for investment In Ukraine The increase in internal and external investment is the key factor for accelerating the economic growth in Ukraine in coming years, and the most promising sectors for the next two years are agriculture, infrastructure and energy sectors, Managing Partner of ICU Investment Group Makar Paseniuk has said. Speaking at the Ukrainian Financial Forum organized by ICU in Odesa on September 21 and September 22, he said that capital investment in Q2 2017 grew to 15.4% of GDP from 15.1% in 2016 and 13% in 2015, although they should be at least 20-25% of GDP for the desired economic growth. Explaining his selection of the sectors, Paseniuk said that in agriculture, infrastructure and energy sectors Ukraine has a global competitive advantage or needs to develop them to ensure the long-term economic stability. As an example, he took the capacities in power generation and energy supply, estimating the necessary amount of investments to restore their operating lives, which have already been exhausted by 70-80%, at $15-20 billion. "Market prices and transparent, unchanging rules will create conditions for the investment in the extraction, transportation and distribution of gas, oil, coal, and electricity, and the development of competition in these sectors will ensure minimum prices for consumers, while bringing Ukraine closer to energy independence," he said. Paseniuk also said that the farmland market is the reserve for attracting $15-20 billion of investments. In his view, the formation of the market could begin with state-owned land. He added that preference should be given to direct investments than debt financing, and in terms of currency this should be a financial tool nominated in hryvnias. Completion of cleaning the balance sheets of financial institutions from low-quality assets should increase the activity of the Ukrainian financial sector and its involvement in investment, according to the expert. Paseniuk said that an important factor for growth of investments is justice, the presence of transparent and unchanging rules of the game. "Therefore, one of the priorities for all should be judicial reform, which will ensure real protection of property rights and impartiality of decisions made by courts," he said.     Sourse: https://inventure.com.ua/en/news/ukraine/agriculture-infrastructure-energy-sectors-are-most-promising-for-investment-in-ukraine

"Ukrnafta resumes production in six fields"

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"Ukraine's Fiscal Service boasts revenues from single social security tax"

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11 December, 2017

"Ukraine’s SPF approves list of companies for privatization in 2018"

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"EU-Ukraine economic cooperation gains pace, showing 29% bilateral trade growth"

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9 December, 2017

"Trade turnover between Ukraine and Lithuania increases by 45% in 2017 - Poroshenko"

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"Norway contributes EUR 950,000 to CoE Action Plan for Ukraine in 2018-2021"

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8 December, 2017

"Polish funds invest EUR 400,000 in Ukrainian fintech-startup"

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"Foreign medicines to be registered in Ukraine under simplified procedure"

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7 December, 2017
AISHA DOWN Editor at The Ukraine Business Journal UGTI on Facebook Ukraine’s IT Industry Could Near $10 Billion by 2025 KYIV -- Ukraine’s dynamic IT outsourcing sector could more than double in the next decade, reaching $8.4 billion in 2025, according to Stanislav Sheliakin, a senior consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, speaking the Ukrainian Software Development Forum. That’s only if the government comes through with vital reforms to protect intellectual property rights and breathe life into outdated labor laws, he added on Friday. Sheliakin’s projection, derived from PwC’s industry studies, suggests a more moderate pace of growth for Ukraine’s IT sector than the past decade, which saw 10-fold industry growth, according to Chirag Rawat, deputy director of Avasant, an international consulting firm. Rawat and Sheliakin were among 50 speakers at the Forum, which brought together hundreds of participants—among them government officials and corporate leaders—to discuss the outlook of Ukraine’s IT. Like Sheliakin, most were optimistic about Ukraine’s potential. Mr. Rawat, who spoke on the global perception of Ukraine as an IT outsourcing destination, cited Ukraine’s talented tech grads as an edge. “Now in Ukraine there are more than 100 research centers of large international companies,” he said, adding that Ukraine had a competitive advantage in niches like blockchain technology and game development. However, the war, perceptions of corruption, and fears about data security still made foreign businesses leery about opening shop here, said Rawat, a native of India. Speaking after the forum, Sheliakin said outdated regulations were a far more significant obstacle than corruption—or even the war.   Independent contractors and IT intellectual property protection “Most Ukrainian IT professionals would like to work as independent contractors,” he said. Independent contractors avoid a mandatory 18 percent payroll tax. Instead, they pay the 5 percent independent contractors’ tax, which is permitted by the government. The problem? While the U.S. and E.U. nations have a body of familiar regulations in place to govern intellectual property rights between independent contractors and their clients, Ukraine’s are far more patchy in the area of transfer of intellectual property rights. “There are a lot of ways for companies to lose money here,” said Mr. Sheliakin. Intellectual property rights are especially important in service industries like IT. Without legislation, an IT contractor could create a spin-off company after closing a deal with a client -- even if they’d been paid to develop an exclusive product. At present, said Sheliakin, some companies, like Ciklum, find ways—usually after extensive consultation—to frame contracts and navigate Ukraine’s legislation. For now, Ciklum’s might be the best approach, he said—besides moving company headquarters abroad. “I don’t see [this legislation] as being ready in a year or two,” Sheliakin said.     Sourse: http://www.theubj.com/news/view/ukraines-it-industry-could-near-10-billion-by-2025

"Finnish NEFCO company to develop green projects in Ukraine"

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"Ukraine boosts sugar exports by almost 60%"

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6 December, 2017

"United States helps Ukraine discover more than $3 bln stolen public funds"

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"Ukraine, China sign program of investment cooperation in agricultural sector"

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5 December, 2017
ALEKS MEHRLE President of UGTI Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook A Ukrainian House in New York's East Village I met last week in NYC with my friends and colleagues Mariya Soroka, Ivan Chaika and Alex Gorbachov to discuss a “Ukrainian House” community / co-working space concept for New York’s East Village. The East Village – where I was born and raised - has since the 19 Century been a neighborhood of immigrants (German, Jewish, Polish and Ukrainian). For a fascinating history of the neighborhood and a neighborhood Landmark I encourage you to read an article in 6sqft is published by CityRealty titled “Jewish gangsters, jazz legends, and Joy Division: The evolution of the Ukrainian National Home.” https://www.6sqft.com/jewish-gangsters-jazz-legends-and-joy-division-the-evolution-of-the-ukrainian-national-home/ Another recent article in the New York Times titled “With Closing of East Village Shop, Little Ukraine Grows Smaller” tells an important story about the history of the neighborhood as well as its character today. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/06/nyregion/with-closing-of-east-village-shop-little-ukraine-grows-smaller.html As the title suggests, the East Village is looking less and less like “Little Ukraine” with each passing year. That said, a new generation of young Ukrainian-Americans and Ukrainian-American organizations like Razom for Ukraine and stepping into the neighborhood and revitalizing the community and building on the legacy that my mother, grandparents and their respective generations built on New York’s East side. “Ukrainian House” (a working name) is envisioned as both an institution firmly rooted in New York but also as a bridge to contemporary Ukraine and Ukrainians, in particular to the thriving civic and startup communities bubbling with activity in Ukraine among Ukrainians that are – for the most part - under 40. Although “Ukrainian House” is not formally a UGTI project, as a native son of the East Village and Ukrainian-American committed to building a better future for Ukraine and Ukrainians I will lend my time and energy to helping ensure that this project becomes both a reality and a success. Stay tuned for updates!

"Ukraine, China implementing some joint projects for $7 bln"

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"Parliament ratifies investment agreement between Ukraine and OPEC Fund"

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4 December, 2017

"Ukraine intends to extend govt securities, raise domestic borrowings"

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"The Ukrainian Central Bank Is Expanding Its Blockchain Team"

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2 December, 2017

"Ukraine harmonizing legal framework in export control with EU norms"

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"It’s quite possible to achieve 5% GDP growth next year - PM Groysman"

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1 December, 2017

"China can invest $8-12 bln in Ukraine within five years - MP"

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"Renewable energy generation capacity of 300 MW to be installed in 2017"

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30 November, 2017
BORYS HUMENIUK Ambassador of Ukraine to the Republic of Cyprus UGTI on Facebook Priorities for Ukraine: European Union integration IN 2017, Ukraine has continued to implement structural reforms, generating positive trends in the economic and social sphere despite internal and external challenges. The illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and the conflict in the east of the country provoked by Russia’s destabilising actions have continued to pose significant challenges to Ukraine’s reform process from a political and economic perspective, in addition to causing significant human suffering. Ukraine has continued actively to seek peaceful legal and political solutions in this area. Considerable legislative reforms have taken place in the fight against corruption and new specialised anti-corruption institutions have been set up in Ukraine. Work on implementation of anti-corruption efforts continued over the past year, while further substantial work is still outstanding. Some of the new Ukrainian agencies already participate actively in the fight against corruption, while others remain to be fully operationalised. Ensuring sustainable and tangible changes in the governance system to eliminate corruption opportunities and ensure proper prosecution and punishment for corruption-related crimes remains one of the key challenges Ukraine faces in its reform process hindering the improvement of the business and investment climate. With full entry into force of the Association Agreement and introduction of visa-free travel, Ukraine and the European Union had reached qualitatively new ambitious level. A new political and contractual reality establishes proper conditions for elaboration of a new forward-looking strategic agenda, which will foster further transformations in Ukraine towards the best European standards and practices. The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko put forward five new strategic long-term goals on the road of Ukraine’s European integration: association of Ukraine with the Schengen Area; integration into EU Customs Union; integration into EU Energy Union; integration into EU Single Digital Market; and entry into EU Common Aviation Area. Implementation of these initiatives is in the interest of both Ukraine and the European Union. The Bulgarian presidency of the EU Council as an EU Member State from the Central-Eastern Europe and the Black Sea region has a unique opportunity and advantage to bring new impetus to the developments in the region. With a view towards the Bulgarian presidency being a success story, Ukraine has elaborated short-term priorities of its relations with the EU. We rely on Bulgarian leadership in the EU Council and EU member-states, including the Republic of Cyprus, to facilitate their effective implementation. Particularly, we urgently need further international support for Ukraine in the context of ongoing Russian aggression. This kind of support could be provided by upholding EU’s personal and economic sanctions against Russia until full restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, regularly updating the sanctions list of persons and entities responsible for the violation of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine over Crimea, preventing bypassing of the restrictive measures by the EU economic operators, as well as illegal visits to the occupied territories of Crimea and Sevastopol by EU citizens, organisations and companies, blocking any attempts of Russia to legitimize the occupation of Crimea and city of Sevastopol in the framework of international agreements and launching the UN peacekeeping operation in the occupied territories in the Donbas in accordance with the UN peacekeeping principles in coordination and by agreement with Ukraine, and pressing Russia to release immediately Ukrainian political prisoners and hostages while establishing an international Group of Friends of Ukraine for de-occupation of Crimea and at the same time intensifying efforts to counter Russian propaganda. In the field of trade and economy Ukraine needs much support in implementation of DCFTA commitments between Ukraine and the EU, establishment of new financial instruments to enhance AA/DCFTA implementation and to boost domestic and foreign investments to Ukraine, continuation of EU-Ukraine High Level Industrial Dialogue in order to accelerate approximation of EU rules for industrial technical regulations and standards, with the view to forge closer links between European and Ukrainian industrial sectors, promoting Ukraine’s participation in the EU Digital Single Market, establishment of export promotion agency, Support Ukraine-EU dialogue on accelerated liberalisation of trade in services in the DCFTA framework, focusing on a several priority sectors. We need further financial assistance as well, particularly by ensuring due level of Ukraine’s participation in the EU’s initiative on the External Investment Plan aimed at providing assistance to the EU Neighbourhood, revising the EIB External Lending Mandate for Ukraine including for rehabilitation of Donbas and with regard to lending to sub-sovereign borrowers, ensuring EU’s financial and humanitarian assistance to the population in the Donbas, and supporting establishment of a European Investment Plan for Ukraine based on the best practices of multi-donor instruments. The investors/donors’ international conference for Ukraine in Brussels in 2018 will be a great support to this end. Despite the continuing conflict in its East, Ukraine has demonstrated unprecedented levels of resilience and persistence in achieving societal change, asserting its European orientation. Expectations regarding the EU remain high. Civil society continues to play a pivotal role in the country’s reform progress, counterbalancing strong vested interests still represented in parliament and among institutions and authorities. With the entry into force of the AA/DCFTA and visa liberalisation, EU-Ukraine relations have never been so intense. In order to attract the investment necessary for sustainable economic development and for an improvement in standards of living across the country, including for the most vulnerable segments of the population, the authorities are being urged by civil society and international partners to redouble their efforts in the pursuit of meaningful reform, intensifying in particular the fight against corruption at all levels. The EU is consolidating its political, technical and financial support, with clear conditionality. In 2018, Ukraine will continue to undertake political and economic reforms in numerous key sectors, in the context of its political association and economic integration with the EU. It will also continue to address significant macroeconomic imbalances. Through policy dialogue and financial assistance the EU, during the Bulgarian presidency of the EU Council, in collaboration with international partners, has to proceed with supporting measures aiming at improved governance, the fight against corruption, judiciary reform, public administration reform and decentralisation. And without any doubt, continuous emphasis has to be placed on support for the implementation of the Association Agreement.     Sourse: http://cyprus-mail.com/2017/11/25/priorities-ukraine-european-union-integration/

"Finland’s foreign ministry, NEFCO setting up fund for financing renewable energy in Ukraine by EUR 6 mln"

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"British parliamentarians start visit to Ukraine"

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29 November, 2017

"Electric car sales in Ukraine increase 3.2-fold in Jan-Oct"

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"II Ukrainian Renewable Energy Forum to kick off in Kyiv tomorrow"

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28 November, 2017
HENRY SHTERENBERG CEO & Founder Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook Ukraine & the world needs blockchain technology I am sure by now everyone heard all the hype about Bitcoin. Yesterday it reached $10,000. But not everyone aware the Bitcoin is based on the blockchain technology. It is my view, as important as crypto currencies might become, the long term play is an opportunity blockchain technology provides. For countries like Ukraine and many other developing economies, if operations of the government and business is conducted on blockchain it creates transparency and drastically reduces corruption at all levels. It improves investor’s trust and confidence to put their hard earned money to work. Further, properly structured, SMART tokens give inventors and business owners an opportunity to reduce risks, reduce operating expenses and at the same time provide liquidity for both. The future of the earth, civilization and all its assets belong to an individual human. The humanity was given a key in the form of Blockchain technology to change the way we live today and to harmonize human relationships around the world. We believe Suntri ( full disclosure: I recently become CEO of the United States based company) is a solution and the way to create decentralized globalization platform with decision power at individual level anywhere in the world. Blockchain will give power back to an individual in a truly democratized way to empower an individual. It is a new global operating system based on principals of decentralized operations at all levels of governance and management. The new global democracy will be based on collective decisions of parties interested in a subject. Suntri is created to facilitate the transformation process. • Blockchain technology will transform all sectors of the global economy; • Blockchain technology will move governments and corporations from the centralized system to the decentralized system of governance; • Blockchain technology will make corruption a thing of the past; • Blockchain technology will eliminate need of a “middle man” in most industries reducing the cost of all operations; • Blockchain technology will give an access of low cost capital to every corner of the world and to any individual; • Blockchain technology will allow freedom to invest Ukraine is already one of the global leaders in blockchain. It can give country an opportunity to export it’s know how and solutions, but it also will facilitate in attracting Foreign Direct Investment in the country. Our team is working on several very exciting projects for Ukraine in this space. Stay tuned.

"Japan simplifies visa regime for Ukrainians from 2018 – pm Abe"

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"Ukraine, China approve updated bilateral program of space cooperation until 2020"

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27 November, 2017

"Capital investments in Ukraine grew 20.7% in January-September 2017"

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"Australian Ukrainians welcome Australia’s foreign policy White Paper"

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25 November, 2017

"Cyber attacks, hybrid war biggest threats for EaP countries"

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"About EUR 750 mln invested in development of renewable energy sources in Ukraine over past three years"

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24 November, 2017

"Ukrainian IT company among 500 world's largest software manufacturers"

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"Ukraine’s National Police, Microsoft sign cybersecurity agreement"

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23 November, 2017
DONALD N. JENSEN Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis UGTI on Facebook ARE UKRAINE’S REFORMS REVERSIBLE? Many people — especially in Russia — have long accepted a narrative about Ukrainian history and society that is largely false, distorted or simplified: that Ukraine was merely an offshoot of Russia, that Russia is the principal successor of the great East Slavic state of medieval Kyivan Rus, and that Ukraine was a backward, unsophisticated province of the great Russian (and Soviet) empires without a true language or culture of its own. Indeed, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated several times that he believed Ukraine was not even a real country. Since the 2014 Maidan Revolution, moreover, the Kremlin has concocted a propaganda mishmash to rationalize its shock that Ukraine — though closely related to Russia in some ways — is a state that wants to shape its own future independent of Moscow. Russian officials and the Kremlin propaganda machine thus have claimed that the Kyiv government is dominated by fascists, that anti-Semitism is rampant, and that ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine are victims of discrimination. Little of this is true. In fact, Moscow’s efforts — especially its bloody military invasion — to hold Ukraine close against its will have backfired and driven Ukraine more quickly toward the West. “The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people,” John Adams wrote to a friend in 1818 of the American war for independence. The United States and Ukraine are vastly different, but a comparable transformation of popular attitudes appears to have taken place among Ukrainians since the Maidan. More than 90 percent of Ukraine’s inhabitants now consider themselves ethnic Ukrainians, and only 5.5 percent Russians, found a recent poll conducted by the Gorshenin Institute. In addition, 84.6 percent of those living in eastern Ukraine consider themselves Ukrainian. Since the Maidan, Ukraine’s national identity has come to include a strong anti-Russian animus. In an April 2017 public opinion survey by Rating Group Ukraine, 57 percent of Ukrainians expressed a very cold or cold attitude toward Russia, while only 17 percent expressed a very warm or warm attitude. As anti-Russian sentiment has grown, so has the West’s appeal. The European Union, with its allure of economic prosperity and functioning democracy, has long attracted the interest of a sizeable portion of the Ukrainian population. The last three years have also witnessed growing Ukrainian public support for joining NATO. While the EU offers proximity, the Ukrainian government and many Ukrainians see the United States as Kyiv’s primary security partner. What do these changes in attitude mean for Ukrainian reform? An outstanding report by the distinguished Chatham House think tank takes note of Ukraine’s fight for survival as an independent and viable state. It finds that much of what Ukraine has achieved is susceptible to reversal, and that underlying political conditions are “far from healthy.” Ukraine’s “core security objectives,” the report argues, depend on national cohesion, wise allocation of resources, and a long-term commitment by state and society alike. The more pluralistic, Western-oriented values of much of society — but by no means all of it — will likely ensure that there will be no literal reversion to the past. Ukraine is unlikely to move back into Moscow’s orbit. But the problems outlined by the Chatham House report remain, and mean the struggle for reform will probably take new forms — in increased tensions between an active civil society and often corrupt political and economic elites, and in the fight against corruption. Rather than increase its military involvement in the Donbas, Moscow is likely to try to exploit strains in Ukrainian society by stepping up its meddling in Ukrainian politics. In recent months, Ukraine’s intelligence service has identified a center in Kharkiv — an internet storefront — that plans and finances Russian activities. Russian-sponsored gangs vandalize Polish or Hungarian monuments so that Ukrainians are blamed or they, alternatively, vandalize Ukrainian monuments so that Poles are blamed. They also damage synagogues and pit groups against one another. They recently defaced a poster of Pope John Paul II with “anti-Polish slogans.” Vandals who are arrested have often been directly linked to parties or companies still controlled by Ukraine’s deposed dictator, Viktor Yanukovych. Such methods are less brutal than large-scale military intervention, but reflect no less accurately the Kremlin’s continued commitment to denying Ukraine the future favored by most of its citizens.     Sourse: http://infowar.cepa.org/EN/Are-Ukraines-reforms-reversible

"President of Ukraine signs judicial reform"

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"Ukraine agrees with UAE on joint aircraft production"

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22 November, 2017

"Projected growth of production in Aerospace industry in Ukraine estimated at 30% in 2017 – SSAU"

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"Ukraine saves over 7 bln cu m of gas thanks to alternative sources"

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21 November, 2017
ALEKS MEHRLE President of UGTI Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook Co-founder Update UGTI has developed a clear opportunity pipeline and is focused on closing a number of strategically critical projects during the first half of 2018. During the holiday lull, my personal focus will be on raising awareness in the United States of the critical importance to Ukraine and to the national strategic interests of the United States of the proper implementation of an independent anti-corruption court in Ukraine. Together with colleagues in New York and Ukraine we made interesting progress on this front today and look forward to providing a substantive update on this effort soon. Слава Україні!

"Ukraine raises export of electricity by almost 1.4 times in ten months"

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"Ukraine up from 84th to 43rd position in Taxation rating over year "

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20 November, 2017

"Space industries of Ukraine and Canada have potential for cooperation"

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"U.S. National Security Council approves $47 mln grant on weapons for Ukraine - ABC"

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18 November, 2017

"Stoltenberg: NATO doors opened for Ukraine"

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"Cybersecurity: Barely perceptible threat has potential to derail Canada's economy"

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17 November, 2017

"U.S. Senate approves defense budget with lethal weapons for Ukraine"

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"Ambassador Du Wei: Silk Road to strengthen Ukraine-China relations"

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16 November, 2017

"Hahn says EU ready to continue helping Ukraine implement reforms"

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"Ukraine, China may cooperate in production of electric vehicles"

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15 November, 2017

"World Bank impressed with reform process in Ukraine"

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"HarvEast seeks to double investment in 2018"

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14 November, 2017
DAR'YA ANASTASʹYEVA Chief Editor at AgroReview UGTI on Facebook Blockchain - Chinese wall of information security Within the framework of the 2nd Annual AgroIT Conference, we had a conversation with SuntriBlockChain Operation System’s founders, Henry Shterenberg and Roman Nazarov, then we tried to figure out how much Ukraine is willing to change its approach to information policy and why farmers need blockchain. Blockchain is a distributed database. Any technology has a server, and if there is one server, even with a few keys, the access is available to several people. They can change the data if they want to, or if they aree forced to. Also, there are hacking attacks directed straight to the server, causing damage to companies. Blockchain, which brings together a huge number of servers, displays the changes made on all servers at once, while changing any number or letter in one of the databases. Consequently, it is impossible to spoil the data or enter them incorrectly unnoticed. Blockchain eliminates corruption at all levels. Hacker attacks are played on a specific server, there are hundreds of them in blockchain, so the data that it contains are saved. Cybersecurity is one of the most important tasks facing the whole world and Ukraine in particular. Today our country, considering the war with Russia, is becoming one of the main players in the field of cybersecurity, but unfortunately, work in this area is not serious enough. Our company is actively working in this direction; we are in the process of creating "Ukrainian Dream" Cybersecurity Center for Ukraine in the Silicon Valley. The main project, which is currently being developed by SuntriBlockChain Operation System is the land platform. There is a lot of hype around Blockchain technology because of Cryptocurrencies (most of which, by the way, will soon cease to exist at all, and the rest will be used completely differently). The most important progress of the economy and business in the global context will be the monetization of land without its sale. Investors from all over the world will be able to enter our cooperative model and buy land. Due to to the creation of a corporate model today, the cost per hectare of land has decreased. Blockchain enables each farmer (no matter, he has 10,000 or 2 hectares) to monetize what he has. Investors are buying tokens in a cooperative for every hectare of land without buying land physically. Thus, as a result, they increase the price of a token by raising the value of land and dividends from the products that the land provides. What a farmer receives in this case are: less amount of expenses, better technology, regardless of the culture of cultivation and as a result - increased productivity. And when the productivity increases - the price of land increases. The cooperative attracts the best technologies - from organic fertilizers that clean the earth, to the satellite images that allow to keep track of the land and harvest from above and see the entire picture. Ukraine is one of the leaders in blockchain technologies. Our project "Ukrainian Dream" has united in cooperation the Academy of Sciences, state and business of Ukraine for the first time during the years of independence. In addition, the Prime Minister Mr.Groysman announced the transition of the State Land Cadastre to the blockchain technology. According to Henry Shterenberg, this technology is capable of changing the world, as it will eliminate the existence of a credit system, banks, notarial services, etc. The main difficulties encountered by the blockchain lobbyists are the lack of specialists and the unwillingness of businesses to actively adopt and implement something new.     Sourse: https://agroreview.com/news/blokchejn---kytajska-stina-informacijnoyi-bezpeky

"Disinformation in social networks influenced elections in 18 countries - Freedom House"

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"Kuwait interested in AN-178 aircraft - National Security and Defense Council"

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13 November, 2017

"U.S. successfully launches Antares rocket designed by Ukraine"

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"World Bank Group President starts visit to Ukraine"

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11 November, 2017

"Ukrainian-made An-132D transport aircraft showcased at Dubai Air Show "

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"S&P affirms 'B-/B' ratings on Ukraine with stable outlook"

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10 November, 2017

"World Bank Group President to visit Ukraine"

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"Ukraine, Japan have good prospects for developing relations - Poroshenko"

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9 November, 2017

"U.S. Congress approves defense budget of $350 mln for Ukraine"

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"Canada eases visa requirements for Ukrainians"

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8 November, 2017

"EBRD confirms stable growth of Ukraine's GDP"

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"IMF expert group to visit Kyiv for technical discussion of draft budget 2018"

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7 November, 2017
ALEKS MEHRLE President of UGTI Follow me on Linkedin UGTI on Facebook Anti-corruption Court As a Ukrainian-American committed to help build a better future for Ukraine and Ukrainians and working to promote investment in and trade with Ukraine, I believe without reservation that the struggle against corruption and the entrenched status quo struggle presents no less formidable an obstacle to delivering on the promise of Maidan than Ukraine's war with Russia. Countries Ukraine might emulate to guide reforms are anchored by a common understanding of social and business norms enforced by the rule of law. Equally significant, multinational Western corporations and investment houses dominate the internal economy of each Western “first world” country and control the largest proportion of trade among them. Ukraine cannot join the West as an exception to this rule, because the desired outcome necessarily springs from a sharing in Western norms and the legal framework for enforcing them. With the patience of its citizens running thin and with Western resolve less steadfast than the Kremlin’s, a necessary condition for current leadership in Ukraine to deliver on the demands of Maidan, deter Russia, and protect Ukraine against future aggression is for Western and Ukrainian governments (and business interests) to work in a concerted, coordinated manner to drastically and expediently increase the presence of Western multinationals and investment houses in Ukraine to break its dependence on local oligarchs and thereby speed the “Westernization” of its economy. In this context, implementing a transparent and independent anti-corruption court is the most important issue in Ukraine today. Ukrainians, both at home and abroad, as well as western partners of Ukraine must campaign against endemic corruption and other lingering hallmarks of the economic and political status quo in Ukraine in the same breath and with equal vigor as their armed forces fight in the Donbas.

"US Assistant Secretary of State to visit Kyiv in a week"

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"Turkey interested in development of alternative energy in Ukraine"

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6 November, 2017

"Ukraine delegates meet with South Korea official to discuss IT, telecoms"

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"Marshall Plan for Ukraine to be presented in Vilnius"

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4 November, 2017

"Ukroboronprom soon to announce tender to attract strategic consultant for financial audit"

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"Foreign investors are more interested in assets in Ukraine - Deloitte Ukraine partner"

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3 November, 2017

"Ukraine shows new transport An-178 in Kuwait - media"

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"IMF estimates Ukraine's corruption-related losses"

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2 November, 2017
ROSTYSLAV AVERCHUK Guest editor VoxUkraine UGTI on Facebook Ukraine: Reforming a Country in War is Difficult, but There Is No Other Way The recent opinion article on EUobserver, “West Needs to Get Real on Ukraine”, calls upon the West and supporters of reforms in Ukraine to realize how difficult it is to implement changes while fighting off Russia’s aggression and suggests that they should decrease the pressure on the Ukrainian government. The authors argue that it is necessary to put off major reforms because they divert valuable resources, generate instability and undermine national unity. At first glance, some of the arguments may seem to be convincing. Yet the reasoning behind the key arguments is not persuasive. The article “West needs to get real on Ukraine” by Roman Sohn and Ariana Gic considers the expectations about reforms in Ukraine in the context of Russia’s aggression. The authors rightly note that the demand that Ukraine carries out reforms does not free the West from the necessity to resolutely oppose Russia. They are also right to argue that the Government bears the full burden of political responsibility; hence one should recognize its achievements and be objective when criticizing it. Other points, however, are much more controversial. The authors argue that Ukraine needs to mobilize all of its resources to win the war and should thus put resource-intensive and destabilizing reforms on hold. The article calls upon the West to abandon unrealistic expectations about the progress of reforms in Ukraine, recognize the priority of its right to defend itself, and let Ukrainian society determine the balance and pace of the reforms. The lobbyists of reforms should focus on promoting the demand for change among the population.   Mobilise all resources to win the war before turning attention to reforms?   As the authors write, Ukraine confronts a much stronger opponent. Russia has an interest and ability to wage a hybrid war for quite some time. Even if Ukraine does mobilize all of its resources, will it be able to end this conflict – and if so, when and at what cost will this happen? Ukraine lacks the resources to win a decisive victory whereas a gradual build-up of armaments at the country’s own expense will not be enough to stop the simmering conflict. One should thus not expect the conflict to end soon. Therefore, all the ways to enhance the country’s ability to withstand Russia’s pressure over a long period constitute an effective use of resources. It is right though that a balance must be found between maintaining defence capabilities in the short run and the accumulation of resources in the medium run. Besides, putting the economy on a war footing would provoke a socio-economic instability at least equal to one that, the authors fear, is created by reforms. The authors also emphasize that significant changes should be clearly validated by the people. Yet to what extent is the society willing to support the full mobilization of resources for military purposes? Recent reports about the embezzlement by high-ranking officials at the Defense Ministry do not help here. As long as the level of perception of corruption remains high, doubts as to the real use of funds will linger. Apart from corruption, the weakness of the Ukrainian state, and hence of the army, arguably results from the low efficiency of the use of available resources. Reforms, which are long overdue, could improve the situation. The authors believe that liberal Western institutions are equally unable to fend off Russia’s attacks. In their opinion, this shows that pro-Western reforms will not enhance Ukraine’s ability to resist Russia’s aggression. However, this comparison is hardly convincing. Western institutions were not created to withstand Russia, yet there is no doubt that they can be more effective than their unreformed analogues. Moreover, it remains unclear what the actual impact of Russia’s interference in the internal affairs of Western countries is, especially compared with its interference in Ukraine.