27 October, 2018

"Ukrainian Lawmakers drafts policy to legalize cryptocurrencies by 2021"

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"USAID survey: Trust of Ukrainian citizens in courts grows fourfold"

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26 October, 2018

"Minsk expects increase of Belarusian-Ukrainian turnover to $5 bln in 2018"

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"Ukraine raises $2bn from Eurobond placement"

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25 October, 2018

"First official U.S. trade mission to start operating in Ukraine in few days"

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"Nearly 10 million foreigners visit Ukraine in six months"

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24 October, 2018

"Industrial production in Ukraine grows by 1.8% in nine months"

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"Energy cooperative Soniachne Misto plans to launch pilot project of solar plant crowdfunding in Slavutych"

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23 October, 2018

"Grossdorf to open new plant for liquid carbomide-ammonium fertilizers production in Ukraine"

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"Ukraine may receive $8 billion after IMF program is unblocked"

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22 October, 2018

"Ukraine NOW brand already begun to yield results - Groysman"

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"Hyperloop project can be launched in Ukraine in next 5-10 years - Omelyan"

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20 October, 2018

"Horizon Capital to invest up to $200 mln in Ukraine in 3-5 years"

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"Korean ambassador suggests creating a free economic zone in the Odessa region"

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19 October, 2018

"Ukraine, IMF reach staff-level agreement on new SBA for $3.9 bln"

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"Canada, Ukraine start reviewing free trade agreement"

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18 October, 2018
MICHAEL KASSNER Contributing Writer UGTI on Facebook Why manufacturing companies need to up their cybersecurity game In order to stay competitive, manufacturing companies are replacing analog processes with digital. Some examples are networking machinery along with computers, using CAD/CAM data files, integrating machine-learning software, and let's not forget introducing Industry 4.0 devices. With the move comes increased capability and convenience, but like most things convenient, there is a cost. Dan Hanson, in his Marsh & McLennan Agency's post Many Owners And Managers Assume They Have No Exposure. Wrong, cautions that manufacturing companies, in particular, small and mid-size organizations, are becoming more susceptible to cyberattacks including data breaches. "The 2016 Marsh & McLennan Agency's Cyber Survey found that 50 percent of small/midsize companies have experienced a cyber-attack," writes Hanson. "And manufacturing along with other nonfinancial, non-retail, non-technology industries are now prone to data breaches." Looking at why, Hanson suggests: • Manufacturing companies are increasingly warehousing data of interest to cybercriminals; and • Primary targets (for example, banks and tech companies) have beefed up security, making manufacturing companies the new low-hanging fruit.   What's a manufacturer to do? What are manufacturing companies up against? Team Thomas of Thomasnet.com, a supplier-discovery and product-sourcing platform, enlisted the Hackett Group to identify major risks manufacturing companies are likely to face in the coming year. Team Thomas published their results in the report The Six Biggest Risks Facing Your Manufacturing Business Today. Here's what they found. 1. Cybersecurity breaches: Manufacturing companies were not known for storing sensitive information, but that has changed in a big way, and cybercriminals are noticing. "Generally, cybercrimes on manufacturing companies are designed to either steal intellectual property (IP) or cause some kind of physical disruption to a company's operations," mentions the report. "These disruptions can result in serious material damage, leading to high repair costs and significant downtime." Team Thomas warns that Internet of Things (IoT) devices offer cybercriminals the chance to gain access to a normally secure network, affording the attackers a "foot in the door" so to speak. 2. IP theft and industrial espionage: Intellectual property (IP) runs the gamut from product proposals to digital prints, and trade secrets to proprietary manufacturing processes. "Although it is explicitly illegal, stolen IP may be very tempting to competitors," notes Team Thomas. "Using another company's trade secrets to improve their own products and processes, shady competitors can then manufacture comparable products for a lower price point while saving money on research and development." Companies, including manufacturers, prefer not to consider the threat from employees—current and former. The report adds that since the crime is committed within the company, it is difficult to prosecute. Team Thomas offers the following suggestions for combating internal threats: • Develop a multi-step plan that prioritizes the value of data, determines the most critical and sensitive aspects of the business, and applies security measures accordingly; • Implement segmented networks that section off the most valuable data, making it accessible to only a few trusted individuals; • Perform regular insider threat detection and prevention audits; • Inform employees about the risk of using personal devices within the facility and educating them on best cyber practices; and • Communicate with vendors and suppliers to ensure all links in the company's supply chain are enforcing security initiatives. 3. Disruptive innovation: The phrase disruptive innovation, championed by Clayton M. Christensen in 1995, refers to where a business identifies and exploits a market overlooked by more mainstream businesses. While this is not a cybersecurity issue, stolen IP will help a dishonest company disrupt the market quicker and more easily. A prime example offered by Team Thomas in the Hackett Group report is the collapse of the movie rental company Blockbuster by the then startup Netflix. The report adds, "The story of Blockbuster and Netflix serves as a cautionary tale for large companies, reminding them to pay attention to their smaller competitors." 4. Lack of access to critical talent and the skills gap: The cybersecurity profession is not the only industry facing a lack of skilled workers—manufacturing is as well. "Based on data collected from company executives, current employees were lacking in key competencies such as computer use, problem-solving, and math skills," explains the report. "Without these capabilities, companies may be limited in their ability to meet customer demand, adopt new technologies, increase productivity, expand into new markets, and develop new products." Besides not meeting the manufacturing company's needs including understanding cybersecurity practices, the lack of the key competencies described above increase the risk of employees falling for targeted attacks like phishing. 5. Regulatory issues: Manufacturing companies, regardless of size, now have the ability to reach markets across the globe—this is a good thing; however, there is the matter of regulations. "Organizations must also adhere to a wide range of industry standards and check in regularly with a number of different agencies," suggests the report. An example is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that recently became enforceable. 6. Intensified global competition: Manufacturing companies in the US do not have a lock on international access, competing companies in other countries do as well. As global competition heats up, manufacturers will need to make sure they have all their ducks in a row. This should be a huge wake-up call where cybersecurity is concerned; not all companies are honest, and stealing trade secrets or defaming a company is not out of the question.     Sourse: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/why-manufacturing-companies-need-to-up-their-cybersecurity-game/

"DTEK, General Electric sign contract to supply equipment for second stage of Prymorska wind farm"

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"Ukraine sees increase in exports and imports of goods"

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17 October, 2018

"Kyiv, Tbilisi sign memorandum of cooperation"

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"Ukrainian business retains positive expectations regarding business activity"

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16 October, 2018
PARTH MISRA Writer at Quill Canvas UGTI on Facebook 5 Ways Blockchain Technology Will Change the Way We Do Business Most of the media headlines on blockchain technology revolve around the outsized investment performance and extreme volatility of cryptocurrency. This trajectory closely resembled a roller coaster as Bitcoin gained 1,390 percent in 2017 (up as much as 1,935 percent when it hit a record high of $19,666 in mid-December) -- and then plummeted to a low of $5,950 in January 2018. By mid-February, it had settled around $8,400. The growing consensus among business leaders and entrepreneurs: The future of blockchain technology will be about a lot more than Bitcoin. Blockchain tech will impact every major area of business from accounting to operations, and there's evidence the revolution has begun. What is it, and why is it so crucial to the future of business? A blockchain is an electronically distributed ledger or list of entries -- much like a stock ledger -- that various participants maintain via a network of computers. Blockchains use cryptography to process and verify transactions on the ledger. Encryption and coding improve transparency, efficiency and trust in information-sharing. All of this has innovative companies rethinking their strategies for the digital age. Here are five ways blockchain technology is disrupting the way we do business, with sometimes sweeping changes.   1. Accounting. Accounting is the textbook case study for a business field that stands to benefit from blockchain technology. The tax code is overwhelmingly complex, the challenges of managing business operations in far-flung locations are many, and the need for precision and accuracy is paramount. Blockchain tech can more effectively manage all of the above. "Blockchain’s transparency gives visibility to all transactions for approved users, and this may decrease auditors’ work with sampling and validating transactions," Ken Tysiac wrote in a recent edition of the Journal of Accountancy. "But this allows auditors more time to focus on controls and investigating anomalies. Meanwhile, opportunities are emerging for CPAs to use blockchain technology as they expand their assurance services to areas such as cybersecurity and sustainability.” While the Winklevoss twins and other entrepreneurs are striking it rich with cryptocurrency, a large inheritance or winning lottery ticket remains the best chance for the rest of us to become millionaires. Here, too, blockchain technology will have a role. (Never mind the chances of winning the Powerball jackpot are about one in 175.2 million.) Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt the $260 billion annual global lottery market by providing anonymity and confidentiality for participants and providers alike -- while reducing the potential for fraud and manipulation. Prime Ball, managed by Ethereum smart contracts, will be among the first fully decentralized and transparent lottery platforms using blockchain. All winning results will be publicly recorded and distributed on the Ethereum blockchain without any third-party involvement. This new model is a major shift in an industry where scratch-off tickets and pencil-filled play slips remain commonplace.   2. Advertising and marketing. Juniper Research anticipates advertisers will lose an estimated $19 billion to fraudulent activities next year -- the equivalent of $51 million per day. This figure, which represents advertising on online and mobile devices, is projected to reach $44 billion by 2022. The technology underlying bitcoin and other cryptocurrency can help dramatically reduce “click fraud," ensuring that marketing and advertising executives reach their target markets. “We’re seeing that the principles of blockchain, which were historically developed to prevent fraud in banking, can be applied to programmatic media buying,” explains Amir Jan Malik, Digital Marketing Expert at Accenture Interactive. “By using the system to monitor and govern budget spend, advertisers can track investment from the initial transfer of the media budget to the final publication of creative with the media owner, reducing the risk of overcharging and underperformance.”   3. Human Resources. Human resources professionals plan, direct and coordinate the recruiting, interviewing and hiring of new staff. They consult with top executives on strategic planning and often handle employee-relations duties as well as those tied to compensation, benefits and training. Don’t let the “human” in Human Resources fool you: There's a great deal of technology behind hiring, retaining, evaluating, compensating and even terminating employees. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, blockchain technology soon will modernize hiring -- allowing HR professionals to quickly verify credentials of job candidates and existing employees. The association predicts that blockchain systems can "reduce the chances of third-party companies providing inaccurate historical data about a candidate or existing employee, since those individuals would have greater input and control over data that's already been verified by multiple parties.” Blockchain tech also will affect payroll, with the greatest impacts in multinational corporations or businesses with foreign employees. The technology easily can handle the back-end work to simplify and standardize payments in multiple currencies. “Not only is blockchain technology changing how companies are compensating employees, it is also changing how employees save for retirement, diversify their investment portfolio from a dependency on U.S.-dollar linked financial products and exert a greater degree of control over their personal assets,” says Travis Parker, COO of IRA Bitcoin LLC. The company helps investors purchase and hold cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Ripple in Individual Retirement Accounts or 401k plans.   4. Information technology and cybersecurity. Highly publicized data breaches at Yahoo, Equifax and Target disclosed and disseminated hundreds of millions of names, addresses, birth dates and other information. Today, companies of all sizes are increasingly focused on protecting networks, computers, programs and data from attacks, damages and unauthorized access. David Schatsky, Managing Director at Deloitte U.S., sees the potential for blockchain technology to help revolutionize the $122 billion global cybersecurity market. He notes “the technology provides a way of recording transactions or any digital interaction in a way that is secure, transparent, highly resistant to outages, auditable, and efficient.” These features form the bedrock of an effective cybersecurity system, and those capabilities are attracting interest from Lockheed Martin and even the U.S. Department of Defense. Both organizations are studying the advantages that blockchain can offer in terms of protecting critical intellectual property -- information that could be a matter of national security.   5. Management and operations. Founded 129 years ago, Eastman Kodak has struggled to compete with being largely supplanted by the digital age's smartphones. The legacy company is finding a way to reinvent itself with its new blockchain venture. The KODAKOne management platform will create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership. Photographers can register both new and archived work, and then license it within the platform. The system allows professionals to take part in a new economy for photography, secure payment for licensing their work immediately when sold and offer their work on a secure blockchain platform. Blockchain technology is changing how companies do business in other staid industries, too. The tech is creating operational efficiencies and new opportunities even in developing markets whose hyperinflation, political instability and corruption long have frightened away entrepreneurs. NagriTech is a global organic agricultural company that aims to improve crop yields in developing markets. It's launching a cryptocurrency token to facilitate financial transactions in nations whose high inflation indexes and currency devaluations make it particularly difficult for farmers and producers to secure credit. The principal markets for Nagritech -- Brazil, India, Mexico and Peru among them -- all struggle with inflation's effects. In these countries, farmers bear the adverse impacts of depending on the U.S. dollar or the euro. Regulations and limits imposed by central banks or their intermediaries make foreign exchange difficult and, in some cases, impossible.   What’s next? For blockchain technology’s early adopters and evangelists, it feels a lot like Silicon Valley in the early 1990s: a potent combination of great ideas, the intermingling of smart money and dumb money, iconoclastic personalities mixing brains and braggadocio -- and a strong sense that the internet could change everything. Blockchain technology has the same potential. Its practical applications are limited only by the imagination and effort of the entrepreneurs and visionaries who will use blockchain technology to transform their companies. Leaders who make strategic moves will profit mightily from the upheaval and disruption of traditional business models.     Sourse: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/309164

"Chinese Trina Solar supplies 123 MW modules to DTEK for solar plant"

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"Information Policy Ministry working on Ukraine's cybersecurity in three areas"

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15 October, 2018

"Klimkin, Stoltenberg discuss unblocking of Ukraine-NATO Commission"

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"EBRD plans to launch bioenergy program for EUR 70-80 mln in Ukraine"

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13 October, 2018

"UK International Trade Secretary: Ukraine has made more progress in last 4 years than in previous 20"

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"Ukroboronprom negotiates on expansion of military cooperation with United States"

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12 October, 2018

"Ukraine ranks 50th in Human Capital Index"

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"UK and Ukraine agree to forge closer economic ties post-Brexit"

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11 October, 2018
DAVE SIKORA Chief Executive Officer at ALTR UGTI on Facebook The role of blockchain in thwarting data breaches Security leaders have long excelled at mastery of complicated problems. Now they need to learn to manage complex challenges, a shift of largely unappreciated magnitude. Complicated problems, no matter how extraordinarily difficult, are solved by rules and processes that manage a result. IT management, for example, has evolved to be complicated. Complex problems, however, where there are infinite unknowns and too many interrelated factors, aren’t easily solved with rules and processes, even if they are adapted quickly. Characterizing data security in these terms may seem like a word game. It is not. The disruptive dynamics of a constantly changing threat environment has moved the data-security game into the paradigm of the complex. There’s no algorithm or risk analysis that will inoculate a company’s vital information against threats from hacktivists, state-sponsored corporate espionage, organized cybercrime and malicious insiders – let alone an employee falling prey to a bit of clever social engineering from a smooth-talking con artist. Companies fail when they manage complex problems as if they are simply complicated, and cybersecurity is no exception. When faced with threats to data integrity, both CISOs and CEOs inexorably tend to complicate thinking. We should not be surprised. Status quo bias finds them trapped in a cycle where the “hard targets” in the fast-expanding battlespace to protect data in all its forms – the breaches and attacks themselves – are easy to grasp. The “soft targets” however – the attitudes and approaches toward real mitigation – are harder to single out and measure. Quite simply, the challenge of cybersecurity solutions such as they exist is that they assume an offensive posture that sees cyber threats through a rules-based, solution-seeking worldview. It’s no wonder that IT departments are being crushed under the weight of the ceaseless game of catch up, and that executives are making decisions blindly. The definition of complexity is what is happening. In the security domain, breaches grow despite ever more vivid calls for action that can be heard in all corners of the enterprise: the state of public awareness of threats to personal information, the struggles of corporate leaders to fully understand the threat and their responsibilities, the challenge of the political classes to truly grasp the technologies they are increasingly being asked to regulate. Which all speaks to the unspoken issue: for too long, we in the cybersecurity industry have been debating the wrong problem. The current patch-driven approach ignores a broken architecture. We are treating the rise of the interconnected, digital economy and the threats to it as a complicated set of problems. In fact, it’s a complex set of problems. “Complexity in cybersecurity solutions acts as a ball and chain, preventing us from ever catching up,” argued a recent report by the cyber-economic market data firm Cybersecurity Ventures. Data security requires a new kind of logic, and this challenge – again, the definition of complexity – cannot be solved with the tools we’ve come to rely on. A rising decibel level of concern and awareness, the necessary precedent for change in the realm of the merely complicated, in fact only leads to noisier failure in the realm of the complex. Complex systems are dynamic, ever-changing, unpredictable and demand an accordingly nuanced response. To address this, corporate leaders should consciously adopt a “complexity mindset.” Solutions must not be crafted as a reaction to the problem, but rather to address its unknowns through proactive measures. One such design approach is visible in blockchain, likely the most durable design for maintaining data integrity that has been invented thus far. It would be easy to dismiss blockchain given the amount of hype around it, and its involvement in the often-grey world of cryptocurrencies and coin offerings. But with a few minor hiccups, it continues to protect one of the largest public stores of economic value in history, the Bitcoin network. Ways to tap into its unique characteristics have expanded dramatically, and the ability of blockchain to address the complex world of data security and digital trust is beginning to ripple through a wide swath of industries. Statistica forecasts that the global market for the technology will swell to more than $2.3 billion in 2022. Financial services firms have been quietly and cautiously tapping blockchain’s structure to verify data and conduct internal auditing for some time now. Even Walmart is experimenting with blockchain to reduce the time it takes to trace food-borne illnesses like Salmonella through the supply chain, lately starting a consortium that includes the likes of Dole, Unilever and Nestlé. Healthcare is another area where blockchain technology holds enormous potential, particularly because of the multitude of intermediaries in these systems. It moves the epicenter of patient data to the patients themselves by providing added privacy, security and data interoperability. For example, ALTR’s high-performance commercial blockchain technology has recently been introduced to the world of assisted reproduction, connecting all parties in this sensitive process while protecting their identities and ratcheting up security to meet and even exceed strict HIPAA guidelines. Blockchain is not a panacea (yet). But the old, complicated way of thinking about data security that says get a solution into place and fine tune it later, leaving crucial assets wide open to attack, is grinding to a halt. We now have a valid choice between change or breach.     Sourse: https://www.information-management.com/opinion/the-role-of-blockchain-in-thwarting-data-breaches

"Naftogaz has big investment plans in renewable energy"

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"Call for removing all trade barriers between Belarus, Ukraine"

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10 October, 2018

"Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv and Vinnytsia lead in investment sector transparency rating - TI Ukraine"

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"Arms and Security 2018 exhibition opens in Kyiv"

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9 October, 2018
SUHAIB MOHAMMED Digital Marketer UGTI on Facebook How Blockchain Can Help You Start, Grow and Protect Your Business At a Toronto hackathon in 2014, Amir Taaki and a handful of developers started what he called “DarkMarket,” with a proof-of-concept aimed at building a decentralized marketplace. Taaki's DarkMarket entry won the hackathon, but he chose not to continue with the project. Brian Hoffman, another enthusiastic developer, took over the project and renamed it OpenBazaar. People loved the idea of a “permissionless” marketplace and joined Hoffman to build the free, open-source worldwide marketplace. This case study illustrates how entrepreneurs used the blockchain technology framework to build a business. The crypto economy itself has the same capacity to power companies. Here's how to tap into that resource and harness its possibilities to amplify your startup.   1. Get funded with blockchain-powered ICO. Imagine you have a great business idea -- one you're sure your target customers will love. But you don't have the funds needed to move your vision forward. It's a common problem for beginning entrepreneurs. Traditional venture capital is notoriously tough to get. Blockchain technology's initial coin offerings (ICOs) spell glad tidings for aspiring entrepreneurs. Think of ICOs as a way to democratize startup funding. They provide a platform to raise money from individual investors, assuring emerging entrepreneurs no one is in it alone. You have nothing to fear, no time to waste and nothing to lose. • Refine your idea. • Set up the blockchain for your new token. • Receive seed capital to fund your new venture. Your competitors already are benefiting from these offerings, attracting huge sums of money from blockchain-powered ICOs. Coindesk reports that in the second quarter of 2017, entrepreneurs raised some $291 million through ICOs, compared to $187 million in traditional venture funding. Do your homework -- thoroughly. Ensure you have the technical expertise to consume all the goodies the ICO has to offer. Hire a developer to assist you in this endeavor. He or she can make sure your blockchain-powered ICO serves not only as a fundraiser but also as a tool to create steady growth.   Allow crypto to run your ads. How do you promote your business? In an era of attention-grabbing, pervasive online ad fraud, marketing your business is just as challenging as building and running it. Desperate to promote their products, startups bombard their customers with torrents of newsletters, how-to guides, coupons and countless numbers of ads. The pleas generally lack focus because business leaders don’t actually know what, exactly, their customers want. They're simply hoping their messages will appeal to enough of their customers. The problem is worse than you might think: According to a study from Dun & Bradstreet, 94 percent of marketers don’t know a customer preference. Crypto can professionally target key customer groups with messages that resonate with them. Blockchain combines a superb level of tracking and transparency with the ability to collect accurate data. Altogether, this ensures optimal frequency of ad display for each customer.   Protect your enterprise with cryptography. Cryptography can defend your ecommerce site, protect your online data and secure your company files better than any other solution. Powered by digital signature as well as private and public keys, cryptography is impenetrable in today's digital ecosystem. That’s because it transmits information in codes, keeping data unreadable to unauthorized users. You can take cryptography beyond protecting your primary company data. It also can help authenticate customers, separating real buyers from cyber criminals. "Transaction records are verified every single time they are passed on from one blockchain node to the next,” says Youngwhan "Nick" Lee, CEO of EcoVerse and founder of the W3C Blockchain Community. “That helps you trace and review your audits in a simple and seamless fashion.”   Keep embracing new technologies. No matter how difficult your traditional idea seems, technology can make it look simple and seamless. Whether you want to start a business or scale the one you already run, blockchain can help you in many ways: • It can help you with funding, thanks to ICOs. • It can help you with marketing, thanks to its accurate tracking and transparency. • It can help you with security, thanks to its cryptographic system. Put in the work to integrate these technologies into your business, and you'll become the next success story.     Sourse: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/319934

"IMF improves forecast for Ukraine’s GDP growth"

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"Ukraine's Fiscal Service claims about cyber-attack on its site"

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8 October, 2018

"Ukrainian farmers already gathered 43 mln tonnes of grain crops"

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"EBRD defines strategic priorities in Ukraine for next five years"

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6 October, 2018

"Enerparc AG-Rodina Energy Group plans to expand solar plant capacity in Chornobyl zone"

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"Ukrainian exports growing 19 quarters in a row – Kubiv"

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5 October, 2018

"World Bank identifies three factors of Ukraine’s economic growth"

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"India opens Indian market for apples from Ukraine"

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4 October, 2018

"Goldman Sachs and Dragon Capital buy 68,800 sq meters business center in Kyiv"

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"Ukraine, Netherlands sign Memorandum on cooperation in exploration of outer space"

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3 October, 2018

"World Bank to release another economic forecast for Ukraine"

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"Ukraine, China plan to double goods flow to $10 bln"

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2 October, 2018

"Large EPC contractor Kness to launch first own solar power plants for 33 MW"

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"Ukraine Now: American business sees bigger prospects in Ukraine"

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1 October, 2018

"Ukraine’s canned fish exports grow by 31%"

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"Ukraine develops renewable energy in Q3 2018 2.4 times faster from year ago"

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29 September, 2018

"British oil and gas company starts drilling well in Ukraine"

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"Ukraine’s export of computer services grows by 29%"

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28 September, 2018

"NBU to settle cyber defense, cybersecurity issues in sphere of money transfer"

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"NATO membership a priority for Ukraine - Information Policy Ministry"

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27 September, 2018
TOSHENDRA SHARMA Founder of Tosh Innovations Private Limited UGTI on Facebook The Future of Cyber Security: Blockchain Technology What simply started as the technology behind Bitcoin, has taken over the world today. Blockchain technology has seeped into every sphere of our lives from banking to healthcare and beyond. Cybersecurity is an industry which has been significantly impacted by this technology with a scope for more in the future. In Alex Momot’s words, ‘By removing much of the human element from data storage, blockchains significantly mitigate the risk of human error, which is the largest cause of data breaches.’ Blockchain Technology is defined as a decentralized distributed ledger system which is used to record data transactions across multiple computers. The reason why this technology has gained popularity is that you can put any digital asset or transaction into the blockchain, the industry does not matter. Blockchain technology can be used to prevent any type of data breaches, identity thefts, cyber-attacks or foul play in transactions. This ensures that the data remains private and secure. Here are some use-cases of Blockchain in cybersecurity. • Protected Edge Computing with Authentication Edge computing is good for IT efficiency, productivity and power usage but it represents a security challenge for CISOs, CIOs and the more extensive business; thus Blockchain is providing a solution to secure IoT and Industrial IoT. It will help in the strengthening of authentication, enhanced data attribution and flow as well as upgrade record management. • Advanced Confidentiality and Data Integrity Owing to its nature of public distribution, Blockchain was created without any particular access controls initially. But with time, as the technology started providing solutions to multiple industries, blockchain implementations now have scope for data confidentiality as well as access control. The complete encryption of the Blockchain ensures that data as a whole or in part is not accessible to any wrongful person or organization while in transit. • Secured Private Messaging A lot of companies are looking at Blockchain to secure their personal and private information exchanged over chats, messaging apps and social media. They hope to make it into a secure platform with the help of Blockchain and impenetrable to foreign attacks. • Improved PKI PKI or Public Key Infrastructure keeps messaging applications, emails, websites and other forms of communication secure. But they all rely on third-party certificate authorities to issue, revoke or store key pairs. These certificate authorities can become an easy target for hackers with spoof identities trying to penetrate encrypted communications. On the other hand, when keys are published on a blockchain, it leaves no scope for a false key generation or identity theft as the applications verify the identity of the person you’re communicating with. • Intact Domain Name System(DNS) The DNS is an easy target for malicious activities as hackers can bring down the DNS service providers for major websites like Twitter, Paypal and other services. A Blockchain approach to storing these DNS entries can improve the security extensively because it removes that one single target which can be compromised. • Diminished DDoS attacks A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is an attack in which multiple compromised computer systems attack a target, such as a server, website or another network resource, and cause a denial of service for users of the targeted resource. This forces the system to slow down or even crash and shut down, thereby denying service to legitimate users or systems. This problem can be solved by integrating blockchain into decentralized solutions which can provide protection against such attacks. We can develop and adopt multiple measures for security, and yet threats develop and adapt accordingly. However, with blockchain, we have a vast scope of ensuring data is safe.     Sourse: https://www.blockchain-council.org/blockchain/the-future-of-cyber-security-blockchain-technology/

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

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"Ukraine plans to hold joint meetings of intergovernmental commissions with some Arab states"

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26 September, 2018

"Ukraine interested in liberalizing U.S.-Ukraine air transportation"

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"Touchstone interested in building offshore combined solar, wind power plant in Ukraine"

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25 September, 2018
MICHAEL BURYK Freelance technology writer UGTI on Facebook Ukraine: Europe’s next frontier economy Finding current and reliable news about Ukraine’s economy, investment and business in its English-language media can be a challenge. Many articles published today focus on the war in Eastern Ukraine, political infighting and other stories guaranteed to make investors think twice about launching any financial ventures in the country. The Kyiv Post is probably the best-known English-language news publication in Ukraine. But, its news coverage does not focus on the economy or investment. There are other sources like Business Ukraine Magazine, which does offer some economic and financial insight, but it comes out 10 times a month. In May, James Brooke, a veteran foreign correspondent, started a weekday morning e-newsletter covering economy, investment and business: Ukraine Business News. Mr Brooke is a Yale-educated journalist with four decades years of experience covering countries around the globe. His background includes 24 years with the New York Times, and in Moscow, regional bureau chief for Bloomberg and then Voice of America. He moved to Kyiv in December 2015. Andrew Pryma, who grew up in Zhytomyr, and received his MBA in the US where he currently lives, is a business partner in UBN. In an interview, Mr Brooke talked about his confidence in the Ukrainian economy and the positive changes that are happening. “The game changer is the new visa free tourism which is bringing millions of Ukrainians to Europe. You’re exposing a massive amount of (Ukrainian) population to direct living and working and studying in the EU,” he said. “The second game changer was the arrival on September 3 of Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline. By the end of the year, they will have direct links between Ukraine and 17 EU cities. You’re going to have Europeans on the ground right where I live (in Kyiv). Ukraine is by and large a normal country. This will be huge in changing attitudes of Ukrainians towards Europe and Europeans towards Ukraine.” James Brooke explains why some investments in Ukraine are not publicised: “If European companies are putting 600 million US dollars in a corn processing plant in rural Vinnytsia, they don’t care about publicity. They are trying to get the plant up and running. There are a lot of investments like that – a 300 million US dollar American-funded wind turbine project in Odessa,” he adds. “Value-added is happening. It’s not sexy and it’s hard to find these stories. Once again, investors don’t want publicity. They just want to get their factory up and running and make money, and not run into pushback from people wanting to create problems.” Mr. Brooke points out that the tech sector and IT are thriving. “You’re going to see more and more integration with the wider world. In the IT sector around the world, Ukraine is recognised as a great place to go. The challenge for Ukraine is to move beyond outsourcing. The challenge is to move into the creative, innovative areas and to not just do the kind of piecework handed off.” The UBN morning newsletter is becoming a go-to source for economic, investment and business news about Ukraine. “We are in the process of building the brand and getting the name and word out,” says Mr. Brooke. “In 10 weeks, we have 1,000 readers. This speaks to a hunger for solid Bloomberg style ‘just the facts’ information about business deals and economic trends. Smart people are putting their money in Ukraine.” James Brooke is very upbeat about Ukraine’s economic and investment prospects. He calls Ukraine: “Europe’s next frontier economy”.     Sourse: https://emerging-europe.com/voices/ukraine-europes-next-frontier-economy/

"European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to invest in renewable energy in Ukraine"

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"ICU investment group launches venture investment"

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24 September, 2018

"Construction volumes in Ukraine increase by almost 6% in 2018"

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"Germany considers the possibility to finance construction of highway in eastern Ukraine"

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22 September, 2018

"Ukraine's GDP per capita to grow 1.5 times in five years according to IMF"

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"Ukraine, Moldova discuss cooperation in education"

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21 September, 2018

"Ukraine ranks 17th in Open Data Barometer rating"

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"Memorandums on implementation of investment projects worth $625 mln signed at 'Tavrian Horizons' forum"

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20 September, 2018
SHIDAN GOURAN President and CEO at Global Blockchain Technologies Corp UGTI on Facebook Building the Third Generation of Blockchain Networks In its relatively short existence, blockchain technology has already seen a few iterations. The first was ushered in with Satoshi Nakamoto’s seminal invention of Bitcoin — which, at its core, is a protocol for transferring value. Then in 2015, Ethereum made versatile smart contracts a reality. What we need to strive towards is the true third-generation of blockchain: cross-chain interoperability. With the onslaught of new blockchains, we’re falling into one of the traps the technology was meant to mitigate — a fragmented landscape. Interoperability is key to ensuring that the technology thrives and streamlines transfers of value, information and digital property. Lack of compatibility between chains is something that needs to be addressed before any meaningful progress can be made. Enabling blockchains to interact would eradicate issues pertaining to poor liquidity, and broaden the scope of decentralised operating systems. To visualise the concept, consider an enterprise that runs on a local network. Within this network, many things are possible — employees can code software to do a number of things, be it encrypting files or automating various tasks. This works well, but only within a bubble: there is no contact with the outside world. This is an intranet, which many blockchains are aiming to create. With an internet connection, however, the possibilities for such an enterprise become infinite — they have access to a whole wealth of information that can serve to enrich their operations. They can work synergistically with similar businesses, and exchange data. This is an internet, and this is what we need to be building for blockchains. Today, there’s been some notable moves made in this domain, although not as many as one would hope — the vast majority of developer talent in the space is focused on creating new blockchains. Worthy mentions of projects attempting to tackle the interoperability problem are those working on submarine swaps (within the Lightning Network) and Ethereum’s team, designing the Plasma protocol (although this has yet to see much by way of tangible application). Interoperability is definitely one of the slower moving fields in blockchain, but it’s one that is poised to deliver some of the most meaningful results, by connecting protocols that are currently functioning in a void. We need to stop building upwards, by bolting everything onto the same chain, and start to build outwards, so that the hundreds of blockchains in existence can begin to interact with each other and usher in the third-generation of blockchains.     Sourse: https://hackernoon.com/building-the-third-generation-of-blockchain-networks-52af832328e1

"Ukraine climbs 61 places in Doing Business ranking"

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"Ukrainian infrastructure minister agrees on certification of Hyperloop project in Ukraine"

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19 September, 2018

"EU to provide EUR 54 mln to Ukraine's Energy Efficiency Fund"

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"Ukraine’s economic ministry presents export brand “Trade with Ukraine”"

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18 September, 2018
STEVEN EHRLICH COO at the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance UGTI on Facebook Making Sense Of China's Grand Blockchain Strategy For a couple of years now it has appeared as if the Chinese government is seeking to “have its cake and eat it too” when it comes to crypto assets and blockchain technology. The simple phrase “blockchain not Bitcoin” has become the country’s defining strategy when it comes to the space, and the difference in approaches that the government has taken regarding closed v. open ledgers and assets is a study in contrast. Consider the following – all of which happened in the last month: • The Chinese Communist Party website released a primer on blockchain technology that included discussion points on its key features, use cases, and challenges • China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC), is supporting the development of a blockchain-based trade finance platform that will streamline interbank payments and help SMBs get access to a wider range of financing tools • China’s Supreme People’s Court released new rules stating that blockchain technology is an approved method for storing and authenticating digital evidence • The Bank of China, not to be confused with the PBoC, revealed plans to aggressively invest in the development of fintech and blockchain technology At the same time, the CPC has been overtly hostile to any and all activities related to crypto assets. Last September the government banned all ICOs in the country, regardless of whether or not they are securities, and in the same month local Chinese exchanges were ordered to cease operations. The end result, in the last 12 months 90 different cryptocurrency exchanges and about 85 ICOs have closed in China. Now the government extended this ban to over 100 international exchanges that served the Chinese market, ending one of the last options that crypto traders had without using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Furthermore, the government is blocking crypto-related accounts on the country’s predominant social media platforms such as WeChat. This leads to two critical questions: 1. Why is the government taking such a Jekyll and Hyde approach? 2. Is this strategy sustainable? A small anecdote and an example can help shed some light on the Chinese mentality. 10 years ago, a senior official within the George W. Bush administration gave a speech in New York City on America’s foreign policy. The discussion eventually turned to the U.S.-Chinese relationship, and the official shared a conversation that he had with a counterpart in Beijing. The American began discussing what kept him up at night, mentioning the invasion of Afghanistan, the Global War on Terror, and future attack in the U.S. as key concerns. He then candidly asked the Chinese representative the same question, expecting an answer along the lines of controlling Tibetan unrest or maintaining peace across the Taiwan Strait. Instead, he got a one-word answer, the number 8. Upon being asked for clarification, the gentleman said he was referring to a need to maintain at least 8% GDP growth on an annual basis to keep unemployment low and the country stable. He made it clear that nothing less than the stability and legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) was at stake. The takeaway from this conversation: the Chinese government focuses on domestic stability above all else, and economic growth is the key enabler. Therefore, officials in Beijing will not let crypto, or any other technology, threaten its authority or legitimacy to rule. As a sign of the government’s commitment, it is important to note that this is not the first time that China has retrofitted a breakthrough technology for its own market. While most enthusiasts praise the business models and success of leading Chinese technology firms such as Alibaba and Tencent, they exist in their current state today largely because of the protection provided by China’s “Great Internet Firewall” as well as protectionist regulatory measures that delayed or outright prevented American companies like Facebook from accessing the market. Additionally, these firms all enjoy close ties to officials in Beijing and collaborate with Internet monitors to ban speech and content that is contrary to domestic stability, showing that censorship and success are not mutually exclusive. That said, the stakes are higher this time around and taking this same approach to blockchain technology is nothing less than a double-down of its strategy vis-à-vis Google and Facebook. Firstly, blockchain technology is naturally distributed, which is a significant complicating factor, but not insurmountable. However, never before has the government had to deal with cryptoassets and cryptocurrencies that cannot be banned or sanctioned without blocking the Internet as a whole. Monetary policy plays a key role in China’s economic strategy, and if Bitcoin or another crypto asset or crypto currency was to gain widespread acceptance, it would limit Beijing’s ability to steward the country forward in continued prosperity in more ways than one. For instance, if Bitcoin or a stablecoin became a medium for exchange, especially for international trade, it would limit the efficacy of China’s exchange rate policies that have historically supporting its export industry. Additionally, crypto assets are extremely volatile, and investors in the space often hear the common disclaimer that they need to be prepared to lose all of their holdings. China has almost 1.4 billion citizens, and if even a small percentage of those individuals lost 90% of their holdings, as many investors in the U.S. did last year, it would cause a significant strain on their social service programs. Therefore, while it is easy to advocate for open policies, there also need to be emergency breaks in the system. Looking ahead, it is clear that China will continue to rely on strategies that have worked for it in the past. However, it remains to be seen if government officials in Beijing will see the same results. Even with these restrictions in place the country will continue to be one of the most critical hotbeds of innovation in the space. Over time as the industry develops, the government may be more amenable to crypto assets as well.     Sourse: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenehrlich/2018/09/17/making-sense-of-chinas-grand-blockchain-strategy/#2cb4fc0d3678

"Ukraine’s finance ministry hopes to raise $3.5 bln on foreign loan market in 2019"

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"Italy ready to help Ukraine implement health reform"

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17 September, 2018

"Poroshenko outlines three Ukrainian sectors attracting powerful investments"

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"European Commission loans Ukraine €1bn to help with reforms"

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15 September, 2018

"IT sector ranks third in Ukraine's export structure"

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"Govt plans revenue of consolidated budget 2019 at UAH 1.293 trln"

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14 September, 2018

"Ukraine and EU sign loan agreement and memo on fourth macro-finance aid of EUR1 bln"

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"Capital investments in Ukraine grew by 26.5% in first half of 2018"

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13 September, 2018
WOLFIE ZHAO Reporter at CoinDesk UGTI on Facebook Blockchain Could Boost Trade Finance by $1 Trillion, WEF Research Says Blockchain is able to fill in much of the $1.5 trillion-dollar supply-demand gap in global trade finance by easing financing for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets, new research says. Jointly conducted and released by the World Economic Forum and Bain & Company, the research indicates that, by deploying blockchain, global businesses can generate an extra $1 trillion in trade finance that would otherwise be missed out on. According to an Asian Development Bank calculation, the global trade finance gap is currently at $1.5 trillion and is estimated to grow to $2.4 trillion by 2025. The research further explains that this issue largely arises from limited access to credit and loans for SMEs that are looking to expand their businesses. The researchers argue, however, that this missing funding can be reduced by $1 trillion if blockchain "is used more broadly," since distributed networks are able to share business records across financial institutions along the supply chain and bring transparency to businesses' credibility. "They would help mitigate credit risk, lower fees and remove barriers to trade," the researchers write, adding: If implemented, the main beneficiaries are set to be SMEs and emerging markets, which suffer most from a lack of access to credit and have ample room to grow trade. The researchers further added that a blockchain-based trade finance system would be particularly beneficial to Asian economies as they account for 7 percent ($105 billion) of the trade finance gap, with 75 percent of the global document-based transactions across supply chains.     Sourse: https://www.coindesk.com/blockchain-could-boost-trade-finance-by-1-trillion-wef-research-says/

"EU plans to launch EUR 55 mln public finance management programme in Ukraine"

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"No problem banks in Ukraine - Deposit Guarantee Fund"

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12 September, 2018

"Over 70 auctions to privatize small companies held in ProZorro. Sales bringing UAH 85.6 mln to state"

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"Sweden IKEA to open first store in Kyiv"

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11 September, 2018
VICENTE DIAZ Principal security researcher at Kaspersky Labs UGTI on Facebook Revisiting some top cyber threat predictions for 2018 At the end of each year, the IT security community routinely makes bold predictions on some of the imminent cyber threats to come. For example, at the conclusion of 2017, Kaspersky Lab researchers forecasted an increase in supply chain attacks leveraging third party software, more high-end mobile malware, additional destructive attacks like 2017’s ExPetr/NotPetya attack, as well as increased router and modem hacks. Now, well into 2018, it’s important to re-evaluate some of the predictions made, to see what has come true, what has yet to happen and what has drastically changed in a few months’ time. In the cybersecurity community, this type of collaborative review is critical to ensuring stronger protection and greater research accuracy. Let’s take a look at the first half of 2018.   H1 2018: The Current Reality The first half of the year was not a quiet one in IT security. In fact, several advanced persistent threat (APT) operations were uncovered revealing weak points within critical infrastructure, pharma companies, government entities and more. To kick off 2018, Olympic Destroyer made headlines when the threat group conducted a disruptive cyberattack against the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic games. The cyberattack temporarily paralyzed IT systems ahead of the official opening ceremony, shutting down display monitors, killing Wi-Fi and taking down the Olympics website so that visitors were unable to print tickets. Kaspersky Lab also found that several ski resort facilities in South Korea suffered from this worm, which disabled the operation of ski gates and lifts at the resorts. Later in June, new activity by this threat actor was discovered, this time targeting financial organizations in Russia, as well as biochemical threat prevention laboratories in Europe and Ukraine. A number of indicators suggest a low to medium confidence link between Olympic Destroyer and the Russian speaking threat actor, Sofacy. In addition to Olympic Destroyer, one of the most notable activities so far this year has been the VPNFilter campaign, an Internet of Things / router malware attributed by the FBI to the Sofacy and Sandworm (Black Energy) APT groups. The May 2018 campaign targeted a large assortment of domestic networking hardware and storage solutions. It was even able to inject malware into traffic in order to infect computers behind the infected networking device. The VPNFilter campaign is one of the most relevant examples of how networking hardware has become a priority for sophisticated attackers. The data provided by Cisco Talos indicated this campaign was conducted at a largescale global level, and Kaspersky Lab’s analysis found that traces of this campaign could be found in almost every country. That same month, in May 2018, Kaspersky Lab researchers also observed ZooPark, a sophisticated cyberespionage campaign that was targeting Android device users based in Middle Eastern countries for several years. Using legitimate websites as sources of infection, the campaign appeared to be a nation-state backed operation aimed at political organizations, activists and other targets based in the region. Just one month after ZooPark and VPNFilter discoveries, the LuckyMouse APT Chinese-speaking threat actor reemerged in June. This APT had previously been observed abusing a national data center in Asia for waterhole attacks through high profile websites. Later this year, it was also found to be actively targeting Kazakh and Mongolian governmental entities around the time these governments held their meeting in China. These cyber threats are just a small sampling of the APT activity observed in the first of half of 2018 by the IT security community. While some predictions made at the start of the year have come true, others have yet to come to fruition, keeping organizations and individuals alike in anticipation of the future.   H2 2018: Cyber Threats to Watch For The second half of 2018 will likely also be a busy one for cybersecurity researchers. So far, we have repeatedly warned that networking hardware is ideally suited to targeted attacks, and we have highlighted the existence and spread of advanced activity focusing on these devices. We continue to stand by this expectation for the remainder of the year. In addition, during the second half of the year, we expect to see more supply chain attacks, both from the point of discovery as well as actual attacks. Trojanizing specialized software used in specific regions and verticals will become a move akin to waterholing strategically chosen sites in order to reach specific victims. We also estimate that in H2 2018, more high-end APT malware for mobile will be discovered, as a result of both an increase in the attacks and improvement in security technologies designed to catch them. Lastly, we expect that destructive attacks, such as those using wipers, which was evident in 2017’s Shamoon, Stonedrill and ExPetr/NotPetya attacks, will continue to rise as they can be used as a distraction, to wipe traces after an attack (repeatedly seen in the financial sector) and for propaganda purposes, other than destructive purposes. Overall, as we become more digitized than ever before, we will continue to see significant cyber threats for the remainder of 2018 and beyond. Each year, industry predictions on APT actors should not be taken in isolation – but they should build on each other to raise awareness, enrich research and build on collaboration. Only by sharing and applying quality threat intelligence can we as a cybersecurity community be one step ahead of some of these APT actors. Sourse: https://www.information-management.com/opinion/revisiting-some-top-cyber-threat-predictions-for-2018?tag=00000154-4da2-d45e-a175-6fbf03b40000

"Saudi Arabian company plans to acquire Ukrainian agroholding Mriya"

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"Poll: 67% of Ukrainians ready to vote for membership in NATO"

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10 September, 2018

"Infrastructure Ministry estimates implementation of Transport Strategy of Ukraine until 2030 at $60 bln"

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"Ukraine takes part in IRENA Innovation Week 2018"

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8 September, 2018

"Ukraine joins Global Digital Health Partnership"

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"Largest Ukrainian gas producer discovers third new field in Kharkiv region"

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7 September, 2018

"Ukraine has fulfilled most of its obligations to the IMF"

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"Groysman suggests increasing defense budget for 2019 to UAH 201 bln"

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6 September, 2018
MILTON EZRATI Author, economist and investment manager UGTI on Facebook Cybersecurity: A Major Concern And A Great Business Opportunity Connectivity through the Internet has yielded businesses everywhere tremendous productivity and profitability opportunities. The hitch in this otherwise welcome world is great vulnerability to cyberattacks. The same electronic avenue that makes business more profitable and life so convenient and easy also enables those who would disrupt and frequently steal. Since this evil has grown along with this otherwise marvelous structure, spending on cybersecurity has skyrocketed, bringing many legitimate business opportunities with it. Even without statistics, just the accumulated memories of headlines should convince anyone that cybersecurity incidents have exploded. Global business recorded almost 23 million significant security breaches in 2011. By 2013, the number approached 30 million, a 12.8% annualized growth. Since, the number of incidents has accelerated, growing over 33% a year on average. Though data are spotty for this year, the number of such incidents is on track to approach 100 million. Taking a broader measure that includes intrusions as well as actual breaches, business and government in the United States alone suffered 668 million during this year’s first half or 1.3 billion at an annualized rate, a 15% yearly rate of increase since 2013. Business has a bigger problem than just how attacks have risen with IT applications. Its best means to IT productivity and so profitability -- cloud computing and outsourcing, including offshoring -- disproportionately increases the vulnerability to attacks. A survey by Gartner makes clear how these productivity-enhancing steps have allowed business IT to do more over the past couple of years even while keeping hiring and capital budgets essentially flat. Few want to give up these efficiencies, despite the vulnerabilities they bring. All know that bringing data management in house can reduce vulnerability but only at the cost of rising expenses, particularly for equipment and staffing. It is little wonder then that firms have turned enthusiastically toward spending on cybersecurity. As much as it can cost, it offers a bargain next to the alternative of cutting back on cloud computing and these other productivity-enhancing practices. And such spending has grown markedly. In the United States, outlays for cybersecurity have jumped from $40 billion in 2013 to $66 billion in 2018, if, that is, the pace of spending in the first half holds up for the entire year. That amounts to a 10.5% yearly growth rate. Few lines of business can claim that kind of growth. Globally, the spending figure, according to Gartner, should approach $93 billion this year, though many industry executives suggest that this estimate is much too conservative. They put the likely final spending amount well over $100 billion. It looks as though the spending has paid a return. Despite the continued growth of IT usage and cloud computing as well as outsourcing, the number of attempts and breaches in the United States this year seems to have abated from 2017’s high of 1.6 billion. The battle, however, is far from won. Figures for 2018 are still higher than any other year on record. What is more, hackers and other criminals have already begun to shift away from areas where the security efforts have focused. Past attacks occurred mostly on servers and workstations, but more recently the hackers have focused more on applications and people, where security efforts thus far have concentrated less. These new areas, then, would seem to offer the greatest return and the largest business opportunities going forward. Of course, if such efforts prove effective, the criminals and the needs for security will simply glide elsewhere. Following their efforts is then an endless game and it will give those competent in security, individuals and firms, good growth prospects for the foreseeable future. The data say that these needs/opportunities are truly global. To be sure, the United States has suffered a plurality of such attacks, 43% of the global total. The Asia-Pacific region is next, suffering some 30% of the attacks, while Europe and Latin America trail with 24% and 4% respectively. But those differences say less about the nature of cybercrime in each region than about how far the firms there have come in IT development, including Internet use and cloud computing as well as outsourcing and offshoring. The criminals are certainly global. They have simply strived for efficiency, as does any business, and focused on those places with the most targets. The great bank robber, Willie Sutton, though far from an IT expert, summed up the phenomena when he advised: “Go where the money is . . . and go there often.” As firms in other regions reach the depth and breadth of IT penetration already present in the United States, their experience with cybercrime will almost certainly come up to this country’s. When it comes to the industry distribution of attacks, the matter takes on greater complexity. In 2017, for example, some 65% of the incidents centered on the entertainment industry, far above the 9.4% in information and 7% on healthcare, not to mention the only 5.5% in finance. This pattern is certainly not going where the money is. It suggests that here the attacks have followed vulnerability. Entertainment has neither the security tradition of finance and healthcare nor the regulatory strictures. Both prompted these sectors, most especially finance, to seek cyber protection earlier than other industries. If 2017’s experience is any indication, these other industries will now step up their spending, too, if not to the extent that finance does, then certainly more than in the past. Today’s picture does offer a measure of encouragement. Incidents and attempts have dropped. Cybersecurity spending has begun to do its job. But it also makes clear that the efforts at defense will have to broaden continually to cover each new area where the criminals find vulnerability. Those efforts will have to broaden geographically, too, as other regions of the world step up their use of IT applications and efficiencies on a par with North America. And security venders will find new markets as they develop defenses for industries that previously had little need for protection or thought they did. The dollars involved will rise in tandem.     Sourse: https://www.forbes.com/sites/miltonezrati/2018/09/05/cyber-security-a-major-concern-and-a-great-business-opportunity/#79c254a53e26

"International Monetary Fund mission starts working in Kyiv"

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"Ukraine has exclusively developed medicines registered in Europe, U.S."

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5 September, 2018

"Germany’s Bayer launches seed plant in Ukraine for $200 MLN"

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"Ukrainian exports to Poland grew by 30% in H1 2018"

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4 September, 2018
MICK HAGEN Founder/CEO of Mainframe UGTI on Facebook Blockchain Is How We Can Protect Our Privacy in a World of Ubiquitous Surveillance We’ve seen headlines about blockchain technology adoption and witnessed increased cryptocurrency use, but the general public still lacks a basic understanding of what blockchain is and how it works. Simply put, a blockchain is a decentralized ledger of information. Any information recorded is updated and verified on a global level where anyone can participate, monitor for “bad actors” and prevent interference by large entities (such as oppressive regimes and monolithic companies). Public institutions and private enterprises recently have converged to discreetly build massive surveillance infrastructures. Look no further than Amazon, Facebook and the increasingly popular WeChat -- an all-in-one Chinese version of Whatsapp -- to find breeding grounds for information misuse. Future generations risk unknowingly (but autonomously) helping diminish their own rights to privacy and data protection. There is some good news: A solution to this growing trend of third-party interference is within our reach. Blockchain technology is armed to curb infringements upon citizens' rights. Here are three examples of blockchain's potential to affect our approach to censorship, privacy and even individualize the control of wealth.   Avoiding censorship. Blockchain technology debuted at a time when the general public is increasingly dependent on social media and the instant gratification the internet provides. As reliance on these platforms has grown, privacy has become less of an intentional individual priority. It's more of an option for institutions to abide by. This leaves citizens susceptible to invasions of privacy and unintended censorship. Privacy commonly is offered as a “value-add” feature for most messaging services, including Whatsapp, Signal, Telegram and Facebook Messenger. But these globally recognized systems still rely on centralized components to function -- for example, cloud services and internet service providers. As a result, powerful forces opposed to truly private communication have the capacity to not only scrape conversational data on an industrial scale but to completely shut down peer-to-peer communication systems on a whim. Earlier this year, the Turkish government shut down ProtonMail to strengthen its hold over internet access nationwide. ProtonMail allows for end-to-end encryptions and automatically destroys emails after transmission. Those features made it the application of choice for journalists and dissidents alike. Turkey, the world’s biggest jailer of journalists since early 2016, blocked the secure email service along with 20 VPNs, removing citizens' means to circumvent restrictions and access banned sites. Government officials did so strictly to censor the flow of information coming in to and flowing out from the country. Censorship-proof applications currently being built using blockchain technology would strip governments' ability to block encrypted apps. Barring the removal or outright disabling of electronic devices in general, it's impossible to tamper with or block platforms built on decentralized information sources.   Regaining privacy. Storing and uploading private data such as bank information, home addresses and Social Security numbers has become the norm. This continually exposes an individual's sensitive and private data to vulnerabilities. It makes them susceptible to breaches not only by hackers but also by platforms that abuse loopholes in privacy agreements to access and sell personal data to enemy governments or third parties. The Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed the firm improperly obtained personal data on over 80 million users on Facebook. In truth, data analytics companies have been applying this same methodology for many years, only often with permission. Scraping and selling user data remains the business model that large tech companies depend on to grow and thrive. With blockchain technology, citizens would have the ability to store private information in a secure, decentralized ledger. Citizens would maintain data ownership, deciding when and where it's shared. This technology could prevent malicious actors and third parties from ever accessing or harvesting personal data without consent. No data, no manipulating or directing unsuspecting users down certain behavioral paths.   Individualizing wealth control. The state’s clout within a nation’s financial system is historically strong. But as the global economy becomes more interconnected, citizens rapidly are gaining access to new forms of wealth and markets that remain outside the purview of their governments. Autocratic governments have responded by seeking ways to maintain control over an individual's or group’s access to resources. China’s "social credit" system is the most clear-cut example of the phenomenon. The surveillance program tracks and scores each citizen action as well as interactions among citizens, subsequently using the information to allot each person a credit standing. This affects everything from securing loans to gaining entry to dating sites. Cryptocurrencies powered by blockchain have the power to flip this trend on its head. They can enable people to participate in an alternative form of finance that isn't subject to judgment by the state. How? By removing the middleman from transactions. Individuals or groups who have been blacklisted by a government or corporation then can do more than amass and spend wealth. They can prosper. The effect will amplify as more vendors adopt cryptocurrency. Those in positions of power within these systems know alternative-money supplies immediately strip away one of the most powerful tools at their disposal. It’s no surprise that they've made futile attempts to ban crypto exchanges. Blockchain's rise signals a chance to knock over our current house of cards and begin building again -- this time with a truly privacy-centric foundation. Governments and legacy companies with vested interests are likely to kick, scream and even attempt to block the technology moving forward. When a blockchain project can support private, decentralized applications with a range of purposes that mirrors human need, we'll usher in a new era of free thought as a new internet emerges.     Sourse: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/318027

"Ukraine and Norway in talks on eur300-400 MLN investment in renewable energy"

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"Ukraine’s exports to EU totaled $11.2 bln in first half of 2018"

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3 September, 2018

"Market of new passenger cars grew by 11% in Ukraine - UkrAutoProm"

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"Ukraine threshes 34.5 MLN tonnes of grain"

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1 September, 2018

"State Agency for Energy Efficiency seeks to launch ‘green’ bonds in Ukraine"

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"President Poroshenko thanks U.S. Congress for supporting Ukraine"

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31 August, 2018

"PVK Energy Investment from ICU Group buys Kherson-based Solar Capital to build solar plant"

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"U.S. Department of State comments on Ukrainian ambassador’s statement on purchase of air defense systems"

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30 August, 2018
CHRIS WYSOPAL Chief Technology Officer at CA Veracode UGTI on Facebook What Government Organizations Can Learn From The Private Sector About Cybersecurity Millions of Americans rely on our critical infrastructure to keep the lights on, keep the water clean and get from point A to point B. Critical industries like energy, utilities and transportation keep the global economy moving and maintain our quality of life. But the same systems that are used to improve efficiencies at these organizations are increasingly threatened by cyberattacks. An attack on a power grid in Ukraine, an attempted attack on electric companies in the United States, and attacks on banks in Russia and other European countries are just a glimpse at the growing cyberthreat to key infrastructure resources. Applications power all of this critical technology, and many of these applications are riddled with security flaws. In fact, according to our recent State of Software Security report, less than one-third of applications in critical infrastructure technology stacks passed the basic industry standards referred to as OWASP on the first scan of code and saw no improvement in the most recent scan. The good news is that some industries are doing cybersecurity right, and those best practices can be passed on to those that might still need some work. Some of the public agencies that manage our critical energy, utility and transportation infrastructures can learn from security practices and improvements being made in the private sector.   Troubling Signs For Software Security Applications are a top target for cyberattacks. After scanning thousands of applications and billions of lines of code, we at Veracode found that 70% of applications failed security testing when measured against today's vulnerability standards -- a failure rate that hasn't budged much in three years. As the security skills gap grows, the same coding errors are cropping up year after year, at similar rates. Other reports point to more troubling signs for software security. For instance, 451 Research's Vendor Evaluation study (registration required), released in December 2017, showed that while 49% of enterprises overall have implemented an application security tool (e.g., DAST, SAST, IAST, RASP), that percentage drops to 32.5% for the government/education vertical. When it comes to software security, government organizations continue to underperform compared to other industries. In fact, exploitable vulnerabilities like cross-site scripting and SQL injection are common in public organizations that run our most critical infrastructure. What’s more, a 2018 audit by the Government Accountability Office concluded that the U.S. federal government also needs to improve lax federal cybersecurity in general, especially when it comes to EHR data security and privacy.   The Good News: Health Care And Retail Are Improving There are industries, however, that are improving their security practices. The health care sector had a large improvement between our first scan and the second scan compared to other industries -- a 9% improvement in OWASP pass rate. These improvements could be driven by strict regulations that govern how sensitive patient information is handled. The retail industry has also seen similar advancements, with a 9% improvement in OWASP pass rates between the first and second scans. This sector has a lot to lose if security isn’t managed properly, as the companies are dealing with customer data. High-profile breaches by major consumer brands may also be spurring this industry to boost its security tactics. Specific examples of retail or health care companies improving their approach to cybersecurity include Vizient, a health care performance company that recently applauded the Food and Drug Administration on its proposed Medical Device Safety Action Plan that's designed to enhance existing security programs and processes and encourage innovative technologies that are "safer and more effective." As for retail, Walmart is one of a small handful of companies in the U.S. that operates digital-forensics laboratories accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors. This task force has the know-how to dig into online fraud or track a data breach to find out how it happened.   What Government Organizations Can Learn: Educate, Test And Test Again In order to implement a comprehensive security strategy and show the improvement demonstrated by the health care and retail industries, public organizations must focus on education. Creating a culture of security internally at an organization can go a long way toward diminishing security risks. Security education and ongoing training are essential to keep up with the demand for secure coding skills. According to a 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study, respondents suggest that having training programs and paying for security certification are just two ways that companies can ramp up their strategy and successfully train and retain top cybersecurity talent. Application security training should be continually provided by organizations and updated to incorporate new tools and best practices. The second essential step government organizations must take is to test early and often. Developers should use security testing to spot check their work; otherwise, flaws may be introduced into the code. The only way to fix security flaws is by finding them. While this seems obvious, many government organizations don’t prioritize application security testing. For example, a 2017 web application security report assessed whether agencies conducted any web application consolidation efforts or maintained a web consolidation program. Out of the nine agency participants in this report, CIGIE found that only one agency had a comprehensive program or process in place to control and reduce the number of web applications. Companies should develop a systematic application security program with standardized procedures for prioritizing and remediating vulnerabilities according to risk. These practices should involve more than one-and-done checkbox testing for compliance purposes. To make true progress on software security, companies must frequently test their applications. This goes hand in hand with DevOps practices, which support the security ideal of shifting remediation earlier in the development process by making incremental improvements through smaller, faster builds. Equipping developers with testing technologies accessible within their environments will help businesses make the shift from DevOps to DevSecOps. By continually educating developers and operations teams about security best practices and by providing them with tools that will empower them to own security, organizations can improve both the quality and security of the applications that power our most important resources.     Sourse: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/08/29/what-government-organizations-can-learn-from-the-private-sector-about-cybersecurity/#7a3a7e22d9df

"Investments in Ukrainian agrarian sector grow to UAH 27 bln in H1"

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"Finance ministry expects to receive $2 bln tranche from IMF in H2 2018"

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29 August, 2018

"PayPal subsidiary launches service of money transfer from U.S. to Ukraine"

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"DTEK raises EUR 90 mln from German banks to build 100 MW wind farm"

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28 August, 2018
HANS-JOSEF FELL Founder and president of the Energy Watch Group UGTI on Facebook Ukraine must embrace renewables to become truly independent On 24 August, Ukraine celebrates its independence day. But as last week’s talks between Russian president Vladimir Putin and German chancellor Angela Merkel on gas transits via Ukraine showed, the country is far from being energy independent. Ukraine’s economy is one of the most energy intensive in Europe. Gas imports from the EU serve only as a short-term solution, as the EU depends on insecure and expensive Russian gas supplies. The Ukrainian government plans to increase local gas production, which would pollute climate with high methane emissions and require about $4 billion of capital expenditure. Ukraine still relies heavily on nuclear energy, which generates more than the half of its power. Most nuclear reactors are out-dated and a major safety hazard. Ukraine still struggles to cover the costs of the Chernobyl catastrophe consequences. The best solution to all these challenges is a fast transition to safe and clean domestic renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency. In recent years, Ukraine has adopted a number of significant energy reforms. The government cut energy subsidies, stopped direct gas imports from Russia and introduced a range of energy efficiency measures. It can and should do more. Ukraine has a high potential across all renewables: solar, wind, water, geothermal and biomass. A recent study by Finnish Lappeenranta University of Technology and the Energy Watch Group showed that Ukraine can switch its electricity to a full renewable energy supply by 2050 or earlier and it will be more cost-efficient. According to the study, green energy transition would bring the levelised cost of electricity to €54/MWh from a current level of €94/MWh in 2050. But discussions on renewables in Ukraine are often overshadowed by stereotypes, spread by fossil fuel and nuclear lobbyists. The two most widespread are: renewable energy technology is too expensive and cannot provide secure energy supply. These arguments are long outdated. Last year, transition and developing countries, including China, India, Mexico and Chile were leading on investments in renewables. Already today, new renewable energy installations are cheaper than fossil fuel and nuclear power plants in most countries. Energy supply, fully based on renewables, is secure. Another study by the Energy Watch Group proved that a global electricity system based on 100% renewable energy is feasible at every hour throughout the year and is more cost effective. According to a recent World Health Organization study, seven million people – mostly in developing countries – die from air pollution every year. In Europe alone, 23,000 people die prematurely every year due to emissions from coal power plants. Ukraine also struggles with high air pollution and health damage. In 2014, fossil and nuclear energy subsidies in Ukraine accounted 7% of the GDP. This is an enormous amount of money, which could otherwise be used for strengthening other vital sectors like health, research and education. The main challenge in Ukraine is to reach a critical mass of installed renewable energy capacity in order to get independent of fossil fuels and nuclear. Currently, renewables account for just 1.5% of the country’s energy mix. It is a long shot to the Government’s target of 11% by 2020. Therefore, strong political will and huge efforts are needed. In the past, green energy tariffs in Ukraine were tailored to profit a group of oligarchs, which led to a distorted image of renewables in the public. Yet, in contrast to fossil fuels and nuclear, investment in renewables came not only from oligarchs, but also from private people, cooperatives, farmers, small and medium companies and foreign investors. This democratic participation should be strengthened by the reform of the energy legislation, currently discussed by the Ukrainian Parliament. New legislation amendment must have clear conditions: • The current effective legal framework on renewable energy until 2020 should stay unchanged. This will ensure that many projects on the track will be realised and investors keep their trust in the Ukrainian governance. • Feed-in-tariffs should be kept for the new installations below 40MW and auctions introduced only for installations above 40MW. This would encourage investments from citizens, farmers, public utilities and small and medium enterprises, which would otherwise not be able to compete with large businesses. With the right political framework, deployment of decentralized renewable energy will help to reduce monopolies and oligopolies and combat corruption. Investments in R&D, renewable energy, storage and efficiency technologies will create many jobs, especially in the rural area. A switch to renewable energy is a great opportunity for Ukraine to become energy independent and boost the economy. Even more importantly, this transition would help to end conflicts over resources in eastern Ukraine and bring long awaited peace.     Sourse: http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/08/24/ukraine-must-embrace-renewables-become-truly-independent/

"UK seeks to prepare FTA with Ukraine by mid-2019"

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"Ukrainian exports to EU five times more that to Russia in H1 2018"

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27 August, 2018

"UAH 200 bln to be allocated for Ukraine’s security and defense sector next year"

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"MHP to launch first stage of biogas complex at Vinnytsia poultry farm by late 2018"

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25 August, 2018

"Investors ready to finance development of Ukrainian enterprises should become their owners after privatization – EBRD"

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"European Vega launch vehicle with Ukrainian engine successfully puts ESA’s earth explorer Aeolus satellite into orbit"

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24 August, 2018

"Trade turnover between Ukraine and U.S. grows by 70%"

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"American companies may be interested in gas extraction in Ukraine "

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23 August, 2018
TIM ALPER Journalist at Cryptonews UGTI on Facebook Ukraine Edges Further Toward Crypto Legalization Ukraine may be on the verge of officially recognizing cryptocurrencies as financial “instruments” – putting tokens on the same financial footing as stocks and bonds. Per media outlet Segodnye, the head of the National Commission for Securities and Stock Market (NSCOFF) Timur Khromaev, the chairman of Ukraine’s National Securities and Stock Market Commission, and the head of the Committee on Development Strategy and Economic Analysis of Stock Markets, said, “[Cryptocurrencies] are more like financial instruments such as shares or bonds, rather than a means of payment. They are a means of accumulating [funds]. We plan to legally recognize cryptocurrencies as such – and allow [Ukrainian] people to invest and use them.” Khromaev stated that all of Ukraine’s financial regulators have recently debated cryptocurrencies, and are on the verge of coming to a consensus. Khromaev has also been pushing for international counterparts to follow suit this year with pro-cryptocurrency and initial coin offering (ICO) measures. The securities commission is also thought to be putting together a draft bill on tax and regulatory measures – together with leading Ukrainian cryptocurrency and blockchain technology firms. The commission hopes to present this bill to the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, by the end of this year or early in 2019. Earlier this summer, the deputy head of the National Bank of Ukraine, Oleg Chury, was quoted by Ukrainian media outlet Financial Club as saying the country was on the verge of granting legal status to cryptocurrencies in Ukraine, and spoke of the National Commission on Securities and the Stock Market’s possible regulatory role. Chury put forward a model not unlike that currently used in Japan, whereby a financial regulator issues operating licenses to the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges, and polices their operations to ensure compliance.     Sourse: https://cryptonews.com/news/ukraine-edges-further-toward-crypto-legalization-2448.htm

"Ukraine government preparing to get next IMF tranche"

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"U.S. can provide $78 mln in additional technical assistance to Ukraine - MEDT"

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22 August, 2018

"U.S. aims to provide assistance to civil society in Ukraine"

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"Ukraine, Qatar to create joint commission for economic, trade and technical cooperation"

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21 August, 2018
NADYA ASTAM News Reporter at Insider Pro UGTI on Facebook Blockchain and Renewables: Winning Minds in Gear A NEW NICHE FOR BLOCKCHAIN   Renewable energy has become more important than ever, drawing lots of public attention within the recent years. This can be easily proved by traveling back in time to Paris, to the year 2015. There were the participants of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (also known as COP-21), who decided to adopt the brand-new global climate goals. The signatories of COP-21 final communique have ruled to take measures to limit global warming to ‘well below two degrees Celsius’ if compared to the pre-industrial level. The Paris climate agreement is aimed at reaching zero anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during the second half of the 21 century. This is how energy sustainability was brought into the foreground of the world energy policy. The following years have marked the divide between the fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas, and the renewables. The power of the sun, water, the wind is earning minds of energy consumers in Europe and slowly but steadily increasing its share in the energy mixes of the most climate conscious countries. Today, it’s not only the proponents of clean energy who are concentrated on the renewables. The trend is predictably caught by the crypto enthusiasts who have clairvoyantly noticed the renewables’ potential to become a new promising niche to develop blockchain technology on. Below, we will tell more on how blockchain gains popularity among clean energy enthusiasts and what their complementarity is.   FROM A CONSUMER TO A PROSUMER There are five types of a renewable energy rival with fossil fuels. These are solar energy (harvested through sunlight via solar panels), wind energy (generated by wind and harvested through turbines), hydroelectric energy (water used to spin turbines), geothermal energy (harvested through deep wells of water and steam) and, last but not least, biomass energy (treating organic matter by burning, fermentation, or heating). In this article, we basically focus on solar and wind energies as they can easily be produced in households by final energy consumers themselves. By the way, consumers producing energy themselves are to be rather called prosumers or producing consumers. This is a new, post COP-21 term widely used to describe a proponent of clean energy. So, why is a prosumer supposed to be interested in blockchain technologies and vice versa, why will a crypto enthusiast eagerly enjoy the benefits of solar power?   RENEWABLE ENERGY CERTIFICATES SYSTEM The base of renewable energy sales is formed by Renewable Energy Certificates (REC), which provide a special mechanism for the purchase of the amounts of renewable energy that is added to the electrical grid and pulled from it. Such tracking certificates shape the global demand for sharing renewable energy. These certificates can be sold and traded or bartered, and the owner of the REC can claim to have purchased renewable energy. REC system is available in the U.S., where it gains more and more popularity on a day-to-day basis. How does it work? Take a green energy producer, say a solar plant or a wind farm. Imagine it is credited with a single REC for every single MWh of electricity it produces (for you have a better idea on quantities, an average residential customer purchases about 800 kWh in a month). A certifying regulatory authority gives each REC a unique identification number to be confident that a certificate would not be double-counted. The amount of the so-called green energy supported by a certificate is then fed into the electrical grid with a right to further sell the accompanying certificate on the open market. With regard to Europe, a similar REC System (also known as Guarantee of Origin System) identifying renewables sources was introduced in 2002 and is today valid in 15 European countries. As follows from own statistics published by the Association of Issuing Bodies, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands were the largest European markets for guarantees of origin.   A STEP TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE FUTURE All these REC developments in the renewables technologies are undoubtedly making clean energy more and more viable to adapt into our everyday lives. Imagine a householder who has a solar battery placed on his house roof. As we have already stated, we call him a prosumer, the one who produces energy and at the same time consumes it himself or — what is more — shares it with his neighbor. To guarantee that an amount of the renewable energy was produced on his behalf and to further send this amount to the electrical grid, he has to purchase a REC. As more and more people can afford producing energy themselves acquiring certificates, the true energy independence is becoming closer. Once we remember that photovoltaic and wind power prices have dropped by nearly half since 2008, we can imagine that sustainable future is almost here.   SO, WHY BLOCKCHAIN? By now you have already probably guessed what we mean. Yes, managing this certificate system can be a blockchain’s duty. More than that, this is the blockchain technology that is poised to become a standard for managing RECs distribution. Let’s imagine that this tricky multilayered market of RECs is managed not by multiple authorities with intermediary brokers adding some extra margins but via a peer-to-peer network that can function on its own even within a local community. What would this mean? We think reduced time, labor and money costs is the answer.     Sourse: https://en.insider.pro/analytics/2018-08-20/blockchain-and-renewables-winning-minds-gear/

"Ukraine will hold negotiations with the IMF on possibility of writing off debts - Fuks"

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"Ukraine leads in honey production in Europe"

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20 August, 2018

"Ukrainian agricultural exports reach $8.6 bln in six months - ministry"

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"Anthracite supplies from U.S. to Ukraine help reduce dependence on imports from Russia - Chaly"

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18 August, 2018

"Ukraine, UAE to implement common investment projects"

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"Poroshenko signes law on collective land ownership"

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17 August, 2018

"Ukraine NOW brand to be presented soon in US, Canada, Australia"

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"World Bank Says Preparing $650 Million Loan Guarantee For Ukraine"

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16 August, 2018
ANDREW ROSSOW Internet Attorney, Author, Adjunct Law Professor UGTI on Facebook Through The Looking Glass Of Cybersecurity: What Does The Blockchain Look Like? The world of cybersecurity is like our modern day "Wonderland." With massive amounts of data, almost anything can happen. But, with large volumes of information, comes the high risk of extreme vulnerability. Wide-spread industry resistance in adapting to a modern digital age has paved the way for those who use their extensive knowledge of computer networks to exploit and extort others for financial or personal gain. Unlike the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll’s classic, “Alice In Wonderland,” these illicit actors are most commonly referred to as “black hatters.” But, I can assure you, they are almost certainly...mad. On a global scale, we have witnessed the shocking revelations massive data breaches like Equifax and Facebook have wreaked upon us. In my opinion, the effects of which, unfortunately, weren't truly recognized until (1) Mark Zuckerberg testifiedbefore Congress on Capitol Hill and (2) GDPR going into effect back in May. But, when it comes to security, there is still much to be learned, as there can never be "enough" protection. Why? With every patch or fix, comes a new attacker looking to find a vulnerability. The same can be said when we are talking about digital assets, like cryptocurrency, and of course, blockchain technology. The rapid advancement of technology brings many benefits, but also brings with it, many plagues. For example, the digital assets market, which is expanding at an explosive rate, is lending favorable ‘black hat’ support for new forms of cyber attacks, such as exploiting individual's digital assets and investments. While Bitcoin has been around since 2009, the concept of "cryptocurrency," is still in its infancy stage. The volatility associated with these currencies is still unpredictably high, as well as the uncertainty surrounding its regulation. It wasn't until recent Congressional hearings that the U.S. finally heard arguments from both the House Agriculture Committee and House Committee On Financial Services on the future digital assets presented to the economic and financial sectors. But, understanding the underlying problems of the cybersecurity space may help to unravel how to apply these new technologies like the Blockchain and cryptocurrency to our relevant industries. Or, it may continue to make us all go mad. But, as the Cheshire cat famously told Alice, "We're all mad here."   #1 –The Overabundance of Cybersecurity Solutions In my opinion, the blockchain can help significantly minimize the overabundance of cybersecurity products out on the market. My hesitation to categorize all of these products as “solutions,” is for the benefit of the industry as a whole and the protection of the consumer’s wallet. Why? There’s a difference between quality and quantity. The demand to improve our “cyber-hygiene” has led to an extensive supply of cyber-security products on the market. For example, how many commercials do you see trying to get you to invest in a new anti-virus or anti-malware software like McAfee, Norton, AVG, or Kaspersky? How about the number of commercials that entice you to look into VPN, or virtual private network software, to help you conceal and protect your computer’s IP address while browsing the internet? Or, same concept, but how about you walk into a Best Buy or a Fry’s store and look at the copious amounts of software that range from nationally recognized brands to more “mom and pop” style products? How does one truly choose one product over another? Not only is it challenging for the software developers and companies to compete and thrive in the space, but it’s also challenging for the average consumer to understand what they are looking for. Why? It all comes down to an inability to properly diagnose what issues we are having and/or what products to be on the lookout for. When it comes to protecting against threats to our digital assets, there is no difference in my opinion, when it comes to the number of blockchain “solutions” and cryptocurrency ventures. We need to be able to streamline quality and eliminate the garbage that floods the space. There are hundreds of thousands of cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects flooding the market, which are only doing two things–flooding the space and overwhelming consumers and investors. By introducing blockchain technology into the mix, we can begin improving our "cyber hygiene."   #2 –Our ‘Cyber Hygiene’ Is Poor and It Needs Cleaning The Blockchain can act as a digital mop of sorts, to help clean up the poor security habits we have come to adopt. When we talk about having good "cyber hygiene," we are talking about how proactive we are in identifying threats, resolving those threats, and ensuring we continue taking preventative measures against potential online exploitation. Having a basic understanding of what is out there and what information you as a consumer or a business possess is vital. If we were to look at the vast majority of the data breaches over the past few years, almost all can be attributed to a failure to identify the threat when it first starts leaving traces, and of course, proper education and training. With that, leaves symptoms of lazy monitoring, such as a failure to update operating systems, hesitation in modernizing our devices, and even overlooking what should be easily recognizable red flags.   #3 – Bringing Clarity to Security Performance Whenever I look at the latest security product on the market, I do my homework. Like I do with new blockchain technologies, I research and compare products. I read the reviews and I get to know my soon to be investment. But, this isn’t how many consumers approach their security implementation. When investing in blockchain technology, it's also important to spend the time researching how it came to be, and why it is best suited for its particular application. In fact, one of the major issues in choosing a security product, is that many consumers are often unable to recognize the effectiveness of the product. Or, they have limited knowledge as to how that particular product works, often failing to fully utilize their investment. The only method in which you can properly discern software capabilities, is by doing your homework and self-testing. User or market reviews may be flawed in itself, but self-testing, nobody can beat. As we are beginning to see with new companies entering into the blockchain space or cryptocurrency sphere, many vendors have no business being in the field. Why? They have no experience or history in it. Yet, people want to believe that because the company has an extremely attractive and appealing white paper or video, that they are going to “change the world.” Bad form. I’ve spoken with many notable influencers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space including financial pioneer and CEO of LDJ Capital, David Drake, and former CNET founder, Halsey Minor, on the best methods in approaching this space. Even well-respected investors like The Herjavec Group's CEO, Robert Herjavec, and Shark Tankinvestor Mark Cuban have also weighed in and all agreed on one fact–you have to do your homework and remember not to invest in hype. Invest in the facts and the history of the people backing the project. If they don’t trust it, why should anyone? Whether you’re looking at products or projects on a domestic or international scale, the vendor’s track record always matters. There will never be the “perfect” solution, whether you’re looking at recognized market brands like McAfee, Norton, or AVG. But, there is a reward when it comes to general awareness. While hesitant in adopting international security products for my personal and/or business security solutions, I did come across one company, which struck me with great interest. Their backing and twenty-year history in the security space is enough to have me looking into their product and keeping an eye out on their future. Starting out as an in-house venture of South Korea’s number one enterprise web and data security vendor, Penta Security Systems, Inc., Cloudbric has been in the security space for over twenty years, with multiple award-winning products, lending their expertise throughout the APAC region. Alongside Penta Security Systems’ CEO, Seokwoo Lee, Kaspersky Lab Advisory Board member, Jae-Woo Lee, recently joined Cloudbric as an advisor. Dr. Lee has been recognized as a Top 10 Individual at the Global Top 10 Security Summit. The company has an extremely strong backingfrom China, including, but not limited to Youngha Kim, the former CEO of Samsung Electronics China, Caspar Wong, the CEO of Goldford Fintech, as well as Steve C.Y. Pang of Goldford Group, the CEO of Goldford Fintech and Goldford Venture Capital. In the company’s recently announced ICO, Cloudbric aims to address the various issues plaguing the market by developing an easy-to-manage, decentralized AI-based security platform. Consolidating enterprise-level web security with digital asset protection, IoT, intelligent malware protection, phishing protection, and the knowledge we now have as it relates to data mining and crypto-mining, we may be able to slowly start to address this new age of digital security. At the end of the day, I will lend more trust to a company like this because of the names behind it and their track record, having been associated with Penta Security Systems for quite some time.   Through The Looking Glass of Cybersecurity At the end of the day, we must look at cybersecurity through an entirely new lens because the threats are evolving...rapidly. And, on the other side of the glass, sits the Blockchain and the many benefits it can bring to the space. With the ever-growing number of cybersecurity vendors in the market, the large amounts of data collected such as malicious IP addresses, malware identification, and other penetrating sources, cries out for the mass adoption of a solution that takes into account, the security of privatized data which can then be used to create analytic reports. The users who agree to the terms and conditions by installing the software, are contributing this data, and are ultimately, left with nothing, unable to see their data. With blockchain technology, this removes the veil cloaking consumer’s right to access their information. Allowing blockchain technology into the cybersecurity equation will allow for security vendors to devise solutions that will allow its users to play a more critical role in the growth and accuracy of security systems. And maybe, just maybe, we may not all be as mad as the "black hatters" hope we are.     Sourse: https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewrossow/2018/08/02/through-the-looking-glass-of-cybersecurity-what-does-the-blockchain-look-like/#65a641f31f09

"World Bank to provide Ukraine with $650 mln guarantee to raise $800 mln in foreign markets"

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"Agricultural products trade between Ukraine and EU reaches almost $4 bln in half a year"

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15 August, 2018

"Ukraine offers Kuwait investment authority to take part in privatization"

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"Agrarians in Sumy region already attracted UAH 1 bln of investments this year"

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14 August, 2018
WEJDEN KHACHAA Editor at Decentral. Blockchain & cryptocurrency UGTI on Facebook Blockchain and Elections: Is It Really Happening? The use of blockchain in the public sector reached another milestone this month after West Virginia becoming the first U.S. state to allow internet voting by blockchain in primary elections, because this time Ukraine is taking part in this revolutionary move as well.   West Virginia: Indeed West Virginia is currently adopting a blockchain-based mobile voting app to all of the state’s 55 counties so that military personnel stationed abroad can vote more easily. Earlier in May, the blockchain app was first designed to serve military staff and their dependents from Harrison and Monongalia counties. Secretary of State Mac Warner said at the time that the plan was to extend the effort statewide during the midterms in November if the pilot proved to be successful. Moreover, Warner’s office confirms that a round of four audits of the application’s blockchain infrastructure was successfully completed following the pilot phase and that it “revealed no problems.” The app was notebaly developed and deployed by voting technology startup Voatz, the technology behind the app is that it encodes and stores ballot data on a decentralized network, ensuring voting information is securely encrypted and quickly transacted. However, not everyone is exactly excited about the overall adoption of the technology in the state, one of the experts even called the idea of mobile voting “horrific.” Joseph Lorenzo Hall, the chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, told the network: “It’s internet voting on people’s horribly secured devices, over our horrible networks, to servers that are very difficult to secure without a physical paper record of the vote.”   Ukraine: Oleksandr Stelmakh, member of the Ukraine Central Election Commission, reportedly affirmed that he fully considering this technology and that he is at the time examining the use of blockchain in elections. Working for Ukraine’s Central Election Commission, Stelmakh commented on the ongoing trial Tuesday via Facebook. In fact, the trial run took place back in July when Stelmakh convinced his friends on Facebook to participate in a “test vote” that had been created in partnership with a local NEM Foundation group, using NEM’s blockchain platform. “One of the basic useful properties of the blockchain is the impossibility of making changes to the saved information …These are the properties we tried to use to save the information of the local ballot sessions,” Stelmakh said. He then added: “It must be noted that the experiment was held in the test environment of the blockchain NEM and for the transactions used by the test coins that were kindly given the representative of the NEM Foundation in Ukraine, Anton Bosenko. The blockchain test environment has 28 nodes. “ Stelmakh also claimed that based on the results, it would cost roughly $1,227 to place a node which can be used to vote in each police station, which he said was a “small” price to pay for the technology. Stelmakh reminded readers in his post that the trial period for the blockchain experiment was still ongoing and polls using “test coins” had not yet closed. All of this highlights a need to create awareness among governments officials all around the world to build the technological capabilities for making possible a technology-driven, transparent electoral process.     Sourse: https://en.decentral.news/blockchain-and-elections/

"Trump signs NDAA for 2019 with $250 mln in security assistance to Ukraine"

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"World Bank Group allocates $20.5 bln to finance green projects"

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13 August, 2018

"IMF mission to visit Kyiv in September"

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"EU will issue another EUR 15.5 mln to Ukraine for public administration reform"

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11 August, 2018

"Ukraine's cyber police report constant cyberattacks from Russia"

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"EU praises Ukraine's adoption of law establishing High Anti-Corruption Court"

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10 August, 2018

"Kyiv region leader in number of tenders and purchases carried out through ProZorro system"

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"Kness to build solar panel plant with 400 MW annual output in Vinnytsia by 2020"

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9 August, 2018
ANDY HUNDER President at American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine UGTI on Facebook Why Ukraine is reappearing on US investors’ radar screens When I was an eight-year-old boy growing up in London in the late 1970s, my schoolteacher asked our class to show on the map where in Britain our parents were born. When it was my turn, I walked to the other side of the blackboard where the world map hung and proudly exclaimed that my parents came from Ukraine. But when everyone looked at the map, I was horrified to discover that the country I had so excitedly announced wasn’t there; instead, there was just a colossal landmass identified as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. I tried to convince the class that such a country really did exist, but I didn’t have much luck: it simply wasn’t on the map. That was my first attempt at promoting Ukraine in public, and it wasn’t a great success. These days, I make a living advocating for businesses in Ukraine, and I’m still running into barriers. As in my London classroom, many American and international investors haven’t yet detected Ukraine on their radar screens. That’s not necessarily surprising. For many years, the country was mismanaged by a small cohort of greedy oligarchs and their cronies, and it became internationally recognized as a haven of corruption and vested interests, a terrain inhospitable to foreign investors. That now appears to be changing. Just two months ago, President Petro Poroshenko invited me to the first meeting of Ukraine’s National Investment Council, a platform for dialogue between business, government, and the global investment community. Around the table sat two dozen leading global chief executives of companies with a combined market capitalization in excess of $900 billion. These top bosses had flown into Kyiv especially for the meeting. And some of them are already benefiting from Ukraine’s resilient economy and financial reforms. Cargill, for example—America’s largest privately owned corporation—is in the final stages of constructing a deep water terminal on the Black Sea near Odesa. The facility will accommodate post-Panamax vessels and provide transshipment of Ukrainian grain to customers across the globe. But Ukrainian farmers have been crippled in their efforts to export millions of tons of grain, due to the overloaded national railway system. Enter General Electric. GE Senior Vice President Jamie Miller was at the table and shared details of a recently-signed diesel locomotive framework agreement with Ukraine, valued at over $1 billion. GE will provide thirty new locomotives to Ukraine’s state railway later this year, and will supply a total of 225 engines over the next decade, with up to 40 percent of parts and production taking place in Ukraine. Also at the table was Lakshmi Mittal, the London-based chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world's number one steelmaking company. His business has already invested $9 billion over the years in Ukraine’s largest steel mill. New York-headquartered companies Bunge and Westinghouse are also actively expanding in Ukraine. The former recently launched a new $280 million oilseed refinery, terminal, and grain storage in the port of Mykolaiv. The latter now supplies nearly half of Ukraine’s nuclear fuel—which is significant in a country where nuclear power accounts for 55 percent of electricity generation. The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine has been monitoring the investment climate since 1991. Unmistakably, Ukraine has implemented more reforms since the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 than it did over the previous two decades. This positive trend is highlighted in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking, the institution’s signature report on the ease of doing business around the world. Ukraine leapt an impressive sixty-one positions between 2013 and 2018, from 137th place to 76th. The criteria indicate better—usually simpler—regulations for businesses and stronger protections for property rights. Our own survey earlier this year demonstrated that 63 percent of members of the American Chamber of Commerce saw their business grow in Ukraine in 2017. Out of 600 member companies, 82 percent reported that they are planning to expand their business in Ukraine this year. Ukraine’s National Bank has done a commendable job cleaning up the banking system, imposing more stringent regulations, and closing ninety of the country’s 180 banks. This cleanup of a dysfunctional banking sector dominated by oligarch-owned banks has resulted in fewer but bigger and more transparent lenders. By no means is Ukraine out of the woods yet, however. Much still needs to be done to prove to investors that there is no going back to the old ways of doing business. Continuation of the IMF program is absolutely essential to return investors’ trust. Ensuring the rule of law through full-scale judicial reform, removing unlawful pressure on business, and assuring protection of intellectual property rights are just a few of the key reforms Ukraine still needs to undertake. The country is also not done eradicating the oligarchic system and replacing it with a functioning market economy. Unlike forty years ago, my former schoolteacher and all of my old classmates would probably find it relatively easy to find Ukraine on a world map today. But the country doesn’t yet fully register in international business circles. Now is the time for strategic global investors to take another good look at Ukraine and what it has to offer.     Sourse: https://112.international/opinion/why-ukraine-is-reappearing-on-us-investors-radar-screens-30978.html

"Ukraine plans to increase share of renewable energy sources by 11% - Semerak"

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"Norwegian-based NBT to build a 250-330 mw wind farm in Ukraine, Kherson region"

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8 August, 2018

"Nissan leaf remaines the most popular electric car in Ukraine, electric car market grows by 64% in current year"

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"United Mining-Chemical Company invests over UAH 1 bln in technical re-equipment"

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7 August, 2018
YAROSLAV PETROV Partner at Asters UGTI on Facebook Renewable energy auctions Ukraine’s Parliamentary Committee on the Fuel and Energy Complex, Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Safety is currently working with other stakeholders to develop new stimuli for the renewable energy sector in Ukraine. The new mechanism under development foresees an auction system that will be similar to those frequently used overseas. The proposed Ukrainian model of auctions will be a tailor-made mechanism based on best global practices. If adopted, this auction system would be a further step forward in the renewable energy sphere that could open up new opportunities for investors in Ukraine. The most recent discussion on the concept was held on 19 April 2018. One month earlier, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Energy Community Secretariat in collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) prepared Policy Guidelines on Competitive Selection and Support for Renewable Energy. These guidelines set out best practice for the key design principles for such competitions, and should help Ukraine to elaborate the best RES support scheme. This raises the question of whether the current concept is in line with the guidelines. The Committee proposes to enact the auction system as of 1 July 2019. The current concept anticipates auctioning of state and special (e.g. Chornobyl project) quotas for wind and solar power, as well as stipulating no retroactive changes to the law. The guidelines support implementation of a “pilot” project as it is important that auction schemes are structured to allow lessons to be learnt at the initial stages. Ukrainian developers should also take into account that the anticipated changes should be published beforehand to ensure clarity for potential investors.   Auction Terms Annual quotas for power production will be defined by the government upon the submission of the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine following consultations with the relevant electricity transmission system operator (TSO, Ukrenergo). The role of the TSO in the support mechanism will thus be enhanced in order to better manage the already discernible constraints related to RES integration into the power system. By comparison, the guidelines recommend nomination of a credible institution to administer the auction. Investors who are focused on the Ukrainian market need to clearly understand that auctions will be optional for power production plants with smaller installed capacity, with small plants able to opt for either feed-in tariff or auctions. Interestingly, the guidelines focus on larger projects, which explains the reasoning for the apparent discrepancies in the concept as currently discussed in Ukraine.   Pricing The concept sets the ceiling price of 1 MW equivalent of the “green” tariff as stipulated by the Electricity Market Law. The winner will be determined based on this price. Auctions will be required for projects with a planned installed capacity of up to 10 MW for solar, and up to 20 MW for wind power plants. There will be no changes for renewable energy sources other than solar and wind. The “green” tariff will be decreased for solar power plants by 30%, and for wind power plants by 10% as of 1 January 2020. Not surprisingly, many market participants have met the mandatory nature of auctions for certain types of projects with caution. Guaranteed Buyer (a company that will substitute SE “Energorynok”) shall have obligations to buy electricity from RES on the terms of auctions.   Conclusion of PPA Any Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) concluded on auction terms will be valid for a term of fifteen years from the date of commissioning. Pre-PPAs executed before 1 July 2019 shall secure the “green” tariff at the level effective at the moment of their execution, which is a secure mechanism for investors. Pre-PPAs should allow certain time periods for projects to be completed in order to be eligible for the “green” tariff. The guidelines place the emphasis on providing investors with as much security as possible, which at the same time will not distort competition and is of questionable utility. Any pre-PPA will serve as the key instrument driving investor confidence in future projects.   Qualification for Auctions The guidelines foresee that successful auctions require a number of bidders that exceeds the available capacity, making it important to have qualification requirements that are not excessively onerous and that do not impose high transaction costs. To qualify for the auction in line with the concept, bidders must provide a bank guarantee. The guarantee amount shall depend on the auction starting price, as well as the capacity of the project. The guidelines recommend including post-commissioning performance milestones and penalties to ensure performance. In the concept, responsibility for imbalances will be implemented following the introduction of a fully liquid intraday market. The intraday market will be deemed fully liquid one year following its launch (under the Electricity Market Law, the new electricity market design is scheduled to be launched from 1 July 2019). The concept is a logical continuation of renewable energy development in Ukraine, which at this point matches the requirements of the specifically developed guidelines. This new stimuli can provide a push for renewable energy and provide fresh incentives to investors. Ukrainians and potential investors can now look forward to a draft law on auctions that will help them better understand the development trajectory of the Ukrainian renewable energy sector.     Sourse: http://bunews.com.ua/economy/item/renewable-energy-auctions?category_id=11

"Austrian company to build wind farms in Kherson region"

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

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6 August, 2018

"Japanese business considers possibility of participating in Ukraine’s bioenergy projects"

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"IBM wins tender to develop information technology strategy for the largest oil and gas producing company in Ukraine"

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4 August, 2018

"Number of Ukrainian food exporters increases"

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"Antonov, U.S. Aviall plan to complete of designing of cooperation scheme step by step"

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3 August, 2018

"Energy Efficiency Agency: 4,660 private households installed solar panels"

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"Market of green card international insurance grows in Ukraine"

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2 August, 2018
ROLAND STADLER Senior Manager and Data & Analytics Specialist at PwC UGTI on Facebook Blockchain, but not Bitcoin. Really? The subject of cryptocurrencies is new and wild, and its effects on the economy and society are largely unknown. It is nevertheless important to get to grips with the basics in a business context. We show you how and why.   There's money. And then there are tokens. The best place to start is by defining the terminology. This is because there are only a few “currencies” in the literal sense of the word. “Digital assets” would be a more accurate term. • Currencies like Bitcoin are both a means of payment and a payment network at the same time. They actually constitute “money”. The aim is to provide digital cash that can be used without the involvement of a central institution. Bitcoin has been around for almost ten years, works without problems and has never been hacked despite being worth more than 100 billion Swiss francs. Unlike more familiar money, which is issued by a central bank and subject to constant inflation, Bitcoin is set up like a scarce resource. There will never be more than 21 million bitcoins in total, and more than 17 million are already in circulation. Bitcoins are used to transfer a volume of several billion Swiss francs every day. • Utility tokens serve as “fuel” for using software or a service. In order to start up the Ethereum world computer, for example, you need Ether for the transaction fees. Although Bitcoin and Ethereum are often mentioned in the same breath, and both are used for financial speculation, they could not be any more different. Ethereum aims to create a platform for executing “smart contracts”. These are self-executing contracts that render legal institutions or other intermediaries superfluous. The technology is promising but still highly experimental, and has not produced any convincing applications. Despite the hype surrounding the subject, the five most important Ethereum apps currently have fewer than 1000 daily users. • Security tokens are digital securities such as shares in companies or rights to the future proceeds from a project. These assets are tricky from a regulatory perspective because they can essentially be subject to the same rules as a company’s IPO. That is why they are often referred to as “crowd-funding” or even “donations without rights” in project descriptions. This is window dressing, however.   Area of use The various different “digital assets” seem similar at first glance, but on closer inspection their purposes differ. There is a lot of speculation involving all of them, but only the digital currencies can really be used at present. • Speculation regarding rising prices put “digital assets” on the front pages at the end of 2017. Both the prices and the reporting have receded since then. Bitcoin is considered a long-term investment, with investors backing greater acceptance of the currency as a means of payment or digital gold. Technical stability plays a particularly important role. Priority is given to security and resistance to external influence through conservative technological development. • Utility and security tokens should be thought of as venture capital, i.e. as an investment in a start-up in its initial phase with fast-paced innovation (“move fast and break things”). In this context the risk of failure is enormously high, even for above-the-board projects. Given the current hype surrounding blockchain technology, the proportion of confidence tricksters is likely to be significant. • Bitcoin already works very well as a means of payment. Small to very large amounts can be transferred around the world in minutes – something that no other financial network is currently capable of. A retailer can receive payments directly to his or her tablet or EPOS system without the involvement of a service provider. With fees amounting to just a few pennies, Bitcoin can bring significant benefits in terms of costs in the field of international trade, where traditional payment transactions can incur very high transaction fees. New developments like the Lightning Network are based on Bitcoin, and can transfer small amounts (from hundredths of a cent to several Swiss francs) in milliseconds. This facilitates entirely new forms of micropayments, for example for games or media. This is of course currently offset by the limited distribution and high degree of volatility. The subject therefore still entails some technical enthusiasm and speculation. Bitcoin is a new currency that is independent of any particular nation state. Following the spread of the internet and the transformation of many sectors as a result of digitisation, there is a good chance that the concept of “money” could be called into question. This is fascinating from a technological, sociological and economic perspective, and offers a number of new opportunities for innovative business models. That is why you should be interested in Bitcoin & co. Don’t fall for the ICO hype and false promises such as “blockchain, but not Bitcoin”. And recognise the disruptive potential of digital assets.   What can you take away? • "Blockchain" and "distributed ledger technology" is in search of its first killer app. Don't miss the obvious: with Bitcoin it's already here. Nothing is more disrupting than challenging money in itself. • Smart contracts and tokenization of real-world assets will have some impact on business dealings in the future. But probably not with today's technology, which is still very much in its infancy. • Stay away from the current ICO hype. It's mostly scams and even honest projects are so small that the market is easily manipulated.     Sourse: https://www.pwc.ch/en/insights/digital/blockchain-but-not-bitcoin.html

"Azerbaijan, Ukraine can bring mutual trade to $1B"

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"ProZorro saves over UAH 55 bln of budget funds in two years of operation"

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1 August, 2018

"Export of Ukrainian goods to Canada growing rapidly due to FTA"

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"Qatar interested in concession of Ukrainian ports"

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31 July, 2018
HADEN KIRKPATRICK Head of marketing strategy and innovation at Esurance UGTI on Facebook Blockchain's insurance applications in claims and beyond For most technologists, blockchain is the future. While this new technology can be confusing to the layman, it has the potential to disrupt much of what we know about the digital world. Nowhere is this dynamic more relevant than in the insurance and financial service categories. If you’re perplexed by blockchain, you’re not alone. But since blockchain technology is expected to resolve many of the insurance industry’s pressing challenges, studying up on it is a worthy use of time. It promises to streamline processes like claim management, pricing transparency and actuarial management. Currently, these processes face a few constraints: • Lack of transparency. Most customers don’t understand how insurance works, especially as it pertains to pricing and claim processing. Open blockchains enable a transparent framework for conducting transactions. • Interoperability and data-sharing standards. Existing methods of storing and reconciling data remain complex and fragmented. Legacy systems adopted by providers often fail to communicate, resulting in manual workflows. Example: 31 percent of healthcare providers still rely on manual claims management. Add this to the lack of transparency, and blockchain becomes a relevant technology strategy. • Inefficiencies and human error. Insurance is rife with confusion and human error because (no surprise) much of the insurance process is manual. This creates inefficiencies, which leads to increased costs for consumers. Blockchain can eliminate the need for many manual processes that add cost, time and waste. • Claim fraud remains high. A number of insurers tend to associate higher data transparency with increased data theft. Underlying all this is a cultural dynamic pertaining to “castle thinking.” Many insurers avoid openly sharing their data in the first place. These data-restrictive policies are underpinned by important concerns: 1. Data-sharing requires compliance with multiple regulators 2. Companies are afraid that sensitive information may become available to competitors 3. Sharing customer information increases the risk of data theft The insurance industry needs better standards for operationalizing and securing data, eliminating zero-profit processes and improving accuracy. Placing claims management processes on the blockchain can help.   How blockchain can improve claims workflows Blockchain is a distributed, peer-to-peer ledger that is virtually immutable. This technology allows users to automate any type of value exchange in a secure, easy-to-audit manner. Businesses can choose to develop solutions atop public blockchains (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.), create private permissioned networks with restricted access to data or create “hybrid” solutions across both public and private chains. Blockchain technology can enhance and simplify a multitude of common business processes, including recordkeeping, claims registration and assessment, contract management, payment processing and closure. For insurance providers, it has high potential to reduce administrative costs.   Smart contracts automate and improve data exchanges Blockchain technologies facilitate the formation of a secure connection between two parties who don't fully trust one another, without the need for an intermediary. This makes blockchain a solid solution to current interoperability issues, and eliminates the need for carrier-centric processes like subrogation. Central to the future of blockchain for insurance are “smart contracts” — lines of code which represent the terms of a contract in executable computer code. Those who agree to the contract agree to a series of “if/then” statements that automatically trigger when a certain condition is met. This allows unified data standards to apply the information recorded on the blockchain through a set of programmable instructions designed to automatically facilitate, enforce and verify the execution of a created agreement, resulting in an accessible and consistent data-exchange environment. All recorded data can be verified automatically with code. The networks' participants can choose to set different permission standards to avoid any privacy violations. Once the data is recorded on the blockchain, it becomes tamper-proof. Insurance providers will be able to automatically track and reconcile all submitted claims with the data shared by a provider. In short, blockchain technology can ensure that valid claims are paid in a matter of seconds, rather than days or weeks. The benefits of deploying smart contracts for claims management are threefold: 1. Smart contracts can replace traditional human-supported operations and ensure timely assessments and payments to or from policyholders. 2. Transactions on the blockchain are fully automated and require little to no approval by third-parties, thus resulting in lower administrative costs and higher accuracy. 3. Blockchain eliminates the chances of fraud while enabling higher industry-wide data transparency and interoperability.     Sourse: https://www.information-management.com/opinion/blockchains-insurance-applications-in-claims-and-beyond?feed=00000152-a2fb-d118-ab57-b3ff6e310000

"Riko from Slovenia builds solar plant in Ukraine"

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"Omelyan: Hyperloop expected in Ukraine in 2023-2025"

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30 July, 2018

"Macro monthly summary – main statistics of Ukraine in June 2018"

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"Ukraine's fiscal service boasts US$112 mln recovered in counter-smuggling effort"

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28 July, 2018

"Boeing steps in to help Ukrainian manufacturer of world's biggest plane"

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"Almost 90% of Ukrainians support renewable energy - survey"

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27 July, 2018

"U.S. House of Reps backs $250 mln security aid to Ukraine"

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"Ukraine ready to put 44 fields with 150 bcm of gas stocks up for sale at auctions"

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26 July, 2018
CHRIS O'BRIEN European Correspondent for VentureBeat UGTI on Facebook Daily horrors of cybersecurity detailed in California’s data breach reports While the global statistics surrounding the mounting problems of cybersecurity paint an alarming picture, what is sometimes lost in those numbers is the grim reality that victims face as a result of the relentless attacks on computer networks of all sizes. To get a better sense of the daily combat over sensitive personal and business digital data, all one has to do is peruse the website of California’s Attorney General. That’s just what the folks at San Jose-based Dtex Systems have done. In an analysis released today of the Data Security Breaches reported to the state AG office, the cybersecurity company has delved into some of the details behind the nonstop attacks. And for all the sophisticated tools being developed on both sides of the trench warfare, the depressing reality, according to the report, is that negligent employees and individuals remain one of the most vulnerable parts of the security equation. “The most effective way to target a company is to target their employees,” said Dtex CEO Christy Wyatt. “I do think it is not a pure sort of perimeter attack any more. It’s not just take down the firewall and then you have free access to a network. These are targeting that squishy middle. Someone is specifically trolling, looking for those human errors.” Founded in 2002, Dtex has raised almost $40 million in venture capital over the years. Its security focus is squarely on the human element, offering a service that monitors user behavior on networks and across devices to detect unusual behavior. The look at the AG data reinforces the notion that human foibles remain a big part of the security problem. According to Dtex’s analysis, employees were the fourth largest source of “culprits” reported as being responsible for breaches. Phishing and “files sent to wrong destination” were in the top four contributing factors for breaches; human error and physical theft were the second and third largest causes of breaches respectively, according to the report. If there is one bit of good news, it’s that for reasons unknown, the number of breach reports dropped significantly from the 149 notification letters filed in the second half of 2017 to the 62 filed in the first half of 2018. That 58 percent drop is big, though it may just be a quirk of the reporting requirements. California requires any company that has sent a breach notice to more than 500 residents to file a copy publicly with the AG’s office. Reading through those letters offers perhaps an even more desperate view into the cybersecurity war. In some cases, the breaches are not discovered until years later, as was the case for Massive Media Match, which notified users this month that their data may have been compromised back in 2012. The company was the U.S. subsidiary for Netlog, a social networking platform operated by a Belgium‐based company. Though Netlog closed in 2015, the company just discovered the break recently. While that case may be on the smaller side, there are big names on the list, such as Discover, which last year reported a major breach nationally, but only just filed the notice letters with the AG’s office. Mixed into the list are just about every conceivable target: universities, government agencies, hospitals, local businesses. That includes even the less probable, like Hair Free Forever, a Ventura-based hair removal company that informed its clients: “Unfortunately, one of our former employees … stole personal and confidential information from our patient’s files and data base, which is a violation of HIPAA and other privacy laws. She has been using this stolen information to contact our patients and we have received several complaints that she is soliciting customers with this protected information.” Most of them are rather bland, such as the letter TaskRabbit sent to it users after its data breach back in April. Alas, for those users, such letters remind them to change passwords and continue to monitor their credit card accounts and credit agency ratings. Doing so once is a pain. But together, for such consumers, they serve as a reminder of just how vulnerable you may be if you shopped at Best Buy, Sears, or used a Discover card; bought tickets on Delta, or Southwest, or Orbitz; or bought a yoga mat from Mandukao or sausages from Usinger’s Famous Sausages of Milwaukee in just the past few months. The reality is that obsessively monitoring passwords and credit cards ought to be a daily habit. Even the poor employees of Ohio-based Autism Learning Services can’t catch a break:   "Autism Learning Partners, and its subsidiary, A is for Apple, is committed to maintaining the privacy of our current and former employees’ personal information … On March 15, 2018, A is for Apple sent an email to a former employee in response to her request for a copy of her 2017 IRS Form W-2. Instead of sending only the former employee’s W-2, the response inadvertently included an attachment with the W-2 forms for all current and former employees, including yours. The former employee quickly reported this error to us and stated that she immediately deleted the file from her account."   Most problematic is that in many cases, companies, employees, and clients are not aware of the breaches until months or years later. Often, it comes from a customer discovering someone misusing their personal data and tracing it back to a company, which then launches an investigation and only after informs customers of the breach. And by then, the thieves have had ample time to abuse the data. Wyatt said she is optimistic that this battle can eventually be won, or at least better contained. But at the moment, security remains a big blind spot for too many companies and consumers. “The ability to see these things are not necessarily happening in real time,” she said. “We come in, and run trials, and see things in progress, and these business didn’t see them because they just didn’t have the right tools to see them.”     Sourse: https://venturebeat.com/2018/07/25/daily-horrors-of-cybersecurity-detailed-in-californias-data-breach-reports/

"First auctions to sell small-scale privatization objects scheduled for early September – Trubarov"

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"EBRD to provide Eur 5.6 mln for building solar power plant"

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25 July, 2018

"Chinese companies ready to invest in high-speed railway lines in Ukraine"

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"Ukraine, Israel seek to boost goods flow to $2 bln a year in five years"

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24 July, 2018
JEFF SPIVEY CEO at Security Risk Management, Inc. UGTI on Facebook Understanding what cyber vulnerability, threats and risks really mean There is often confusion among organizations and third-party partners regarding their cyber risks and the likelihood and impact of a security incident. Adding to the uncertainty around vulnerabilities is that many leaders aren’t clear on how to benchmark effectively to understand their risks, enhance their security efforts and measure progress. This is reflected in recent ISACA research, which found that less than half of security leaders are confident in their organization’s ability to combat anything beyond simple cyber incidents. Boards of directors and executives often lack confidence in how their organizations’ cybersecurity posture actually protects their abilities to achieve their stated organizational goals and deliver business value. Benchmarking can be an excellent tool for informing and bringing focus to boards of directors and executive management.   Assessing vulnerabilities Before benchmarking, organizations should first understand the vulnerabilities and threats against the digital ecosystem that can result in the types of cyber vulnerabilities that have grown since the onslaught of disruptive technologies. Many executives and technologists are still confused when defining the terms vulnerability, threat and risk, which are often used interchangeably without specificity and attribution. An established risk management equation to keep in mind is Vulnerability + Threat = Risk, followed by understanding the severity of Impact and Likelihood. A vulnerability is a weakness. A risk does not exist without introduction to a threat. The combination of threat with a vulnerability is a risk. The vulnerabilities that businesses can experience are vast, and can include: • Incomplete governance/management • Shortage of cyber or physical security personnel • Insufficiently trained staff and partner companies • Cyber or digital risk management vulnerabilities, such as incomplete risk assessments; static policies, standards, or procedures; or incomplete Governance Risk and Compliance Program • Operational processes incomplete, incorrect or lacking maturity • Technology vulnerabilities, such as software or hardware vulnerabilities, internet disruption such as a geopolitical attack on the grid, autonomous cars susceptible to outside hacking, ransomware attack encrypting mission-critical data for a highly dependent organization such as a government, hospital or financial institution; artificial Intelligence with flaws or back doors; and incomplete audit review processes Vulnerability awareness and management require forward-thinking strategic plans from governance and management to assure strong value from information technologies. As the global digital revolution demands advancements for enterprises to remain competitive, risk management decisions will demand the adaption of new tools to provide greater insight into the complexity of cyber or digital risk. These decisions require a healthy understanding of both vulnerabilities and threats in the business environment and where new capabilities may be needed in response to regulatory changes. A recent example is the European Union’s Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that creates new boundaries and penalties of fines up to four percent of the company’s global revenue.   Benchmarking best practices Benchmarking cybersecurity vulnerabilities brings clarity to all those responsible for digitally enabling the enterprise while appropriately governing and managing both technical and business risk. An appropriate maturity model that identifies the cyber capabilities needed for benchmarking within the enterprise helps identify where to appropriately apply resources based on the organization’s risk tolerance and horizon. As ISACA CEO Matt Loeb noted, “a more comprehensive, evidenced-based approach is urgently needed.” The risk-based, cybersecurity capability and maturity model has emerged as the desired approach in providing a clear line of sight for the board of directors and management to best understand priorities around resource allocation and long-term digital business strategies, as well as to provide the overall current state of the cybersecurity program from which to benchmark an organization’s current state and the future. One example is the CMMI Cybermaturity Platform by the CMMI Institute. Developed after hundreds of conversations with board directors, C-Suite executive and other industry leaders, the platform provides a means to assess cybermaturity, understand the likelihood of specific risks and receive insights into cybersecurity gaps and actions needed to improve. IT leaders should continuously benchmark their organization’s capabilities against newly evolving threat vectors and against ever-changing regulations specific to the organization. Working with a partner network can also be helpful—such as when enhancing security posture in the organization’s supply chain, for example. Organizations can proactively benchmark their people, processes and technology capabilities against updated cybersecurity frameworks, such as the recently published NIST v1.1. Teams can also consider creating a security Kaizen team dedicated to continuous improvement and benchmarking across all organizational agencies. Another best practice is to efficiently communicate with the C-Suite to appropriately communicate risks and drive budgets to areas with highest risk.   Business impact Through mindful assessment of vulnerabilities and benchmarking, businesses can realize true cybersecurity posture and demonstrate improvement, resulting in overall business cost benefits, including potentially lower bond ratings, such as Moody Bond Ratings disclosures. Dedicating staff resources and funds to this effort and using the right tools will ensure that organizations understand their cyber vulnerabilities, benchmark effectively, and put in place effective measures to enhance risk management capabilities and strengthen cybersecurity.     Sourse: https://www.information-management.com/opinion/understanding-what-cyber-vulnerability-threats-and-risks-really-mean?brief=00000159-ffbf-d8bf-af7b-ffbf558d0000®conf=1

"Canadian defense companies mulling arrival in Ukrainian defense market"

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"Tetra Tech awarded $85 mln contract by USAID to support enhanced energy security in Ukraine"

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23 July, 2018

"Canada annually commits up to CAD 50 mln under Ukrainian social, economic programs"

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"Six Ukrainian universities among world’s top 1,000 universities"

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21 July, 2018

"EBRD approves 250 mln eur program to support private projects in renewable energy in Ukraine"

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"U.S. allocates $200 million for Ukraine's security and defense"

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20 July, 2018

"Soratano Ukraine to build 100 mw wind farm in Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky district of Odesa region"

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"Largest buyers of Ukrainian grain – Egypt, China, Spain, Indonesia, the Netherlands"

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19 July, 2018
ADRIAN KARATNYCKY Managing Partner at Myrmidon Group UGTI on Facebook Ukraine's Promising Path to Reform At the recent G-7 summit, U.S. President Donald Trump was reported to have told fellow world leaders that “Ukraine is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.” Small wonder: for years, U.S. government officials and their European counterparts have publicly castigated Ukraine for dragging its feet on corruption. So too have Western media outlets, whose narrative often echoes the fictitious Russian talking point that Ukraine is a failing, if not failed, state. Although corruption is a serious problem, the West’s obsession obscures the progress that Ukraine has made in dramatically reducing its scope. Many Western observers have also ignored the other enormous positive changes that Ukraine has experienced since the Euromaidan revolution of 2013–14, which ousted the corrupt, pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, triggering Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its invasion of the Donbas in the country’s east. Since then, any hopes that the Kremlin had of keeping Kiev under its thumb have been lost, as Ukraine has set itself on a firm pro-Western, pro-reform course that is probably irreversible. It is no exaggeration to say that, contrary to its image, Ukraine has experienced more positive change and done more things right than any other European state in recent years.   DECOUPLING FROM RUSSIA, EMBRACING THE WEST In almost every sphere, there is evidence of remarkably successful reforms and development in Ukraine. For the first time since independence in 1991, Ukraine possesses a genuine army capable of defending the country. At the time of the Russian invasion in 2014, the country had some 6,000 battle-ready troops. Now it has one of the best armies in Europe, numbering over 200,000 volunteers and professionals. It has refurbished formerly out-of-service tanks and armored personnel carriers, developed new missiles, and produced new heavy artillery. Ukraine also possesses a combat-ready national guard of 60,000, a reformed police force, and a revamped security service that has successfully interdicted a number of Russian-financed efforts at promoting terrorism on Ukraine-controlled territory. The country is also finally developing a functional state apparatus, both nationally and locally. The government has trimmed its bureaucracies, increased its salaries, and clearly defined various functional authorities. Ukraine’s ministries employ roughly as many civil servants per capita as do Germany’s and Poland’s. The days of a bloated apparatus prone only to bribe-taking and indolence are gone. Decentralization of authority has proceeded apace, and local budgets have doubled within the last two years, leading to improved roads, schools, and cultural centers. The economy, which contracted by more than 20 percent in 2014–15, is finally growing this year at a respectable 3.5 percent clip. To be sure, Ukraine needs to grow at twice that rate to catch up with its neighbors to the west, but the important thing is that it has finally lifted itself up from the depression that followed the Russian invasion. The government has fixed the banking sector and—together with a burgeoning number of Chinese investors—is spending huge amounts to fix roads and railroads, modernize airports, dredge ports, build new highways and tunnels to the West, and invest in renewable energy. Ukraine’s IT sector is booming and has become one of the largest and most dynamic in the world. Its agricultural exports (grains and poultry, in particular) are growing steadily and, with large segments of productive land currently fallow, there is further huge upside potential. Next year should see a massive sell-off of remaining state-owned enterprises and, quite possibly, the privatization of land, which would immediately bring hundreds of millions of dollars into state coffers and further reduce the scope for corruption. Indeed, in contrast to Western criticism, Ukraine has made great strides in reining in corruption. A series of gas pricing, procurement, banking, and tax system reforms have restored as much as $6 billion per annum in revenues formerly stolen from the state, according to a soon-to-be-released study by Ihor Burakovsky, an economist from Ukraine’s Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting, an independent think tank. The study points to the drastic reduction in corrupt gas price arbitrage, transparent online bidding for government contracts, the closing and tight control of allegedly corrupt banks, and a clampdown on money laundering, which the Yanukovych regime’s tax administration colluded companies to facilitate. Small wonder then that the black market’s share of the Ukrainian economy has dropped from an estimated 40–50 percent to around 33 percent. Ukrainians are also increasingly paying their taxes; the practice of getting paid under the table, although still widespread, has been significantly reduced in scope. While all this change has been taking place, Ukraine has raised its military and security expenditures to approximately five percent of GDP, fought a war with Russia and its proxies to a standstill, introduced far-reaching reforms of its health, pension, and education systems, and still managed to remain democratic. The Ukrainian media are still free to harshly criticize the government, and the country’s opposition parties are vocal, vibrant, and well-funded. To be sure, Ukrainian democracy is imperfect. The parliament is frequently raucous and undisciplined. The government can be sluggish. The courts are unreliable. The president, although a supporter of new reforms and anti-corruption institutions, has resisted pressing for corruption prosecutions. Vigilantism and far-right groups do not pose a threat at present, but could if stability were to unravel. All in all, however, Kiev has stuck to the democratic rules of the game, despite the fact that war, rapid change, and economic penury often incline states toward authoritarianism. Ukraine’s commitment to democracy is especially striking in comparison to the significant backsliding that has taken place in Poland and Hungary, both EU members long touted as exemplars of irreversible democratic transitions. Ukraine is also experiencing a breathtaking cultural revival. Its film industry is back, after being moribund for over twenty years. Publishing is booming and books are selling briskly, despite Ukrainians’ relatively low salaries. Music, art, theater, poetry, and prose are experiencing a renaissance, while Ukrainian identity is consolidating—without xenophobic consequences. A 2016 survey by the Pew Research Center, for instance, showed that Ukraine’s level of anti-Semitism was the lowest in all of central and eastern Europe. Even the ongoing war in the Donbas has offered an unexpected boost for Ukraine, as it has galvanized Ukrainian identity and patriotism, moved the government to adopt needed reforms, and removed a reactionary, pro-Russian, anti-Western, and anti-reform electorate from the political calculus. The conflict has also reduced the power of billionaire oligarchs, who have lost key assets in Russian-occupied areas and seen state pressure increase against some of their rent-seeking schemes. Dmytro Firtash’s gas empire has been smashed, while Rinat Akhmetov’s and Igor Kolomoisky’s hold on their bailiwicks in southeastern Ukraine has been seriously weakened. All of these changes have set Ukraine well on the way to meeting its strategic goal of decoupling from Russia and embracing the West. It is now able to defend itself against any Russian aggression short of a full-scale war, and has freed its economy from dependence on Russia’s, with the result that Ukraine will soon become a full-fledged member of the world economic system. Of course, there is still work for Ukraine to do. This includes, first, coordinating its reforms better, so as to avoid duplication, contradictions, and the loss of stability that comes with too much changing too quickly. Second, the government obviously needs to tackle remaining corruption, especially in customs services and state enterprises. The way to do that is not to focus only on prosecuting individual wrongdoers but to increase efforts to address the structural and institutional sources of corruption. Officials take bribes and steal not because they are morally deficient but because they earn too little and control access to scarce resources. Continuing to raise salaries and reduce government control over key areas is thus the best policy prescription. Third, Ukraine needs to accelerate its annual economic growth to five or six percent in order to sustain necessary military expenditures, protect itself from Russian predations, and present itself to Europe as fiscally independent and worthy of closer integration.   THREATS TO SUCCESS If Ukraine’s reformist project fails, it won’t be for insufficiently tackling corruption. Rather, the two most immediate threats to the country’s continued positive development are the forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections and Russia. Petro Poroshenko is without doubt the best president that independent Ukraine has had. He’s hardly without flaws, but it has been under his watch, and in no small measure thanks to his initiative, that Ukraine has reformed as much as it has. Despite a strong record, his reelection next March is by no means guaranteed. Meanwhile, most alternatives to him, including Yulia Tymoshenko, Oleh Lyashko, Volodymyr Zelensky, and Yuri Boiko are populists, demagogues, untested outsiders, or politicians with close links to former President Yanukovych. Worse still, his party will likely lose its majority in parliament, leading to legislative fragmentation and possible paralysis. If a populist replaces Poroshenko and the Rada fragments, Ukraine’s reforms will stall and another popular rebellion will become more likely. In their narrow focus on corruption, many experts in the West forget that rapid socioeconomic change of the kind Ukraine has experienced since 2014 can be destabilizing in the absence of strong and stable political elites and institutions. This insight, made forcefully by the late political scientist Samuel P. Huntington in the 1960s, holds true today. The very last thing a rapidly changing society needs is a political system that is being undermined from within, by internal critics of corruption, and from without, by a West that underestimates Ukraine’s rapid pace of change and a Russia that appreciates that, unless stopped soon, Ukraine will leave its orbit forever. It is unfortunate that the demands the International Monetary Fund is making on Ukraine present the current leadership with serious dilemmas. The IMF is insisting on a strong anti-corruption court, which is a desirable end, but it is also pushing for an inflexible 40 percent one-time increase in gas tariffs, which would be politically ruinous for Poroshenko and the gradual reformists now in charge of government. Unfortunately, the IMF has a long record of focusing only on macroeconomic reforms without considering their effects on already impoverished populations able to express their discontent by voting or taking to the streets. A precipitous wage hike on the eve of the presidential campaign would propel public anger, strengthening outsiders and populists. An end to the IMF’s program of support could lead to currency devaluation and inflation as well as potential default on debt, which would only propel populist alternatives and set back current gains. The most serious immediate threat remains Russia and its aggressive president, Vladimir Putin. Whereas corruption can reduce Ukraine’s long-term viability, only Russia can destroy Ukraine overnight. Will Putin increase internal subversion efforts, escalate the fighting in the Donbas, or invade some other part of Ukraine? The costs would be high, as Ukraine’s security forces are demonstrating effectiveness and the armed forces are a battle-hardened and professional force that would fight back fiercely. But Putin, facing the twilight of his career and sensing that NATO may have become a paper tiger, may just be tempted to initiate a “quick little war” in order to sustain his popularity. The consequences of such a misadventure could be disastrous for Ukraine—and for Russia as well as, ultimately, for Europe. With a clear-eyed view of these threats, the lesson for the West should be obvious. Western governments and international financial institutions must abandon their nearly exclusive focus on corruption and broaden their view of Ukraine to include the many positive things happening in the country. The West needs to continue to support Ukraine economically, diplomatically, and militarily. This is so not only because Ukraine is the only thing standing between Europe and Putin’s Russia but because, as a rapidly Westernizing country that has made remarkable progress over the past four years, Ukraine simply deserves it.     Sourse: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/ukraine/2018-07-16/ukraines-promising-path-reform

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17 July, 2018
RUSLAN MINICH Analyst at Internews Ukraine and at UkraineWorld UGTI on Facebook Ten Ukrainian technologies you may already be using What do Snapchat filters, liquid jet scalpels, Uber for yachts, and virtual reality gloves have in common? They are all decisively modern innovations that have emerged at the cutting edge of technological development—and they all demonstrate the ingenuity and economic dynamism of twenty-first century Ukraine. High standards in tech education alongside low payroll costs have made Ukraine's workforce the main high-value asset of the country’s technological sector. Ukraine is only in seventy-seventh place on the Innovation Input Sub-Index due to its relatively underdeveloped infrastructure, market, and institutions, but the country is one of the Global Innovation Index’s top achievers and performers, and has consistently improved its position on the index for the past five years. It also has an Innovation Efficiency Ratio of 0.8, which ranks it eleventh in the world. Even when successful Ukrainian startups relocate to places like Silicon Valley — as many do, so that they can take advantage of the superior funding and infrastructure — they often keep research and development teams in Ukraine. Ukraine’s technological achievements have brought economic benefits to the country, and they have also presented to the world an extraordinarily portfolio of products and innovations. Here are the top ten. 1. Snapchat filters — In 2015, the popular messaging app Snapchat bought Looksery, an Odesa startup that had created an app allowing users to apply image effects to video chats in real time. Users can apply filters that allow them to change eye color, gain or lose weight, adjust their skin tone and facial features, and more. Looksery also helped Snapchat develop masks that are exclusively available on the iPhone-X. 2. Apps for the deaf — BeWarned, a Ukrainian company, helps deaf people better integrate into society. “With the app SL Interpreter, the deaf can ask a sign language interpreter via video chat to call any emergency service—an ambulance, the police, or a fire brigade,” Daria Sazonova, chief operations officer of BeWarned, says. BeWarned also created an innovative app, ConnectPRO, which converts text messages into voice and vice versa. Mobile shops, restaurants, and banks can apply it to communicate with their deaf clients. 3. Uber for yachts — CharterClick, created by three Ukrainian immigrants in Dubai, is an online service that allows users to book a yacht with a full crew. “Yachts can be booked for anything, really: from an intimate dinner for a couple to the craziest of bashes you can ever imagine,” says co-founder Mykhaiylo Siyatskyy. CharterClick launched in the UAE where “the government’s supportive of all tech businesses,” says Siyatskyy. Now it operates in more than forty countries, including Italy, Croatia, Spain, and the Carribean. 4. Hazardous waste management — Ukraine’s INECO Institutehas developed an innovative solution for managing hazardous waste such as biohazardous materials, petroleum waste, and pesticides; using gasification technology, INECO’s process disposes of waste quickly and cheaply. As a side benefit, the process also produces a synthetic gas that can be used for heat production. 5. Laptop-tablet hybrids — Ukraine’s Eve V is both a laptop and a tablet, much like Microsoft Surface. But unlike Surface, Eve V’s keyboard works even when it’s detached, its power button has fingerprint-reading technology, it has more ports, and it’s cheaper. These features all emerged from surveys Eve V’s developers conducted with more than a thousand consumers, and their end product has caught the attention of some of the industry’s giants such as Intel, which has made six-figure investments into it, and Microsoft, now Eve V’s partner. 6. 3D metal printing — Chervona Hvilya has developed a new technology for 3D metal printing that relies on melting wire-thin materials into the user’s specified shape, a precision process that wastes far less metal than previous approaches. “Our approach works more like casual 3D printing, and it’s reliable,” CEO Dmytro Kovalchuk explained. “Also, it provides better heat control during the process.” 7. Cyber gloves — The GremTech research and development office will soon release V-Touch, a pair of wired gloves that augment virtual reality applications, allowing the user to feel virtual objects as if they were real. The technology has potential applications for video games, home appliance control, medical therapy—helping patients recover after paralysis or muscle atrophy—and remote training for work in dangerous environments. 8. Bank without branches — Monobank is Ukraine’s first virtual bank, allowing users to conduct typical transactions directly from their smartphones. The company’s business model saves so much money on facilities and staffing that it can provide many of its services, like paying utilities, recharging phone balances, and replenishing payment cars, for free. 9. Liquid scalpel — Scientists from Ukraine’s Aerospace Institute of National Aviation University have created a liquid jet scalpel, a precision medical instrument that can separate tissues from blood vessels without damaging the latter. This makes surgery safer and dramatically improves recovery times for patients. 10. Automated proofreading — Grammarly, founded by Ukrainians Alex Shevchenko and Max Lytvyn, uses artificial intelligence to proofread texts on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and nearly anywhere else people write on the web. It even provides explanations for mistakes, if one installs the Grammarly browser extension.     Sourse: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/ten-ukrainian-technologies-you-may-be-using-already

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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/

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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

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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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"Antonov to exhibit new medium-haul transport An-77, An-178 aircraft at Eurasia 2018 in Turkey"

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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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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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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

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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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"Fitch re-states 3.2% economic growth in Ukraine in 2018"

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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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"Ukraine raises renewable energy facilities by 2.4 times in Q1, 2018"

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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

"Poroshenko discusses with Kuwait’s defense minister prospects for military and technical cooperation"

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"Qatar and Ukraine signs visa-free agreement"

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17 March, 2018

"Klimkin, Rasmussen to discuss security in Ukraine"

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"Foreigners investing at least EUR 100,000 in Ukraine will be able to get long-term visa"

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16 March, 2018

"EBRD will finance up to 20 bio-energy projects in Ukraine"

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"Mining to receive own code in Ukrainian classification system to stimulate crypto economy in Ukraine"

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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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"Ukraine plans to start exporting wheat to China and Vietnam"

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14 March, 2018

"Austria invested $1.3 billion into Ukraine’s economy last year"

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"USDA improves forecast for Ukraine wheat export"

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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.

"Ukraine and Saudi Arabia plan to launch production of AN-132 aircraft"

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"China's Xinjiang Beiken starts drilling first well for Ukrgazvydobuvannia"

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12 March, 2018

"EBRD allocates EUR 25.9 mln for solar power plants’ construction in Vinnytsia region"

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"EU to provide EUR 1 bln in loans for Ukraine - Mogherini"

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10 March, 2018

"NATO officially recognizes Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic aspirations"

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"Poroshenko to meet with Vice President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini on March 12"

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9 March, 2018

"European Commission approves new EUR 1 bln assistance program for Ukraine"

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"EU, Ukraine launch five projects on decentralization of local government"

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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 good