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In the agricultural industry Ukraine has to move in the direction of developing value-added commodities production, the Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Taras Kutovyi declared.

The Minister noted that large-scale agricultural corporations had fairly good level of development. As for medium and small-scale companies, they have somewhat lower yield level. But at the expense of small and medium agricultural enterprises Ukraine will increase agricultural production volumes in the future.

According to Kutovyi, first of all small and medium-scale agricultural enterprises have to produce value-added commodities which will be competitive with large agricultural holdings. Without small and medium farmers, Ukraine will not have any development in rural areas, nor any significant growth of the exports and production potential. (APK-Inform/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

Ukraine imported 3.002 billion cubic meters of natural gas worth $586 million in the first half of 2016, including 19.596 million cubic meters worth $4.133 million in June alone.

The average cost of imported gas in June was $210.9 per 1,000 cubic meters, up by $26.7 MoM. The bulk of the imports in June – 14.6 mcm – were supplied by a counteragent in Luxembourg (ArcelorMittal). Naftogaz Ukrainy did not import gas in June.

Ukraine did not import any Russian gas in January-June.

In the six months, Ukraine imported 627.1 million cubic meters of gas worth $121.9 million from counteragents in Germany, 457.1 million worth $88.7 million from those in France, 443.6 million worth $87.9 million from Switzerland, 426.3 million worth $86.7 million from the UK, 385.5 million worth $71.1 million from Austria, 257.9 million worth $49 million from Poland, 150.5 million worth $27 million from Hungary, 147.8 million worth $30 million from Italy and 105.8 million cubic meters worth $23.9 million from Luxembourg. (Interfax/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

French automobile concern Renault plans to deliver cars to Azerbaijan from Russia.

Renault has already started to deliver cars to Kyrgyzstan from Russia. Meanwhile, the company wants to expand opportunities to localize the production thanks to the access to new markets of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), while car sales in Russia decrease against the background of the economic crisis.

The first export Renault vehicles were delivered to Kyrgyz market after the country’s full membership in the Eurasian Economic Union came into effect in August. Renault Russia, which has been supplying cars to near foreign countries since 2010, currently exports 12% of total volume of Russia-produced Renault cars.

Renault Russia exports such car models as Renault Logan, Renault Sandero, Renault Sandero Stepway, Renault Duster and Renault Captur. (Trend/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

Romanian farmers have finished rapeseed harvesting. 2016 rapeseed harvesting campaign was the most productive ever in Romania.

For more than 20 years rapeseed acreage in Romania has been expanded to the third largest acreage over the reporting period. In autumn 2015, sowing was carried out at the optimum seeding time. In general, wintering of this oil crop was successful, and the following weather conditions led to early ripening and, correspondingly, early harvesting.

According to current data, UkrAgroConsult forecasts rapeseed production at a record high level. This year Romania will enter top ten world’s largest producers of this oil crop. Besides, Romania becomes the leading rapeseed producer in the Black Sea region, surpassing Ukrainian farmers. (UkrAgroConsult/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

Renault Russia has launched exports of cars made in the country to Kyrgyzstan, the company said in a statement.

“Renault Russia announces a launch of supplies of cars to Kyrgyzstan, thus expanding the export project to the CIS states. The first export supplies of Renault cars to the country were carried out in the framework of the full-scale participation of Kyrgyzstan in the Eurasian Economic Union, which is in effect from August”, the company said.

Currently, Renault Russia exports 12% of cars it produces. Earlier in August, the company launched exports of Kaptur cars to Belarus and Kazakhstan, later it plans to launch exports to Armenia and Azerbaijan. (Prime/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

As of August 22, Russian agrarians continued harvesting grains and pulses. Agrarians harvested grain crops throughout the areas of 26.2 million ha (on the same date in 2015 – 22.3 million ha), or 55.4% of the planned areas (47.3 million ha). The produced volumes reached 80.7 million tons of grains, with the average yield of 3.08 t/ha (in 2015 – 62.7 million tons with the yield of 2.81 t/ha), the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation reported.

In particular, agrarians harvested winter and spring wheat throughout 16.6 million ha (59.9% of the plan). The produced volumes reached 57.5 million tons, with the yield of 3.47 t/ha.

Russia harvested 14.5 million tons of winter and spring barley throughout 5.8 million ha (69%). The average yield totaled 2.52 t/ha.

Krasnodar and Stavropol regions started harvesting corn. Agrarians harvested the grain throughout 1.2 thousand ha, and produced 7.2 thousand tons of corn, with the average yield of 5.89 t/ha.

Russia harvested winter rapeseed throughout 132.7 thousand ha (13.3%), and produced 223.7 thousand tons of the oilseed, with the average yield of 1.69 t/ha.

Agrarians of Krasnodar and Stavropol regions, the Republic of Adygea started the sunflower harvesting campaign. Agrarians harvested 7.9 thousand tons of the oilseed throughout 3.5 thousand ha. The average yield totaled 2.23 t/ha.

Also, agrarians of Krasnodar region started harvesting soybeans: the harvested areas reached 11.7 thousand ha, the production – 21.3 thousand tons, the average yield – 1.82 t/ha.

Russia harvested flaxseed throughout 17.7 thousand ha only, or 36.7% of the planted areas.

As of August 22, Russian agrarians planted winter crops for the harvest-2017 throughout 709.3 thousand ha, or 4.1% of the planned areas (in 2015 – 436.8 thousand ha). (APK-Inform/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

Russia’s budget deficit may exceed 3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2016, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said after a government meeting.

“The expected deficit this year will amount to more than 3%. It is higher than planned, naturally, we will do everything we can to keep the deficit in the framework of the guidance”, he said.

“Still, the scenario is possible as the deficit was assumed at 3% under an oil price of $50 per barrel. Deficit may grow if the oil price falls below $50 per barrel”, he added.

The Finance Ministry forecasts federal budget deficit of 3.2% of GDP in 2016. On August 15, the ministry said that the deficit amounted to 1.521 trillion rubles in January-July, or 3.3% of GDP under preliminary estimates. (Prime/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

Trade consequences of regional agreements may be adverse for countries not participating in them, department director of Russian Ministry of Economic Development Maxim Medvedkov said. In particular, Russia’s losses from Ukraine’s associations with the EU may climb to billion values, he added.

“These effects are related to surging trade inside the region, sometimes prejudicing turnovers with countries outside the group. These effects are minimal for us so far by virtue of the commodity structure of the Russian export. An exception is an agreement on Ukraine’s association with the EU, where the trade structure was different, and where we will lose billions”, the official said.

WTO agreements expressly permit its members to create free trade zones or customs unions and integration organizations for service trade liberalization, Medvedkov said. There have already been several hundreds of such associations, he added. (TASS/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

The President of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmon took part in the opening ceremony of a number of facilities in the city of Sarband of Khatlon region.

In particular, in this city, with the participation of E. Rakhmon, a refrigeration chamber with capacity of 1 thousand tons of fruits and vegetables was commissioned.

The camera is equipped with technology of the Iranian production worth 2645 thousand somoni. It has the ability to store fresh agricultural products in accordance with international standards.

The opening of the chamber gave 25 residents of Sarband city a steady job. The object was constructed by LLC “Subhi Sarband”.

The President also participated in the commissioning of two private preschools: a kindergarten “Malika”, designed for 300 children, and kindergarten “Nigina” for 150 children. (News.tj/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

Minsk is close to reaching mutual understanding with Moscow regarding the price of Russian natural gas for Belarus and on exports of Russian oil to the country, Belarusian Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov reported.

“We slightly contracted in July, (our gross domestic product fell) by 0.2%. But this happened specifically due to a 700,000 ton decrease in oil supplies to refineries. It turned out that (state petrochemical company) Belneftekhim had cut its industrial output, and corresponding wholesale trade in oil products also fell”, he said.

“But we hope that this is a temporary measure, negotiations are going on. We are very close to reaching an understanding with the Russian partners on the level of gas prices and on oil supplies to Belarus”, he said.

In July, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Belarus owed Russian gas giant Gazprom $270 million. Gazprom said Minsk underpaid the company for gas, while Belarusian Energy Minister Vladimir Potupchik said then the fair price would be $73 per 1,000 cubic meters instead of $132.77. Minsk did not acknowledge the debt.

Russia also earlier reduced the supply volume of duty-free oil to Belarus due to payment arrears for gas and shortfalls in duty-free oil product shipments to Russia. Moscow and Minsk are in disputes over the issues. (Prime-TASS/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

OAO Minsk Silicate Materials Plant will be incorporated by the Belarusian Cement Plant (Kostiukovichi, Mogilev region) in accordance with resolutions made by shareholders of both companies.

The parties are expected to finalize the merger by December 2016.

Besides, the Belarusian Cement Plant will increase its statutory capital by issuing 287,227 supplementary shares with a face value of Br10 ($5.18), which will be transferred to the state. Thus, the state-owned stake in the cement company will grow to 99.46% from 99.45%.

The Belarusian Cement Plant has been operating since September 1996.

Founded in 1895, Minsk Silicate Materials Plant is Belarus’ oldest manufacturer of construction and insulation materials. (Prime-TASS/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

Two Soligorsk-based companies: Belaruskali and Shakhspetsstroi – have started mining potash ore at the Garlyk mining and processing factory in Turkmenistan, a Belaruskali official said.

The general contractor for the Garlyk ore-mining project is OAO Belgorkhimprom (based in Minsk), which is supposed to launch the ore dressing factory in March 2017. (Prime-TASS/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

The Belarusian artificial yarn manufacturer SvetlogorskKhimvolokno and the Hungarian retail chain Maxi Foods have signed a cooperation agreement. The document was signed during the presentation of the Belarusian economy at the international agriculture and food expo AGRA in the city of Gornja Radgona, Slovenia, the representatives of the Belarusian expo organization company BelInterExpo informed.

Negotiations were held with representatives of the system of chambers of commerce and industry of Hungary, representatives of the business circles of Austria, Hungary, and Slovenia.

A number of Belarusian companies presented their products during the expo. In particular, they included companies run by the Belneftekhim concern: Belshina, Mogilevkhimvolokno, SvetlogorskKhimvolokno, and Gomel Chemical Plant. Belneftekhim enterprises already sell artificial fibers to Slovenia and intend to expand the choice of exports as a result of the expo. (BelTA/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

A Belarusian enterprise producing agricultural machines will be established in Kaluga region, Russia, the press service of the Embassy of Belarus in Russia reported.

A Belarusian delegation led by Deputy Industry Minister Dmitry Korchik arrived in Kaluga region on August 23, with a working visit. The purpose of the visit is to study the region’s industrial and agricultural potential and discuss the organization of the joint production of agricultural machines.

During negotiations Kaluga region Agriculture Minister Leonid Gromov mentioned positive dynamics in the development of relations between Kaluga and Belarus. In 2014 the Belarusian government and the Kaluga region government signed an agreement on trade, economic, scientific, technical, and cultural cooperation. Interregional agreements on long-term cooperation have been signed with Grodno region, Gomel region, and Mogilev region. Belarusian-Russian joint ventures operate in the Russian region.

Dmitry Korchik said that plans had been made to use an industrial site in Kaluga region to set up an enterprise to produce agricultural machines that would be primarily sold on the Russian market. The project will be implemented in association with companies of the local agricultural cluster.

“First of all, the enterprise will make trailed and mounted equipment. This kind of merchandise is in demand not only in Kaluga region but in central Russia as well”, Dmitry Korchik said.

Leonid Gromov said that the region’s demand for modern drying equipment rose in parallel with the growing area under crops.

“Today we are going to discuss the concept of planned production, localization level, the choice and volume of products”, the Kaluga region Agriculture Minister explained. He said he was confident that the joint venture would make import-substituting machines, including forage harvesters, mowers, rakes and so on.

While in Kaluga region the Belarusian delegation also visited a number of infrastructure projects, including the industrial park Grabtsevo and the special economic zone Kaluga. (BelTA/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

Belarus plans to increase its gold and foreign currency reserves by $500 million in 2017, Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said.

It is a complex task but achievable, if the government and the National Bank coordinate their efforts, said Kobyakov. Belarus just needs to make an effective use of contacts and agreements with international financial institutions.

As previously reported, Belarus’ international reserves stood at $4.63 billion as of August 1, by the International Monetary Fund’s Special Data Dissemination Standards. As of January 1, 2016, Belarus’ reserve assets stood at $4.176 billion; $5.059 billion as of January 1, 2015; $6.651 billion as of January 1, 2014; and $8.095 billion as of January 1, 2013.

Belarus’ gold and foreign exchange reserves calculated under the national methodology stood at $5.186 billion as of August 1, 2016; $4.468 billion as of January 1, 2016; $5.716 billion as of January 1, 2015; $7.236 billion as of January 1, 2014; and $8.763 billion as of January 1, 2013. (Prime-TASS/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

As of August 24, agricultural organizations of Belarus harvested grains and pulses throughout the areas of 2 million ha, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Belarus declared.

The average yield totaled 3.37 t/ha. The harvested volumes reached 6.733 million tons of grains, down by 1.81 million YoY.

(APK-Inform/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has postponed the consideration of allocating a $200 million loan for implementation of the International North-South Transportation Corridor project, as well as for development of Azerbaijan’s railway sector, till the next year, said an ADB message.

Earlier, the bank’s management planned to hold the project’s overview on December 12, however, this date has been currently postponed till April 17, 2017. In addition, an ADB mission, which had to stay in Azerbaijan from November 14 to 25, in order to gather information about the project, will visit the country on March 11-25, 2017.

The project loan will be used mainly to invest in the Baku-Yalama (border with Russia) rail line of the North-South Railway Corridor.

It will cover enhanced management autonomy of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC (ADY) and transport sector governance, effective financial restructuring of ADY’s liabilities, enhanced financial and management control, efficiency and reporting at ADY, and business development and corporate restructuring of ADY.

The infrastructure rehabilitation of the North-South railway envisages the repair and rehabilitation of 441 kilometers of single track between Baku and Yalama, the development of computerized freight operation management system and consulting service support to project implementation and future project development.

Azerbaijan Railways CJSC is the executing agency for obtaining the loan.

ADB was founded in 1966 and has 67 members. The bank is headquartered in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Azerbaijan became an ADB member on December 22, 1999. The country’s share in the bank’s capital is 0.5%.

The North-South transportation corridor is meant to connect Northern Europe to South-East Asia. It will serve as a link connecting the railways of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia. At the initial stage, the North-South corridor will transport 5 million tons of cargo per year with further expansion of transportation to over 10 million tons. (Trend/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov signed a decree “On increasing the sizes of salaries, pensions, stipends and social allowances” on August 22.

The document was adopted at increasing income and life standards of population, as well as strengthening social support of citizens of Uzbekistan.

According to the decree, the salaries to workers of budget organizations, pensions, allowances and stipends to students will increase 1.15 times (by 15%) on average from October 1.

The following minimum sizes will be effective in Uzbekistan starting from October 1: salaries – 149,775 soums per month; pensions – 292,940 soums per month; allowances for disabled from childhood – 292,940 soums per month; allowances for elderly and work incapable citizen without the required work experience – 179,755 soums per month.

The document said that the expenses related to increasing salaries would be covered by state budget and off-budget Pension Fund under the Ministry of Finance of Uzbekistan.

The decree recommended business entities and organizations to increase the salaries of their employees in line with the minimal salary, set by the document. (UzDaily/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

The Belgorod Region has approved of construction of one of Russia’s largest greenhouse project of the Greenhouse company owned by Arkady Abramovich, son of tycoon Roman Abramovich.

The first, 5.93 billion ruble stage includes construction of 24 hectares of greenhouses until the end of 2017, which will allow the company to produce 19,300 tons of vegetables per year. Later, the facilities will be expanded to 108 hectares with projected capacity of 95,000 tons, a representative of the region’s development corporation, which oversees the project, said.

Mikhail Glushkov, executive director of the Russian food and vegetable union, said that the project’s total cost might be estimated at 20-25 billion rubles, and it might break even later than the standard seven to eight years as costs for heating and lighting will be higher in the Belgorod Region than in the south.

The government has already rented 191 hectares with utilities to Greenhouse for 49 years, and the company may later buy the land, the development corporation’s representative added.

Ilya Gamov, director for marketing and sales at Greenhouse Growth Technology, said that consumer demand for greenhouse vegetables had increased and was supported by counter-sanctions against European countries and Turkey. The government also provides significant support to greenhouse projects and reimburses 20% of their capital expenditures. (Prime/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

Consortium of South Korean companies completed construction of the second combined-cycle gas turbine with capacity of 450 MW at the Talimarjan thermal power plant in Kashkadarya region.

The second block started to generate electricity. The third block will start its operation by the end of 2016.

With full realization of the project production capacity of the plant will be 2600 megawatts, it will allow saving more than 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.

Hyundai Engineering and Construction Ltd. delivered to date technological equipment worth $313.92 million. The company completed installation and commissioning of 1-BHC and initiated the transmission of electricity in the system.

In the result of the launch of the second unit Talimarjan thermal power plant will annually produce an additional 7.2 billion kilowatt/hours of electricity.

South Korean Daewoo and Hyundai are implementing a project on modernization of Talimarjan thermal power station worth $861 million.

The consortium will construct two 450-megawatt combined cycle power plants in Talimarjan. Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan supplies combined cycle power plants. It is expected that the project will be implemented by the end of 2016.

The project cost is $1.28 billion. The Government of Uzbekistan attracted ADB loan for $350 million and loan of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for $300 million, Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan- $250 million and own resources of Uzbekenergo.

The first power block of Talimarjan thermal power station was commissioned in December 2004. The designed capacity of the block is 800 megawatt. The construction cost was $400 million. Launch of the new combined cycle power plants will increase electricity production 2.3 times – to 10.4 billion KWH a year.

Construction of two new combined cycle power plants will allow to increase production of electricity up to 20.4 billion KWH a year. (UzDaily/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

The construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which is designed to transport Azerbaijani gas to European markets, is progressing fully in line with its schedule, TAP AG said.

TAP AG tweeted on August 24, that it started welding pipes in Greece and Albania. All welds undergo ultrasonic testing, TAP said.

TAP project envisages transportation of gas from the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz gas and condensate field to the EU countries.

The 870-kilometer pipeline will be connected to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) on the Turkish-Greek border, run through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Italy’s south.

TAP’s shareholding is comprised of BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Snam S.p.A. (20%), Fluxys (19%), Enagas (16%) and Axpo (5%). (Trend/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

Commissioning of the railway Dushanbe – Kurgan-Tyube – Kulyab is extremely important and valuable for further improvement of the welfare of the population, progress and development of the national economy, said the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmon, who became the first passenger to travel this road by train.

He noted that with the opening of the road a permanent rail link between one of the largest regions of the country – the Khatlon region and Dushanbe would be established.

According to the President, the new railway creates favorable conditions for transportation of goods and products of the country to the borders of neighboring countries.

“The most important thing, is that the railway is considered to be an important factor in the development of the industry, it will allow establishing dozens of new industrial enterprises in all the cities and districts of Khatlon region, to ensure the sustainable development of cities and districts of the region and the country”, he said. (News.tj/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry hosted a meeting with Indonesia’s Iran-based Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador Octaviano Alimuddin, the Turkmen ministry said.

During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on opportunities to intensify mutually beneficial trade and economic relations between enterprises, companies and entrepreneurs of the two countries.

The parties also discussed prospects of bilateral cooperation in political, trade and economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, in particular, the possibilities to boost cooperation in the areas of tourism, sports, education, culture and art.

Indonesia has long been interested in the Turkmen market.

In mid-1990s, Indonesia Petroleum Ltd (INPEX) acquired shares in gas pipeline consortium in the construction project of the pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan. However, the project has been suspended due to the instability in the transit territory – Afghanistan.

Over the recent years, Ashgabat and other countries revived this project.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) financed the project’s feasibility analysis and India joined it as an interested consumer of Turkmen gas that provided additional chances for the transnational project’s implementation.

Currently, Bangladesh is also interested in participation in the project. (Trend/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

Turkmenistan to expand trade with Malaysia

Turkmenistan and Malaysia have exchanged views on expansion of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry said.

The meeting with Ambassador of Malaysia took place in the Turkmen Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The spheres of energy and education were noted among the priority areas of mutual interest. During the meeting, the ambassador of Malaysia presented the copies of his credentials.

Activity of the Malaysian Petronas Carigali, which became the first foreign company to start developing the Turkmen shelf of the Caspian Sea, is an example of successful Turkmen-Malaysian cooperation. (Trend/Business World Magazine)

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Uzbekistan Temir Yollari (Uzbekistan Railways) started to transport carfo via new railroad Angren-Pap.

According to the company, over 10 trains with various cargoes run on Angren-Pap railroad a day. The company said it would soon send 20 trains a day.

Uzbekistan Temir Yollari said that currently there were all conditions for transportation of cargo to and from Ferghana Valley.

The Uzbek company said that oil and oil products, chemical and fertilizers, quartz sand were transported via new railroad.

Fruits and vegetables are regularly transported to the markets of Uzbekistan. The railway also allows to export fruits, vegetables and melons.

The railway line Angren-Pap will directly link regions of the Fergana Valley with other regions of Uzbekistan. The project completes the creation of a unified national rail network. The length of the railway is 123.1 km, including a tunnel with the length of 19.2 km.

According to Uzbekistan Temir Yollari, the new railway will allow to transport about 10 million tons of cargo a year. In the first year, it is planned that some 600,000 passengers will be transported via new railroad.

New railway is an important part of the rail corridor “China – Central Asia – Europe” and will contribute to further development of Uzbekistan’s economy.

The project cost was $1.63 billion. Some $810 million were used for construction of railroads up to the tunnel. Another $455 million were used to construct the tunnel.

The tunnel, constructed by Uzbekistan Temir Yollari and China Railway Tunnel Group, hold the eighth place in the world by its complexity. (UzDaily/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

Uzbekistan attracted 89 grants for $47.7 million in the second quarter of 2016, the Ministry of Finance of Uzbekistan said.

In the reporting period, Uzbekistan attracted 42 grants for $20 million to healthcare, education and improving skills of employees and 12 grants for $2.1 million to social protection and development of culture.

11 grants for $1.4 million were attracted to agriculture and water management, 7 grants for $9.6 million – technical equipment and institutional development of law enforcement and customs bodies.

In the second quarter of 2016, Uzbekistan attracted 4 grants for $6.8 million to development of habitation, transport and energy infrastructure.

3 grants for $6.2 million were attracted to material-technical equipment and institutional development of public administration bodies. 4 grants for $0.8 million were attracted to ecology and 6 grants for $0.7 million – on other directions.

It is worth to mention that Uzbekistan attracted 67 grants for $51.7 million in the first quarter of 2016. (UzDaily/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

Ukrainian flour exports will grow annually by 30-35%, the Chairman of the Board of Directors the agricultural holding KSG Agro Sergiy Kasianov said.

According to him, high demand for wheat flour from foreign buyers forms the growth of the export volumes. Milling enterprises of KSG Agro do not have any alternative to find access to export markets, as the domestic consumption of flour continues to reduce gradually. In fact, the exports of flour helps the industry to survive, said Kasianov.

To date, the share of China in the geography of Ukrainian flour exports totals nearly 50%, and the index will grow in future. Kasianov noted that Israel, Africa and the Middle East would also increase the consumption of Ukrainian flour. At the same time, he stressed that the EU and China were the highest priority markets for Ukrainian exporters.

KSG Agro has managed to successfully develop flour exports. The company exports the products under trademark Pererobnyk to Chinese partners. The company plans to increase flour exports, Kasianov added. (APK-Inform/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

The pressure in the Russian gas transportation system at the junction point with the Ukrainian gas transportation system has fallen significantly, energy holding Naftogaz Ukrainy said in a statement.

“Naftogaz Ukrainy is concerned with Gazprom’s systematic violations of the transit contract conditions in provision of a minimal allowed pressure of gas at the entry point to the Ukrainian gas transportation system”, the company said.

“The latest significant contraction occurred today at the gas measuring station Sudzha. The pressure in the Russian gas transportation system stood at 53.5 atmospheres, while the minimal possible pressure should be 60.0 atmospheres”.

Naftogaz Ukrainy thinks that Gazprom decreases the pressure as it is unable to maintain the necessary pressure due to poor condition of some of its infrastructure.

In late July, CEO of Naftogaz Ukrainy Andrei Kobolev said Russia had reduced pressure in the gas pipeline and Kiev asked the E.U. to monitor and analyze the situation. (Prime/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

As of August 22, Ukrainian agrarians harvested 38.1 million tons of grains and pulses (including 37.9 million tons of early grains) throughout the areas of 9.7 million ha, or 68% of the plan. The average yield totaled 3.92 t/ha, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine reported. At the same time, on the same date last year the production volumes reached 37 million tons.

In particular, Ukraine harvested 42 thousand tons of buckwheat throughout 33 thousand ha (22%). The average yield totaled 1.27 t/ha (in 2015 – 1.23 t/ha). Agrarians harvested millet throughout 37 thousand ha (36%). The production volumes totaled 66 thousand tons, with the yield of 1.81 t/ha (1.95 t/ha).

Agricultural enterprises of Ukraine started harvesting sunflower seed. As of the reporting date, Ukraine harvested 22 thousand tons of the oilseed throughout 11 thousand ha, with the average yield of 2.04 t/ha. The forecast of sunflower areas total 5.9 million ha.

Also, agrarians planted winter rapeseed throughout 304 thousand ha, or 42% of the planned areas (in 2015 – 127 thousand ha). (APK-Inform/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

The entry of new players on the foreign agricultural markets is a priority for the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, the First deputy head of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy Maxim Martyniuk declared.

He reminded that to date, the share of Ukrainian agricultural products in the general exports on the European markets continued increasing.

The EU is a strategic partner of Ukraine. In 2016, the exports of Ukrainian products to the reporting countries increased by almost 26%. In H1 the foreign trade turnover between Ukraine and the EU countries increased by almost 20%, Martyniuk added. (APK-Inform/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

As of August 19, wheat and barley harvesting was almost complete. Farmers obtained 26.37 MMT of wheat and 9.77 MMT of barley in bunker weight. The weather was favorable during grain harvesting. Therefore, losses are expected to be minimal while grain finishing is 1.5-3%.

UkrAgroConsult has raised the estimate of wheat gross crop by 1 MMT, and of barley – by 0.6 MMT.

Corn production prospects are also promising. Warm weather and precipitation created favorable conditions for corn vegetation this summer. Average productivity is expected to be all-time high or close to record high – nearly 6 MT/ha. (UkrAgroConsult/Business World Magazine)

Originally published at Business World. You can comment here or there.

On August 17, the free industrial economic zone “Navoi” held a meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of Uzbekistan E. Utembaev.

During the meeting, the sides discussed prospects for further expansion of mutually beneficial trade and investment relations between the two countries.

During the visit, the delegation was familiarized with the conditions created for foreign investors, and got acquainted with the activities of investment projects on the territory of Navoi FIEZ. (Uzreport/Business World Magazine)

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Moldova is interested in participation of Azerbaijani companies in development of hydrocarbon resources, Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to Azerbaijan Gheorghe Leuca said.

Leuca has met with the Caspian Energy’s delegation headed by the President and Editor-in-Chief of Caspian Energy International Media Group Natalya Aliyeva.

Speaking about the energy sector of Moldova, the ambassador noted that development operations were held in the 1970s and continued in 1984.

“We have only three fields”, Leuca noted. “As the depth of drilling of the majority of wells reached up to 1,000 m and there were only few with the depth reaching a little over 3,000 m, nowadays investments are required to continue drilling and rehabilitating the fields. Geological prospect of discovery of certain huge hydrocarbon reserves has been revealed”.

Speaking about bilateral relations between the countries, the ambassador noted the necessity of resuming the work of the intergovernmental commission for trade-economic cooperation at this stage because the latest session of the commission took place in 2012 and much time passed in order to get back to the actions, which were important for improvement of the economic relations.

He said that the plans of the protocol included not only economic and trade but also other areas of cooperation such as cultural-humanitarian, education, healthcare, social protection of population, as well as Diaspora related issues.

“We expressed readiness to hold the session of the intergovernmental commission in late September”, the ambassador said. “First of all, our co-chairman, who is also a Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Oktavian Kalmik and an accompanying delegation must arrive. First Vice Premier Yagub Eyyubov is a co-chairman representing the Azerbaijani side”.

During the meeting the sides discussed various topics of cooperation within the Caspian European Club (Caspian Business Club) and Caspian Energy International Media Group, possibilities of expansion of contacts at the informational level, as well as participation of Moldovan companies in international Caspian Energy Forum which is due in Baku on December 7. (Trend/Business World Magazine)

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KSG Agro (Luxembourg) with assets in Ukraine saw $1.95 million of net profit in January-June compared to net loss of $3.825 million a year ago.

According to a company report on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE), its revenue over the period grew by 40%, to $7.14 million.

KSG Agro saw a 22.5% rise in operating profit in H1 2016, totaling $5.29 million and a 7.5% rise in gross profit, reaching $4.86 million.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) over the period fell by 3.3%, to $6.04 million from $5.24 million in January-June 2015.

KSG Agro is a vertically integrated agricultural group, working in almost all the segments of the agricultural market, including the production, storage, processing, and sales of agricultural products. The total arable land leased by the company is around 63,000 hectares. (Interfax/Business World Magazine)

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There is every ground to believe that the inflation in Belarus will stay under 12% in 2016, Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said after he presented his report to the Belarusian head of state on August 23.

“We have already announced that, unfortunately, only one out of seven parameters, outlined by the head of state, was met. This one, however, is an important one. It is the inflation rate. We are already back to the normal operation and believe that the inflation will not exceed 12% by the end of the year”, Andrei Kobyakov said.

According to the Prime Minister, deflation was registered in the first half of August, which was related to seasonal factor among other things.

As for other parameters, Andrei Kobyakov stressed that the majority of them saw improvement.

“We are gradually moving towards the economic recovery”, Andrei Kobyakov noted.

The President was briefed on the situation on foreign markets, the import-export proportion and the country’s balance of payment. The meeting highlighted the issues related to the operation of problem state enterprises, and the implementation of measures to reduce cross-subsidizing in the housing and utilities sector. (BelTA/Business World Magazine)

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In January-July Ukrainian flour milling enterprises produced 1.03 million tons of flour, down by 7% YoY, the State Statistics Service of Ukraine declared.

At the same time, the production volumes in July totaled 149 thousand tons, up by 12.5% MoM, and down by 7.2% YoY.

In January-July the production volumes of crude sunflower oil in Ukraine totaled 2.163 million tons, up by 3% YoY. In particular, in July the production volumes of crude sunflower oil reached 193 thousand tons, down by 32.2% MoM, and down by 11.7% YoY. (APK-Inform/Business World Magazine)

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In January-June Russia increased cereal crops export volumes by 37.9% YoY to 13.484 million tons, the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) reported.

According to the announcement, in the reporting period wheat and meslin traditionally formed the basis of grain export supplies – 9.306 million tons, up by 68.6% YoY. Also, the exports of Russian corn grew by 54.5%, to 2.949 million tons, and sunflower seed – up 2 times, to 81.4 thousand tons.

At the same time, in the first half year some decline of barley exports was observed: by 50.7%, to 1.024 million tons, and rice – by 3.4%, to 109 thousand tons.

As for the export volumes of other plant growing commodities from Russia, the foreign supplies of wheat and wheat-rye flour increased by 21%, to 127 thousand tons.

Also, in the reporting period Russia increased the import volumes of palm oil and its fractions by 12.4% YoY, to 409 thousand tons. (APK-Inform/Business World Magazine)

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According to the State Statistics Service, in 2015 Ukraine produced slightly more than 347 thousand tons of groats, down by 1% YoY (350 thousand tons). At the same time, some segments demonstrated significant decline of production volumes.

In 2015 the production volumes of buckwheat groats decreased by 25%, to 68.3 thousand tons, against 90.9 thousand tons in the previous year. The production of peeled barley groats significantly decreased (by 18%): 13 thousand tons, against 16 thousand tons. The production of millet groats decreased by 11% (to 16.5 thousand tons, against 18.6 thousand tons).

In 2015, oats (up by 13%, to 2.4 thousand tons) and wheat groats (up by 11%, to 54.5 thousand tons) demonstrated the greatest increase in groats production.

Reduction of the planted areas and harvest volumes of groat crops, as well as decreasing of the domestic demand for the products, are the main reasons for decreasing of the production of groats in Ukraine. In the season-2016/2017, favorable weather conditions resulted in the growth of production of many alternate crops, which will have a positive influence on the rates of groat crop processing. Also, it may increase the supplies of Ukrainian grain by-products to foreign markets. (APK-Inform/Business World Magazine)

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Further actions to reduce the refinancing rate in Belarus will be closely intertwined with the country’s balance of payments, the Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB) Pavel Kallaur reported.

“As far as further steps are concerned, there is no doubt we are going to act in a very balanced and careful manner. We are going to, first of all, evaluate the state of the balance of payments and make the relevant projections for the future”, the head of Belarus’ central bank stated.

Pavel Kallaur underlined that the central bank pursued its policy in close interaction with the government.

“Positive results of the monetary policy have to do a lot with the measures being taken in fiscal and economic affairs. While pursuing such a balanced policy after taking care of inflation and the currency market situation, the National Bank has made a truly professional and conscious step in favor of once again reducing the refinancing rate. We know it has stirred up some discussions in the general public. Nevertheless, these are totally conscious and professional actions taking into account the macroeconomic situation developing in the Belarusian economy”, Pavel Kallaur said.

The refinancing rate in Belarus was reduced by 2% to 18% per annum on August 17. The relevant decision was made by the NBRB Board and the Monetary Policy Committee on August 3, after reviewing the dynamics of inflation processes, the state of the balance of payments and the current account, the situation on the currency market and the financial market of the country. The interest rate on standing and bilateral operations designed to keep up the current liquidity of Belarusian banks was reduced from 25% to 23% per annum.

This year the refinancing rate in Belarus was also reduced on July 1 (by 2% to 20% per annum), on May 1 (by 2% to 22% per annum), and on April 1 (by 1% to 24% per annum). Before that the refinancing rate was changed only on January 9, 2015 by increasing it by 5% to 25% per annum. (BelTA/Business World Magazine)

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Ukraine’s GDP growth in 2017 is expected to be 2.9% with inflation of 9% (December on December), according to a consensus forecast published by the Ukrainian Economic Development and Trade Ministry.

Experts anticipate that this year the country’s GDP will grow by 1% with 13.1% inflation.

The ministry said four months ago the economy restoration assessments were more optimistic: 1.1% with inflation 13.5%.

As for 2017, in April experts expected a slower growth of the economy – 2.5% with the same inflation of 9%.

The hryvnia exchange rate forecast for late 2016 is improved to 27 UAH/$1 from 28 UAH/$1 projected in April 2016, while for 2017 it was revised upwards from 28.5/$1 to 28.9 UAH/$1.

The consensus forecast is based on the materials provided by experts from 16 various organizations and companies, particularly, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), the Institute for Economics and Forecasting of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine, the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting, the International Center for Policy Studies (ICPS), Raiffeisen Bank Aval, Dragon Capital investment company and CASE Ukraine. (Interfax/Business World Magazine)

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Since the first years of independence, food security has been one of the priorities of socio-economic policy of the country. Measures implemented in the country to provide the population with quality food, as well as the results achieved in the food industry were discussed at a press conference organized by the holding company “Uzbekozikovkatholding”. In the last 10 years, the export of fruit juice has doubled, and other food products – went up on an average 1.5 times.

Representatives of the holding company “Uzbekozikovkatholding” noted that during the years of independence, the production volume of basic food commodities (grain, meat, milk, fruits and vegetables) had increased. At the moment, the company includes 188 industrial enterprises within its structure. During the first half of this year, they produced goods worth over 2 trillion soums, up by 9.1% YoY.

1085 projects are under implementation within the food industry. In 2016, it is planned to utilize over $201 million.

Participants also stressed that special attention was paid to the development of the country’s export of fresh and processed fruit and vegetable products. In particular, a variety of activities are conducted, which contribute to the establishment of business trade and economic relations between businessmen and manufacturers of Uzbekistan and foreign countries. For example, July saw the first International fruit and vegetable fair. Following its results, 270 contracts with a total amount exceeding $2 billion were signed. (Uzreport/Business World Magazine)

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National Nuclear Generating Company Energoatom seeks to finance building of the centralized spent nuclear fuel storage facility via the issue of securities on the U.S. stock market with the help of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Energoatom announced the start of negotiations with Bank of America Merrill Lynch regarding coordination of due diligence, drafting preliminary financing conditions, cooperation with OPIC in registering the insurance policy and preparation of documents for the issue of the bonds.

The expected cost of the agreement between Energoatom and Bank of America Merrill Lynch is $1.5 million.

Energoatom said that as part of searches for the sources of long-term financing (at least seven years) to build the spent nuclear fuel facility negotiations with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citibank and U.S. Export-Import Bank were held. The first bank showed its desire to participate in the project.

Energoatom President Yuriy Nedashkovsky said at the end of 2015 that the company sought to attract some $250 million from Bank of America Merrill Lynch to build the facility. He said that this was a loan for at least 25 years at less than 7% per annum.

Energoatom and Holtec International signed a contract to build a spent nuclear fuel storage facility in 2005 after Holtec won the tender.

A supplementary agreement to the contract dated January 26, 2016, foresees that Energoatom will design and build the facility, and Holtec will supply equipment.

Energoatom is the operator of all four Ukrainian-based operating nuclear power plants, which have 15 VVER reactors with an overall generating capacity of 13.835 gigawatts. (Interfax/Business World Magazine)

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China’s imports of Russian oil contracted by 14% YoY to 3.23 million tons in July, Bloomberg reported quoting the Chinese customs as saying.

Angola, Saudi Arabia and Russia remained the three top exporters to China in July. Angola’s exports rose by 23% YoY to 4.72 million tons, while Saudi Arabian oil exports fell by 4.2% to 4.02 million tons.

In June, Russia exported 4.11 million tons of oil to China. (Prime/Business World Magazine)

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Businessmen from Russia, China, and the European Union will take part in the international investment forum Grodno region at the Crossing of Borders that will take place on September 23, the economy committee of the Grodno Regional Executive Committee reported.

The investment forum will be held as part of the Euroregion Neman expo and fair. This year’s edition of the forum will showcase opportunities for doing business across the region. The program includes a business matchmaking session and presentations of investment platforms and projects in Grodno and Grodno region, at the free economic zone Grodnoinvest and the tourism and recreation park Augustow Canal.

Visitors to business events will have an opportunity to establish contacts with potential partners and investors. The forum will feature several sections, such as Grodno Investment Map: Incentives and Priorities, Cross-Border Cooperation Programs as Instrument of Joint Regional Policy and Investment Attraction, and Tourism as Competitive Advantage of Grodno region.

A traditional business event will be held at the free economic zone Grodnoinvest. Attending the event will be residents of the free economic zone, representatives of banking and commercial institutions that provide consulting and research services, and businessmen from different countries. They will discuss investment cooperation in manufacturing and tourism, attraction of financial resources for projects, and application of cluster development model in cooperation between market participants. The free economic zone Grodnoinvest will also host a business matchmaking session. For the first time, the forum will have a section devoted to agribusiness and support for exports and investments.

The businessmen will be invited to get acquainted with products on display at the Euroregion Neman. Each edition of the Grodno investment forum draws diplomats and delegations from sister cities in more than 20 countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Slovakia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic, Germany, China and others. (BelTA/Business World Magazine)

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Second season in a row Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan export record high volume of wheat, leaving behind such top-exporters as USA and EU countries.

Despite another record in world wheat production in 2016/2017 (+1,2% to 743.44 MMT according to USDA), meaning tougher competition on key wheat export markets, situation looks promising for the Black Sea countries.

In 2015/2016 season we should note a considerable breakthrough of Russia to the second place among the top wheat exporters. Increasing the export volumes by 10% compared to the previous season, Russia ousted such large exporters as Canada and USA.

Staying at the fifth place on the list of top world exporters, Ukraine continues to impress with victories on growing Asian markets, ousting mainly Canada and EU. In 2015/2016 shipments of Ukrainian wheat to the foreign markets grew by +56% compared to the previous season.

Kazakhstan increased its wheat shipments by 6.2% in 2015/2016. The country was able to export more not only to its key markets (CIS countries), but also to increase supplies to Turkey, China and Iran.

Having gathered record high volume of wheat in 2016/2017, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan will be able to export additional volumes to the traditional EU markets and replenish the deficit of European supplies, provoked by low wheat crop in France this year. (UkrAgroConsult/Business World Magazine)

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Izobud, Belarus’ leading manufacturer of cutting-edge energy efficient sandwich panels, has branched out into the European market.

The enterprise has signed contracts and delivered construction products to the Baltic countries and Sweden. The Belarusian manufacturer obtained a European certificate of conformity to the European EN14509:2014 standard. The quality of Izobud sandwich panels was praised by foreign contractors. (BelTA/Business World Magazine)

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Belarus: producer prices up in July 2016

Belarusian producer prices in July increased by 0.5% MoM (up by 7.3% compared to the level of December 2015), the National Statistical Committee (Belstat) reported.

Construction prices grew by 1.7% MoM in July (up by 1.2% compared to the level of December 2015).

Freight tariffs (all means of transportation) decreased by 0.2% MoM in July (up by 5.4%).

Telecom tariffs for entities and private entrepreneurs grew by 0.1% MoM in July (up by 2.8%). (Prime-TASS/Business World Magazine)

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Belarusian Potash Company (BPC) shipped 729,454 tons of potash fertilizers to Brazil in January-June, up by 32% YoY.

Potash export proceeds from Brazil-bound shipments dropped by 15% YoY to $268.8 million.

Founded in September 2013, Belarus Potash Company has regional dealerships in Delhi, Beijing, Singapore and Sao Paulo. BPC facilitates potash exports to Europe, India, China, Central and South America, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East.

Belarus Potash Company is the key export trader of OAO Belaruskali. (Prime-TASS/Business World Magazine)

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