Analysts worry about the dollar as it falls over 10% against a basket of currencies

Peotr Pushkareov, chief analyst of the Kiev-based company TeleTrade, points out the crisis of a dollar system due to growth of the huge debt that the United States is unable to serve. According to Paul Craig Roberts, chairman of the Institute for Political Economy, the U.S. national debt is now over $20 trillion. More than $500 billion go towards interest on the U.S. national debt each year, whereas both tax revenues to the Treasury and new loans are insufficient.

The dollar has fallen over 10% against a basket of currencies on world markets in 18 months. However, the dollar has recently advanced a little during a setback. At present, the euro costs $1.15 and is forecast to reach $1.3 by this year-end. Incidentally, James Rickards, editor of the Strategic Intelligence newsletter, notes that today’s $100 bill is only worth 10 cents on the dollar, compared with the $100 bill of 1969.

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NBU scraps restriction on foreign exchange deposits for individuals but…

According to Vadim Iosub, senior analyst of the investment company Alpari, in August 2017 National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) scrapped a restriction on foreign exchange deposits for individuals who had henceforth the ability to access their accounts via ATMs or at bank cash desks and withdraw cash currency without limitation of the amount. A limit to buy foreign exchange by individuals was increased to the equivalent of 150,000 grivnas last year, from 12,000 grn.

However, some administrative restrictions are still in force and foreign exchange transactions are governed by a plethora of enactments. President Poroshenko introduced the bill of currency into the Supreme Council of Ukraine on March 19 and asked to adopt it as a matter of great urgency.

Oleg Churiy, NBU deputy governor, has said this law is needed because the active legislation, which regulates foreign exchange transactions, is complicated and contradictory. It is worth noting too that Kiev assumed commitments in terms of the free movement of capital within the framework of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

Kiev needs desperately money to make hefty external debt payments

By Vladimir V. Sytin
Reportedly, Ukraine faces foreign currency debt payments of more than $12 billion for past loans and interest on them in both 2018 and 2019. Unfortunately, its foreign currency reserves, which stood at only $18.6 billion as of January 31, are too low.

Things are getting hairy, the more especially as this country is also supposed to pay off a corporate loan of $20 billion. According to experts’ estimates, today the Poroshenko regime needs desperately about $4.5 billion or 3.8 billion euros to cover privileged debts.

By comparison, Russia has tripled its gold reserves in the last 10 years. James Rickards, editor of the Strategic Intelligence newsletter, notes that they have gone from some 600 tons to over 1,800 tons, and are moving very quickly towards 2,000 tons. Like Russia, China has tripled its gold reserves, officially from 1,600 tons to 1,800 tons.

KPI to host Sikorsky Challenge festival in October

The VII festival of innovation projects Sikorsky Challenge will take place at Kiev Polytechnic Institute (KPI) on October 9-12.

Sikorsky Challenge is seen as one of the most important annual events in the realm of innovation in Ukraine. It brings together not only the developers of projects covering many fields of science and technology but also representatives of large investment business.

The purpose of this event is to identify the most interesting and relevant projects in various fields of technology, and to assist the authors of the best engineering developments to plot the path to commercialization, establish successful start-up companies, as well as to bring innovative products to domestic and international markets.

The format of the festival will include:

– Startup Competition (https://www.sikorskychallenge.com/startup-contest/);

– Scientific & Technological Creativity Contest among Schoolchildren;

– Exhibition-cum-contest Ukraine’s Future.

Submit applications for the Startup Competition 2018 till August 31: https://www.sikorskychallenge.com/startup-contest/

The teams of authors whose projects have won the Startup Competition will have an opportunity to move their engineering developments from hype to prototype at the science park Kievskaya Polytechnika, supported by grant and venture funds.

Winners of the competitions will be announced on October 12.

Ukraine’s manufacturing industry grew 6.5% in January, February as economy boosted by agriculture

The manufacturing industry and retail trade have respectively increased by 6.5% and 7.6% in Ukraine from January through February.

The country’s vital agricultural sector continues to extend its influence on economy and exports. The export of agricultural products to the European Union rose by 28.1% to more than $1 billion in January and February. In addition, Kiev is building up export trade with other countries. For instance, India has become the biggest importer of Ukrainian agricultural and food products. It is worth noting too that Egypt buys a considerable amount of products from Ukraine.

Reportedly, this country’s economy has bright prospects for the future. According to forecasts by experts, industrial output will increase by 3.3% this year that is expected to facilitate the rehabilitation of industry in Ukraine.

Iran is Ukraine’s important trading partner as Kiev can’t influence nuclear deal

By Vladimir V. Sytin
Like it or not, Iran is one of the Ukraine’s important trading partners. The two countries have reestablished trade relations in 2016 after an 11-year break.

The share of Iran in Ukraine’s total exports accounted for 1.3% last year, the Middle East country ranking 18th in terms of the Ukrainian export turnover. In particular, the share of Iran in the export of Ukrainian agricultural products made up 2.9%. Iran is one of the top ten countries with the highest indices of a foreign trade turnover with Ukraine.

However, Ukraine is unlikely to be one of the countries that can influence the fate of the 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the major world powers, particularly president Trump’s withdrawal from this deal, and the situation in the Middle East on the whole. As one of the analysts put it, “Ukraine is a too small player to impact the winds blowing in the geopolitical skies”. A nascent hike in oil prices may well strike on the remains of the export potential of Ukraine whose economy is already moribund.

According to Paul Craig Roberts, chairman of the Institute for Political Economy, if Russia does not tolerate Washington’s overthrow of Syria, Russia certainly will not tolerate Washington’s overthrow of Iran. And it is unlikely that China will either as China gets 20% of its oil from Iran.

Prospects for cooperation with Canadore College discussed at KPI

canada-utGeorge Burton, president of Canadore College and the Invest North Bay Development Corporation, member of the Supervisory Board of North Bay Airport based in Ontario, Canada, visited Igor Sikorsky Kiev Polytechnic Institute (KPI) on May 17. He was accompanied by the specialist of the Department of Economic Development of the College, Vladimir Shekhovtsov.

The Canadian guests met Alexei Novikov, KPI vice-rector for prospective development; Nikolai Bobyr, director of the Mechanical Engineering Institute at KPI and corresponding member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; Viktor Koval, deputy head of the Joint Educational and Scientific Center of KPI, Boeing and the company Progresstech-Ukraine; and Yevgeni Polishchuk, deputy vice-rector for international affairs.

The participants in the meeting discussed opportunities to establish cooperation in the educational sphere, conduct applied research and organize innovation activities. The representatives of Canadore College showed a keen interest in composites used for maintaining and repairing aircraft, as well as in the use of composite structures and modern methods for calculating their parameters. Considering other possible areas of cooperation, the participants focused on the projects of creating new equipment and medical devices.

After the talks the Canadian guests got acquainted with exhibits at the Igor Sikorsky Department of Aviation and Astronautics History of the State Polytechnic Museum and the historical part of the KPI campus.

Canadore College is a higher educational institution founded in 1967 in North Bay in the province of Ontario as a campus of Sudbury’s Cambrian College. It became an independent institution in 1972. Currently, Canadore has a full-time enrolment of some 3,500 students. The college has seven departments (schools) offering 75 programs in various fields. One of its most popular departments is the School of Aviation, which trains specialists in aviation, aircraft repair, communication and electrical systems, and aircraft maintenance, among others.

According to Zach Scheidt, editor of the Daily Edge, the Boeing Co. is the world’s largest aerospace company with a market capitalization of $109 billion. The company is well known for its F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet, and was awarded a $2.2 billion contract for a new submarine hunter warplane.

Want to invest in Kirovograd region? Take part in 58 agricultural projects

Plans are in hand to implement 58 investment projects in the realm of agriculture to the amount of more than 815 million grivnas in the Kirovograd region this year.

In particular, 17 projects will be carried out in the field of plant growing. Specifically, 12 complexes designed to store and clean grain, two grain elevators, a vegetable storage place and a mill will be built and reconstructed.

It is projected to implement 11 livestock-raising projects. Some of them provide for the modernization of a dairy production complex and several livestock buildings, the organization of broiler raising and breeding of African sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus).

Over 545 million grn worth of 34 investment projects will be steered to the modernization of a fleet of farm machinery, among other things.

Most Ukrainians say stresses, medical errors affect their health

Recent polls show that the number of Ukrainians, who rated their health as fair, has increased by 9%, compared with 2011. In particular, men defined their health as “good”, a higher percent than that of women.

In these polls 42% and 40% of the respondents say stresses and impossibility to get qualified medical treatment have respectively affected their health. In addition, 21% and 20% of Ukrainians think faulty nutrition and bad habits have a negative influence on their health respectively.

Incidentally, more than 200,000 people die each year from preventable medical errors in the United States. According to Paul Craig Roberts, chairman of the Institute for Political Economy, you are safer walking in the worst areas of Chicago than you are when you are in a hospital.

Russia shouldn’t remain sanctions risk for European companies, say Paris and Berlin

By Vladimir V. Sytin
A section of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline on the Baltic seabed is under construction in Germany. At the same time, a new tangle of antagonism towards the United States has emerged and aggravated in Europe.

In fact, Sylvie Bermann, French ambassador to Russia, said Paris would not demand the unconditional resignation of Syria’s President Bashar Assad. In other words, France has agreed to fulfill Russia’s main requirement that the Assad government should be preserved, which Washington opposes strongly today.

In addition, Berlin and Paris advocate easing sanctions against large Russian companies, primarily Rusal that produced 3.7 million tons of aluminum last year. The activities of French and German companies suffer from these sanctions. Recently, French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel visited the U.S. where they tried to secure preferences for their companies.

It appears from this that the sanctions do not affect Russia as much as European countries and they will spare no pains to minimize their losses, even to the detriment of Ukraine’s interests. So Ukraine fatigue did the trick, and the Poroshenko regime should not hope very much for French and German support.

As if to rub salt in the wound, the mainstream media reported that Nord Stream 2 would double the existing Nord Stream pipeline‚Äôs current annual capacity of 55 billion cubic meters. Therefore, Ukraine will lose 55 bcm of transit to the European Union. According to experts’ estimates, Kiev stands to lose transit revenue in the amount of more than $1.5 billion per year.

Incidentally, James Rickards, editor of the Strategic Intelligence news letter, noted that Russia is the 12th largest economy in the world, has the largest landmass, is one of the three largest energy producers in the world, has abundant natural resources other than oil, has advanced weapons and space technologies, an educated workforce, and, of course, has the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons of any country. Moscow’s game involves the accumulation of gold, development of alternative payments systems, and ultimate demise of the dollar as the dominant global reserve currency.

Contrary to many analysts’ perceptions, Russia is on a sound financial footing. Russia’s government debt-to-GDP ratio is 12.6%, which is trivial, compared with 253% for Japan, 105% for the U.S. and 68% for Germany. The Central Bank of Russia has rebuilt its hard currency reserves to $455 billion after those reserves were severely depleted in 2015, following the collapse in oil prices that began in 2014.