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Russia bans import of wheat, chocolate, beer, dozens of products from Ukraine

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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a ban on the import of more than 50 Ukrainian goods, worth $510 million. The move comes in response to recently prolonged Kiev’s embargo on Russian products.

Russia introduced a ban on import of wheat, sunflower oil, sweets, vegetables, fruits, beer, tractors, paper, turbines, furniture, and other goods from Ukraine.

The ban is also set on chocolate, ethyl alcohol, fruit juices, caviar, fish and canned fish, bread and bakery, equipment for processing of agricultural products, engines and power generators, tractors, gearboxes and variable speed drives, transformers, cables and wires, chipboards, children’s and feminine care products and certain other goods.

This is a tit-for-tat measure against sanction restrictions on the part of Ukraine, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said.

“Russia has introduced a ban on imports of a number of Ukrainian goods. This is a retaliatory measure against Ukrainian restrictions. I signed the corresponding decree,” Medvedev wrote on Twitter Saturday.

Russia can decide on canceling these special economic measures if Ukraine abandons restrictions introduced earlier against specific Russian goods.

On December 18, the Ukrainian government extended the earlier introduced embargo on import of Russian foods by 2020. The list contains over 30 positions, including bread, bakery, chocolate sweets, meat, fish, coffee, black tea, infant food, filter-tipped cigarettes, beer, vodka, and certain other goods. The ban was also set on railway equipment: locomotives, railcars, trains and switch throwers.

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Economy

Three-day visit of Japan’s business delegation

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Prime Minister Zoran Zaev on Monday night hosted a reception and dinner for Japanese State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Yoshihiro Seki, who spearheads his country’s business delegation on a three-day visit to North Macedonia.

The visit of Japan’s delegation will include a series of bilateral meetings with host-country officials and members of economic team led by Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Kocho Angjushev, Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski, and Minister without Portfolio in charge of foreign investments, Zorica Apostolska.

The second part of the visit of the Japanese business delegation will include a tour of  the Directorate for Technological-Industrial Development Zones, and a tour of Bunardzik Zone 1 and 2, followed by a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Economic Affairs Koco Angjushev and the minister without portfolio in charge of foreign investments, Zorica Apostolska.

At the meeting, PM Zaev and Minister Seki discussed investment opportunities and modalities to attract foreign direct investments in North Macedonia. Zaev stressed that this year marks the 25th anniversary of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries.

“We attach great importance to economic cooperation with Japan. It is first time we host a business delegation to our country. I am pleased that you recognize our country as a stable business destination and that you are here to explore investment opportunities,” Zaev told his guest.

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Economy

Japan’s business delegation arrives in Skopje for 3-day visit

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Japanese business delegation, led by State Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Yoshihiro Seki, kicked off a three-day visit to North Macedonia.

On this occasion, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev will stage a reception and dinner for Minister Seki and business delegation of Japan, including a series of bilateral meetings with ministers and dignitaries – members of economic team led by Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Kocho Angjushev, Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski, and Minister without Portfolio in charge of foreign investments, Zorica Apostolska.

The second part of the visit of the Japanese business delegation will include a tour of  the Directorate for Technological-Industrial Development Zones, and a tour of Bunardzik Zone 1 and 2, followed by a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Economic Affairs Koco Angjushev and the minister without portfolio in charge of foreign investments, Zorica Apostolska.

The two will present the country’s investment opportunities and policies to attract foreign direct investments in North Macedonia.

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Economy

Ford to cut 7,000 white-collar jobs by August

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Ford Motor said Monday that it is laying off about 7,000 managers and other salaried employees about 10% of its white-collar workforce across the world, as part of a restructuring plan designed to save the automaker $600 million annually.

The company said it would lay off 500 employees in the United States this week and an unspecified number over the next several weeks as part of a broader plan to shrink its salaried ranks by 7,000 people, or 10 percent, with the sharpest cuts at higher ranks.

Including jobs cut earlier this year, a total of 800 jobs in the United States will be cut by August, the company said.

“Consistent with our goal to reduce bureaucracy, we will have reduced management structure by close to 20 percent,” Ford’s chief executive, Jim Hackett, said in an email to employees. “This will result in annual savings of about $600 million.”

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