Positive change is happening in Ukraine and despite the challenges Government introduces wide0-ranging reforms to make Ukraine a better place to live, visit and invest, wrote Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman in a column for the Wall Street Journal.
“When I became prime minister in April 2016, the government’s main challenge was to stabilize our country. We had to establish new rules and greater transparency to fight corruption and to create a business-friendly climate”, noted the Head of Government. “We’ve been working hard, and over the past three years we’ve cancelled more than 3,000 regulatory acts – more than during the entire previous 20 years. After a 17% drop in 2014-15, Ukraine’s gross domestic product grew by 2.3% in 2016 accelerating to 4.7% in the final quarter. A report published by the European Commission last year concluded that we are making headway at an “unprecedented” level, and the International Monetary Fund has committed USD 17 billion in financial support for my government’s reform efforts”.
The Prime Minister emphasized that achieving positive change in the country is no easy feat. “It’s never been easy, but we’ve insisted on being open and transparent throughout. My government deregulated gas prices and substituted energy-tariff subsidies with direct subsidies to households. We implemented these changes a year earlier than our IMF program stipulated. Moreover, we made it obligatory for state bodies and civil servants to purchase goods and services through an award-winning e-procurement system called Prozorro”.
“We are proud of our achievements so far and have identified five priorities in our 2020 Reform Plan: economic growth to create new jobs, higher wages and increased personal wealth; effective governance aimed at high-quality public services and better control over state funds; combating corruption in order to secure equal rights for all; increasing our security and defense services to protect our citizens; and increasing the availability and quality of healthcare across the country”, told Volodymyr Groysman.
Prime Minister assures: “Driving these reforms will push us into an exciting new period in our nation’s history.” He reminded that Ukraine is a member of the World Trade Organization, has a free-trade and visa-free travel arrangements with the European Union, and has recently concluded a free-trade agreement with Canada. Apart from that, there has been established the Ukraine Investment Promotion Office in Ukraine. He added: “A recent European Business Association Investment Attractiveness Index characterized Ukraine’s investment environment as the best it’s been in six years.”
“Foreign direct investment last year totaled USD 4.41 billion, 17.1% more than in 2015”, noted the Prime Minister. “Ukraine has a bright future,… and this future will be based on further cooperation with our international partners. I will do everything in my power to make this happen, and the Ukraine Reform Conference meeting in London Thursday will be the first of many opportunities to broaden the coalition around reforms in Ukraine”, summed up Volodymyr Groysman.