We should not pause in the process of the introduction of reforms and qualitative changes on the ground, and especially it concerns such priority issues as the development of mountainous areas, which, in my opinion, are some of the most investment-attractive. This was stated during a round-table discussion "Development of mountainous territories of the Ukrainian Carpathians: from the Concept to the Action Plan" by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine Hennadii Zubko, who is currently on a visit to Ivano-Frankivsk region.
During the event, experts and community leaders discussed the prioritization of projects and activities. This is primarily logistics and road infrastructure, which is quite complex in mountainous areas. The issue of supporting local businesses through tax reliefs, the implementation of certain programs that can enter the Concept of the development of mountainous areas, and this is connected to the development of state strategies for regional development.
"These issues are rather critical, which we should discuss, starting with the head of the Regional State Administration, the head of the community, the chairman of the regional council, in order to maximally take into account their proposals and solve problem issues on the ground", said Hennadii Zubko.
"Our mission is rather simple - to make the Carpathians a locomotive for the whole investment economy of Ukraine. And the key to your success is decentralization as an instrument for the development of the entire Carpathian region, which is Ivano-Frankivsk, Lviv, Chernivtsi and Zakarpattia regions. After all, we are talking primarily about the development of human potential here - almost 700 thousand inhabitants of the mountainous areas, for whom we must ensure the proper quality of life!" said Hennadii Zubko.
In 2019, the sum worth UAH 4.5 billion was allocated from the state budget to 4 regions in support of infrastructure. In particular, the SRDF (State Regional Development Fund) - UAH 1.171 billion, the subvention for consolidated communities - almost UAH 250 million, road infrastructure - more than UAH 1.5 billion, and rural medicine - UAH 1.4 billion.
"Today, these regions, due to state support, have every opportunity to develop not only projects that are shaped at the regional level, but also those that are directly relevant to the state regional strategy. Another tool for the development of mountainous areas, which has not yet been fully exploited, is cross-border cooperation. There have already been approved two programs. This is the EU Strategy for the Carpathian Region, which provides for coordinated policies and the implementation of joint regional development measures, as well as the EU Strategy for the Danube Region and the Danube Transnational Program, for which the sum worth € 5 million has been allocated", said Hennadii Zubko.
Separately, the official also focused on the project "Carpathian Regional Development Network", which is implemented under the sectoral support of the EU. "For this project, the sum worth UAH 50 million has been allotted, and we consider these funds as an instrument that will help in the development of interregional cooperation projects that would introduce strategic planning for the entire region. I reckon this Carpathian hub would become an incubator of innovative ideas, startups, creative industries that will enable the launch of economic development of communities and the region. After all, the contribution and experience of each of the regions will have a multiplier effect for the whole Carpathian region", said Hennadii Zubko.
One more tool for the development of mountainous areas of the Carpathians is approved by the Government Concept for the Development of Mountainous Areas of the Ukrainian Carpathians for 2019-2027, that is basing on four main priorities: the formation of a competitive economy of mountain territories, development of tourism potential, ensuring environmental safety and development of transport, industrial and social infrastructure.