The Government team led by the Prime Minister took part in Ukraine Reform Conference, which took place on July 7-8 in Vilnius.
The Conference was attended by political leaders of the European Union, NATO, other international organizations and partner countries, as well as leading representatives of Ukrainian NGOs, business, think tanks, the media and the Ukrainian diaspora.
The Prime Minister of Ukraine noted that the Conference had brought together friends and partners of Ukraine and expressed gratitude to the Republic of Lithuania for organizing the event. Denys Shmyhal presented a plan of reforms until 2030, which is drawn on the National Economic Strategy-2030. "This roadmap is based on the following key principles: economic freedom, national security, the rule of law, human development, and good governance. It is not by chance that these principles coincide with the core values of the EU and NATO. After all, European and Euro-Atlantic integration permeates all government reforms," Denys Shmyhal stressed. According to him, the reforms are grouped into 5 blocks: "Financial and Economic", "National Security and Defense", "Ensuring the Rule of Law and Combating Corruption", "Human Capital Development", "Effective Governance".
The Conference contributed to both a better understanding of reforms in Ukraine and the prioritization of assistance needed by Ukraine. After all, for two days, Ukrainian government officials together with the participants discussed further European integration processes, economic development, investment climate, improving the efficiency of government, etc., as well as presented the results of reforms in the country.
During the Conference, the Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Kyrylo Shevchenko in his statement told about the support and reform of the financial sector.
"The NBU has always been an initiator and active participant of economic transformations aimed at stimulating investment into our country. No doubt, high resilience shown by the reformed financial sector during the coronavirus crisis has a positive effect on the investment climate in the country, while high liquidity and capitalization maintained enable banks to expand lending, supporting the economic recovery. Meanwhile, the creation of favorable conditions for business development is ensured by a consistent, transparent and balanced monetary policy aimed at maintaining a balance between responding to inflationary risks and supporting the economy," Kyrylo Shevchenko stressed.
According to Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, over the past two years the Government and Parliament have taken steps, inter alia land market creation, banking reform, large-scale privatization, decentralization, etc. "The reform process is much more complicated, because after Ukraine gained independence, only nowadays we are beginning to introduce markets in a number of areas, including health services, waste management or transport. And it's not just about passing legislation, but about starting these processes from scratch. The Association Agreement and European integration is a way to transform Ukraine and create a market economy," she said.
First Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Economy of Ukraine Oleksiy Lyubchenko stressed that the Government of Ukraine has determined the main points of economic growth. The priorities are digitalization of the economy, free competitive market, entrepreneurship development and attraction of investments in basic science and technology. According to him, the main mission of the Government and the Ministry of Economy is transparency, zero tolerance for corruption and creation of equal competitive conditions for business. "If the state performs these functions, as well as ensures the inviolability of property, then we can assume that the mission has succeeded," said Oleksiy Lyubchenko.
Apart from that, he told that the country is prolonging corporate governance reform. "There are a number of challenges ahead, but we are well aware that economic reforms in Ukraine should take place in line with the best international practices as recommended by the OECD," said Oleksiy Lyubchenko.
Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov said that a year ago the Ministry of Digital Transformation had developed the brand of digital Ukraine – Diia (Action – ed.). This is an ecosystem that consists of several components - a mobile application and portal Diia, projects Diia.Digital education, Diia.Business and more. "Digitalization is one of the main vectors of development of the Ukrainian economy over the next 10 years. It is estimated that digitalization is capable of providing Ukrainian economy growth by 10-12% per year. Therefore, it is a priority of the Government for our country in all areas. Europe is our strategic partner in terms of digital reforms. Together, we have already digitized 31 services," he noted. The official added that Ukraine is the first country in the world where digital passports in smartphones have become complete legal analogs of ordinary documents, as well as the fourth in Europe with digital driver's licenses. In addition, the fastest business registration in the world has been launched - in a few seconds on the Diia portal.
Minister of Justice Denys Maliuska informed about the main achievements and challenges for Ukraine in the context of improving business conditions, attracting and protecting foreign investments. "For the development of Ukraine as an attractive and open for business and investment state, I want to identify 4 fundamental components. Those are a successful implementation of judicial and anti-corruption reform, effective reform of law enforcement agencies and ensuring the implementation of contracts," said the Minister of Justice during his speech. According to him, new approaches and initiatives are being introduced in Ukraine, in particular in the sector of business and real estate registration, restoring solvency, digitalization, access to registers and databases, effective alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and the creation of effective execution of judgment system.
When discussing the reform of the security and defense sector, the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andrii Taran stressed: "We have come a long way since the Soviet era, since the Soviet army. What we do brings us closer to NATO standards every day. We aim to complete systemic applied changes in the current security organization of our country and the processes that provide defence based on the package of Partnership Goals. This is an ambitious and difficult task, which is a kind of “homework” on the way to NATO membership. It requires persistent and coordinated efforts, including the full support and advice of our Alliance partners". He also added that on the way to the Alliance, of which Ukraine will definitely become a member, the domestic Armed Forces have already begun to acquire the necessary operational combat capabilities, are building a defense management system based on best practices of NATO member states and implement a military culture based on Euro-Atlantic values.
The Minister of Energy of Ukraine German Galushchenko said that the Ukrainian energy system sees the process of transformation, and this opens up a number of options for attracting investment. He told that the priority for the Ministry of Energy is the synchronization of Ukraine's power system with the European system ENTSO-E. "To do this, we need high maneuverability facilities, further development of green energy. There appear a lot of new opportunities and technologies: energy storage, hydrogen. This is a rather wide field for attracting investments in any organizational forms of cooperation with Ukraine," Herman Haluschenko stressed. Such integration of Ukrainian and European energy systems will allow businesses to expand markets and yet calculate the necessary investment.
Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine Roman Abramovskyy stressed that the Ministry is currently working to create a sustainable waste management system, work is planned to introduce sectoral bills on packaging and packaging waste, batteries and accumulators, waste from electrical and electronic equipment, waste management in extraction industry and limiting the use of disposable plastic. Among the important investment-attractive sectors is the subsoil use industry, which has been actively developing recently. "The Ukrainian subsoil use industry is becoming transparent and open. We have created an investment atlas of the subsoil user, which is constantly updated. It contains vacant subsoil areas with deposits of strategic and critical minerals for purchase at e-auctions. Every businessman can nominate an investment site for an auction and take part in it. All information about them is collected in the online database and is available on a free basis," said Roman Abramovskyy.
Ukraine undergoes reforming in the interests of its own security and prosperity and the acceleration of European and Euro-Atlantic integration, said Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.
"Ukraine embodies a huge amount of internal transformations facing unprecedentedly difficult conditions against the background of Russian aggression. To assess progress impartially, it is important to see the big picture. No other European country in the past decades has undertaken tasks of this historical scale. Indeed, at some time there occur problems, there are steps backward and steps forward, but in general, Ukraine is really succeeding and moving in the right direction," summed up the Minister.
Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Oleh Nemchinov raised an issue of quality governance through increasing efficiency and professionalism at the Forum.
"Along with reforms in the judiciary, anti-corruption and many other sectors, public administration reform is one of the key ways to strengthen public institutions and successfully implement all other reforms. After all, solving many problems and implementing the changes needed by the state depends on the capability of the state apparatus to make effective decisions, attract the best professionals to the civil service and provide quality services to citizens and businesses.
And we have already made some progress in such areas as decentralization, improving the quality of public services, digitalization, the gradual formation of a professional civil service. But there are even more tasks ahead, which we set ourselves in particular in the Government's Strategy for Public Administration Reform until 2025, which will be considered at a Government meeting in the near future," Oleh Nemchinov told.