Regional development, eliminating of the problem of peripheries, balancing of the territories today is the number one priority for the next 5 years of Ukraine's development. The Vice Prime Minister/ Minister for Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine Hennadii Zubko emphasized during a seminar on leveraging investment in the economic development of the regions.
"For us, it is very important to make Ukraine a regional leader, and we have absolutely every opportunity for that. Ukraine should demonstrate not only problem areas and problem territories but have also shown off its potential for attracting investment and development of human potential. The current GDP growth of 3% is only the stabilization of economic growth. As a country that strives to be a regional leader, we must demonstrate 10% or even 15% GDP growth", said Hennadii Zubko.
In terms of leveraging investments into the country, according to the Vice Prime Minister, it is crucial to show foreign investors the prospective areas for business development, first and foremost those in which there are people, infrastructure and raw materials. "I will be honest, with the existing logistics, it is rather easy to build the logistics that is necessary for business, but it is impossible without infrastructure and people. Therefore, looking today at the map of Ukraine, where there are problem areas, and this is not only the area of conducting an operation of united forces, it includes also border, mountain and other territories with rare population, which we must also consider in the process of attracting investment", said Hennadii Zubko.
Apart from that, according to him, the essential are the principles of regional policy, which is introduced by the President of Ukraine, the Government, and the Parliament.
"It is significant for us to achieve the goals set by the President of Ukraine, to get rid of such a notion as the periphery and to balance the development and capabilities of the territories. That is why the consolidated territorial communities, to which we have transferred funds, opportunities and responsibilities, have to step up the course of their development. This concerns the introduction of the New Educational Space, primary rural medicine, CASPs, Security Centers, and strengthening the social protection of the population. Everything that will motivate people to live in communities, create families, give birth to children. And for the investor, in turn, to demonstrate that there are educated people who can be effectively involved in his business and bring profits", said Hennadii Zubko.
According to him, the balancing of the regions should take place in five main directions, which will bring Ukraine closer to the European Union and was enshrined in the EU-Ukraine Sectoral Support Agreement.
"First of all, it's all-Ukrainian solidarity. Ukraine should not be in a state of mental and cultural difference, which we are constantly imposed on from the outside. We are Ukrainians who are absolutely equal in our capabilities, despite the territorial organization. The second is the development of human potential. And this is a key area, as Ukrainians are educated, hard-working, patriotic and liberty-loving nation. The next is the development of rural areas. Ukraine is an agrarian state and therefore, for further development, we must shift away from cultivating grain, and gradually reorientate to the processing and development of farming. The transformation of the agrarian industry from raw materials to processing is one of the tasks the President of Ukraine sets in his program for the next 5 years. No less important is the development of tourism. So, leveling the development of the territories will enable to turn each region into an investment hub, while Ukraine into a regional leader", Hennadii Zubko emphasized.