Year’s balance: thorny road to bright economic future
In the outgoing year, the economic situation in Ukraine continued to improve. And although the growth rates corresponded to the "swiftness" of reforms and remained modest last year, the government managed to maintain macro-financial stability and conquer some important foreign economic bridgeheads, which allows Ukraine counting on acceleration next year.
Year of agrarian contrasts
Ukraine’s agrarian sector saw plenty of contrasts this year. Despite a good harvest of cereals, an export boost, and revival of livestock farming, unpredictable tax policy, imperfect mechanism of state support, and reduction of profitability of crop production remain a significant problem.
Economy in 2017: TOP 10 game changers
The year of 2017 was filled with surprises and unrest in the global economy. It will be remembered for the escalation of many threats that we can encounter in 2018. This is the first year in office of a status-quo breaker Donald Trump, the year of an active phase of Brexit negotiations as EU remains full of contradictions and unresolved issues, the year of rising prices for oil and raw materials, and the year of striking innovation breakthroughs and stunning human greed that has affected the inflation of a crypto-currency bubble. In the era of globalization, large-scale events, one way or another, affect all corners of the planet. Ukraine was not an exception and will not be an exception in the future. UNIAN recalled the key moments of the outgoing year in global economic life and made an attempt to take a sneak peek into 2018.
Week’s balance: easing for businesses, hryvnia drop, and slap in Gazprom’s face in Stockholm
The government canceled more than 300 regulatory acts to facilitate doing business, while the prime minister called on representatives of fiscal bodies who disagree with such a "philosophy" to resign; the National Bank tames the hryvnia with market methods; and the Stockholm Arbitration has announced its final decision on the mutual claims of Naftogaz and Gazprom regarding the contract for the purchase of gas in favor of the Ukrainian side - these are this week’s main economic news.
Conflict over unbundling
Ukraine should in the near future resolve the issue of setting up a consortium for managing its gas transmission system; otherwise, its pipelines will turn into scrap by 2020. The action plan has long been developed but the conflict between the government and Naftohaz hinders its implementation. Experts warn that if they do not stop pulling a blanket, it is Russia who will win.
Week’s balance: hope for cheaper air tickets, unrestrained inflation and hryvnia drop
The Ministry of Infrastructure said a national low-cost air carrier would launch operations soon, the European Union postponed its next EUR 600 million tranche of macro-financial assistance to Ukraine, the National Bank warned that the inflation rate by year-end and in 2018 may turn out to be higher than expected, while the hryvnia once again feels tipsy - these are the week’s main economic news.
Week’s balance: budget and new taxes adopted, ProZorro under attack, land sale moratorium extended
For the first time in several years, the Rada managed to pass the state bidget for the next year well ahead of the New Year’s holidays. At the same time, the deputies traditionally made serious changes in the tax legislation, while their attempt to cancel the achievements in the sphere of public procurement and postponement of land reform sparked public outrage - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Week’s balance: extending moratorium on inspections of businesses, NBU supporting hryvnia, and state budget seeing surplus
President Petro Poroshenko launched an initiative to prolong the moratorium on inspections of businesses throughout 2018, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman announced the adoption of government and Rada’s decisions early next year aimed at accelerating economic growth to 5-7%, and showered criticism on Ukraine’s Antimonopoly Committee, while the National Bank once again rushed to support the shaken hryvnia - these are the week’s key economic news.
European accelerator for Ukrainian reforms
The "Marshall Plan for Ukraine", initiated by the country’s European friends, intensified the discussion within the EU about the system of incentives for Ukraine’s economic and political development. The Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels last week, saw no breakthrough on the issue, although it did not put an end to the idea. Ukraine is yet to prove to European officials and financiers that the country is worth investing in.
Week’s balance: criticism in EU, new foreigners for Naftogaz and timid growth of industrial output
EU leaders expressed dissatisfaction with the slowdown of certain reforms in Ukraine, the Cabinet approved the new supervisory board of the state energy holding Naftogaz, the State Statistics Service reported on the timid growth of industrial output in October, while Ukrainian farmers completed the active phase of their autumn field work - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Minister of Social Policy Reva: "Everyone who is employed officially pays twice – for themselves and for another person who is not "
Minister of Social Policy Andriy Reva in an interview with UNIAN told about the implementation of pension reform, discussions with international lenders on its harmonization, the introduction of a funded pension system, and the upcoming changes in the Pension Fund.
Week’s balance: Rada considering budget, creditor giving advice, and NBU waving goodbye to small coins
President of the World Bank Group Jim Jong Kim visited Ukraine and advised that the government speed up reforms, the Verkhovna Rada adopted in the first reading the government-offered law on the state budget for 2018, while the National Bank proposed to withdraw from circulation small coins - these are the key economic events of the outgoing week.
Road works booming: Ukraine plans to change its road map within 3 years
Ukraine's roads are among the worst ones in the world, with only Mozambique and Moldova lagging behind. However, in the coming years, the situation may change. The government plans to carry out a tremendous renovation of the country’s motorway infrastructure. UNIAN decided to find out where road construction and repair will start and what will be the cost for taxpayers.
Week’s balance: step toward big privatization, tighter control in public procurement, and slower inflation
Last week, the Verkhovna Rada adopted in the first reading a number of bills - on privatization, tighter monitoring of public procurement, and increasing transparency in utility tariffs – all really important for the reform of the country's economy, while the State Statistics Service reported on a slower inflation pace in October.
Ukraine in global rankings: Should we expect a breakthrough
Government officials continue to declare the need to raise Ukraine’s positions in various international ratings - economic, investment, and regulatory ones - as the country seeks investment. However, there has not been any breakthrough yet – ascending to TOP-50, not to mention the TOP-20, remains in our dreams. It’s only decisive steps which could promote a transition to a new quality of life.
Week’s balance: Poroshenko and Groysman's foreign tours, piled up complaints to business ombudsman, and Akhmetov blackmailing the government
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko acted as Ukraine’s promoter in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman worked to attract Canadian businesses, the business ombudsman received a record number of complaints, and DTEK's Rinat Akhmetov threatens the safe passing of the heating season - these are the main economic news of the outgoing week.
Week's balance: Groysman the guardian, a gas transit challenge, and a 'clot' of Ukraine's economy
The president has criticized the public and journalists for highlighting only bad things in the development of Ukraine, the prime minister has called on law-enforcers to cease pressure on businesses, the finance minister is still hopeful of getting an IMF disbursement by the end of the year, while the Ukrainian railways operator Ukrzaliznytsia's management has presented an optimistic plan for reforming one of the country's most corrupt companies – these are the main economic events of the outgoing week.
Week’s balance: Groysman arguing with IMF, Akhmetov stripped of Ukrtelecom, and deputies agreed to healthcare reform
The Verkhovna Rada passed a bill on health reform which will change the system of healthcare financing, the International Monetary Fund is in no hurry to decide on the allocation of the next bailout tranche for Ukraine, the court allowed to recover Gazprom’s assets to the tune of UAH 171 billion, while the government reported on its performance over the nine months of 2017 - these are the week’s main economic news.
Maksym Nefyodov: Most SOEs to be put up for sale are anything but a "gold mine". They are in a difficult condition
Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Maksym Nefyodov sat down with UNIAN to explain when exactly Ukraine should expect the arrival of big investors. He also elaborated on the new privatization legislation and the way the economy ministry is fighting fraud in public procurement.
Renewable energy in Ukraine: step forward, two steps back
Ukraine has renewed its interest in "clean" energy. By year-end, it is expected that a record volume of alternative energy generating capacities will have been put into operation, that is some 500-600 MW. Even private households across the country have joined the trend by actively installing solar power stations. However, renewable energy still takes up an insignificant share in the country's overall energy balance.