In 2010, Ukraine Will Require The Implementation Of Banking, Regulatory, Taxation And Land Reforms
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In 2010, Ukraine Will Require The Implementation Of Banking, Regulatory, Taxation And Land Reforms NEW YORK, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2010, Ukraine will need to implement a number of reforms to increase the competitiveness of the economy and ensure its growth throughout the post-crisis period, stated Nataliya Izosimova, Director of the Foundation for Effective Governance (FEG). Izosimova made this statement at a conference titled "Ukraine: Challenges and Opportunities," held in Moscow by FEG and the Russian newspaper Vedomosti. "For a number of reasons, the economic crisis has had a greater impact on Ukraine than on its neighboring countries. The economic recession creates great risks for society and the state. Ukraine cannot increase its competitiveness and ensure steady economic growth during the post-crisis period, without realizing tactical anti-recessionary measures and implementing long-term reforms. The crisis creates unique opportunities for structural change," she emphasized. According to Victor Chernomyrdin, Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation and former RF Ambassador to Ukraine, a keynote speaker at the conference, Ukraine must achieve political stability before it can overcome the crisis. "The economic crisis has had a particularly negative influence on Ukraine, as well as on Russia. That is why it is difficult for Russia to recommend solutions. However, we would overcome the crisis together. If we work together, it will be easier for our economies to survive," he stated. Andrey Lobach, FEG's senior Project Manager, identified several key priorities that should serve as a background for the Foundation for its projects in 2010. The following reforms should be implemented: banking system reform, the approval of a new tax code, the simplification of the conditions for carrying out business activities, the removal of the moratorium for land sale, the development of a public-private partnership (PPP) institute, the improvement of bankruptcy procedures, and state administrative apparatus reform. "Firstly, these reforms can increase competitiveness and improve the business climate. Secondly, they may be accomplished relatively quickly and realized within 2010. Thirdly, the realization of these measures does not require major financial resources," Lobach highlighted. Alexander Savchenko, Deputy Minister of Finance of Ukraine and former Deputy Head of the National Bank of Ukraine in 2007-2009, also spoke about the importance of reforms during the conference. According to Savchenko, economic fluctuations align with political fights, which severely affect the economy. As part of the conference, FEG and Vedomosti organized discussions about different strategies for tackling the economic crisis in Russia and Ukraine. The following solutions were offered: Alexander Lukanov, President of Alfa-Bank Ukraine, highlighted that the stabilization of the banking sector is the most realistic goal. In his opinion, inflow of foreign capital through foreign banks' support would allow the situation to stabilize. Within the forecast for the following year, Lukanov declared that public confidence will return to the banking sector, and more deposits will be made. Denis Bugrov, Board Member at Sberbank of Russia, stressed that the long-term success of developing Russia-Ukraine relations depends on the choice of reforms. Among the priorities that need to be addressed, Bugrov named political stability, and the removal of obvious barriers and obstacles in the tax legislation and land tax code, as well as the creation of motivators for improving the economy's effectiveness. Elena Kuznetsova, Senior Manager at McKinsey & Company, pointed out that political and macroeconomic stability and understanding of the necessity of reforms are the key indicators that demonstrate how Ukraine learned from the crisis. A debate with the motion Russia is Ukraine's key partner in overcoming the economic crisis was the second session of the conference. FEG regularly runs debates together with UK-based Intelligence Squared in Ukraine. Several speakers spoke for or against the motion, and then the audience actively participated in the discussion. Andrey Shevchenko, Member of Parliament of Ukraine and First Deputy Head of the Rada Committee on the freedom of speech and information, pointed out during the debates that Russia and Ukraine almost froze diplomatic communications. In his opinion, the elites of both countries have completely lost trust in each other. In Ukraine, any business with Russia is regarded as a risky opportunity to gain greater control over Ukraine. In its turn, Russia stereotypes Ukraine as a secondary state. Opponents of the motion that Russia can help Ukraine overcome the crisis better than others, are convinced that it is impossible to discuss the status of being a "major partner" while having such an unreliable relationship. Therefore, it is important for Ukraine to focus on European economic relations. Igor Shumilo, Executive Director for economic issues at the National Bank of Ukraine, expressed confidence that Europe is the only civilized choice for Ukraine to cope with the consequences of the economic crisis. However, experts defending the motion that Russia is Ukraine's key partner in overcoming the crisis emphasized that Europe is not necessarily the best option for Ukraine's economy. Kirill Dmitriev, Managing Partner and President of Icon Private Equity, highlighted that Europe is weak from the economic perspective. It has many problems and is not of interest for Ukraine. Moreover, Europe is not particularly focused on Ukraine. Dmitriev said that economic pragmatism is the main priority for Ukraine and Russia. "Close cooperation between the two countries will enable them to carry out innovative and industrial breakthroughs, as well as raise competitiveness of their economies. Furthermore, the creation of a uniform economic space will lead to efficient economic results," he stated. According to Sergey Glaziev, Head of the New Economy Institute of SUM and General Secretary of EurAsEc, links between the countries are so close that the Russia-Ukraine pairing is the obvious choice. Irina Akimova, Member of Parliament of Ukraine and Deputy Head of the Committee on Economic Policy, concluded that Ukraine needs equal partnership relations with Russia as well as the EU. She is convinced that there is no conflict between European integration and a partnership with Russia. Summing up the discussion at the conference, Konstantin Grishchenko, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Russia, claimed that at least in a short-term prospect, and under mutual respect, Russia is the nearest, most serious and effective partner for Ukraine. In relation to long-term prospects of Russia-Ukraine relationships and Russia's assistance in overcoming the crisis in particular, Grishchenko said: "We have to plan a long-term perspective strategically and build these relations based on completely different principles. I am convinced we have all necessary capabilities for that to happen." "Ukraine: Challenges and Opportunities" was held on October 22, 2009 in Moscow. It was organized by the Ukrainian Foundation for Effective Governance and the Russian newspaper Vedomosti. The participants of the conference included Victor Chernomyrdin - Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation; Konstantin Grishchenko - Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine to the Russian Federation; Irina Akimova - Member of Parliament of Ukraine, Deputy Head of the Committee on Economic Policy; Kirill Dmitriev - Managing Partner and President of Icon Private Equity; Denis Bugrov - Board Member at Sberbank of Russia; Alexander Savchenko - former Deputy Head of the National Bank of Ukraine (2007 - 2009); Alexander Lukanov - President at Alfa Bank Ukraine; Ruslan Ibragimov - Vice-President at MTS; Elena Kuznetsova - Senior Manager at McKinsey & Company; Igor Shumilo - Executive Director for economic issues at the National Bank of Ukraine; Aleksandr Martynenko - General Director at IA Interfax-Ukraine; Andrey Shevchenko - Member of Parliament of Ukraine and the First Deputy Head of the Rada Committee on the freedom of speech and information; and Sergey Glaziev - Head of the New Economy Institute of SUM and General Secretary of EurAsEc. About The Foundation for Effective Governance The Foundation for Effective Governance (FEG), an independent public policy institution, was formed in 2007 by Ukrainian businessman Rinat Akhmetov. FEG's main objective is to encourage the development of long-term national economic programs for Ukraine, through the formulation of practical policy solutions to the political, economic and social challenges facing the country. The basic principles governing FEG's activities are independence, a focus on economic development, openness, and a practice-oriented approach. FEG's International Advisory Board includes former Prime Minister of Canada Kim Campbell, Chair; former U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee; and Gyorgy Suranyi, former president of the National Bank of Hungary. More information is available at www.feg.org.ua/en. SOURCE The Foundation for Effective Governance Joshua Greenwald, Rubenstein Public Relations, +1-212-843-8037, firstname.lastname@example.org
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