Ukraine has managed to overcome the most critical consequences of the 2008 global economic crisis thanks to the nonstandard approaches to management of the economy. This idea was voiced out by the Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov in his speech at the 9th Yalta Annual Meeting of YES.
“We have managed to struggle through because we ran counter stereotypes, not the way we were advised to go. They told us to pull in our belts, but we increased salaries and pensions. They told us: “What EURO 2012 could be? What stadiums, airports, roads and interchanges could be?” But we have built all those facilities and held the championship”, the Prime Minister said adding that as a result of those actions Ukraine managed to reach the economic growth of 5.6% in 2010 and 5% in 2011, curb inflation and establish a stable foundation for the country development.
At the same time, according to the Head of Ukrainian government, we experience the second wave of crisis today. “The crisis spreads all over the world and will torment us at least for 10 more years. Only nonstandard thinking and the ability to find original approaches may help us to reach a new path for growth,” Mykola Azarov emphasized.
In the Prime Minister’s opinion, Ukraine today faces three key challenges. The first is energy challenge. “We don’t have sufficient gas. We pay huge gas price: taking account of the Kharkiv agreements, it is $540 per thousand cubic meters. This is a colossal stranglehold,” the Ukrainian Premier accented. According to him, Ukraine is going to satisfy its gas demand with own gas reserves in a 15-year perspective. At the same time, it is going to introduce energy-saving strategies that would enable reducing gas consumption twice as early as the next year. “Ukraine follows its own way. And somebody does not like this. The efforts Ukraine has been putting will ensure its response to the energy challenge,” Mykola Azarov stressed.
The second challenge is global food security. Despite significant climate changes that provoke droughts, Ukraine annually demonstrates record harvests – the grain harvest this year will be 47 million tons. Reforms in the agricultural sector, the Prime Minister emphasized, will ensure bringing the grain output up to 100 million tons within the next five years and will turn Ukraine into the largest global player on this marketplace.
The Head of the Government named environmental problems as the third key challenge. The Prime Minister of Ukraine identified continuing extensive economic reforms to be the government’s priority objective – specifically, reduction of tax press and economy deregulation. “Reforms have been implemented as fast as possible in the current context. We clearly see all our shortcomings and all our contradictory decisions. We have made many mistakes. But they are the mistakes related to seeking solutions in the extremely difficult economic situation. And no faultless decisions can be made in this kind of situation,” Mykola Azarov emphasized.
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