President Viktor Yushchenko, participating in Advisory Council on foreign investments, said the national economy was ready for long-term investment projects but insisted that Ukrainemust first improve its investment climate and sign a free trade agreement with the European Union and join the World Trade Organization.

The President urged the Investment Council to think about how to resolve domestic problems to boost private investment in the economy. Although foreign direct investment has doubled over the past two years and the economy is growing fast, the executive branch of government still faces quite a few challenges, he said. “I want to point out these problems to influence the correction of these negative and dangerous tendencies,” he said, describing administrative restrictions, particularly in the grain market, VAT rebate schemes and insufficient protection of property rights as major causes of low investment. He insisted that the government must adopt a new tax code, pass changes to the Law on the Judicial System and better regulate natural monopolies, according to President’s press office.

Yushchenko said the gas issue was one of the most serious problems and accused the cabinet of ministers of allowing the “creeping seizure of the gas market and its adjacent markets.”


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