President Viktor Yushchenko held a meeting of the Consultative Council on Foreign Investments, presidential press office reported.

"The dialogue with investors, the establishment of a legislative field that would have attracted international and national investors is very important for the economy of Ukraine, " said  Yushchenko in his opening remarks.

The President noted that among the promising sectors of the Ukrainian economy are energy, infrastructure, road construction and agro-industrial complex. Speaking about the latter, President Yushchenko said that full efficient land market is necessary in order to attract investors to the Ukrainian agriculture.

Yushchenko noted that due to internal economic and political changes that have happened in the last 4 years the investment in Ukrainian economy grew from $8.6 billion (January 1, 2005 data) to $ 38 billion. During this time, he said, Ukraine has also made progress in the integration into international economic institutions. "For us, the most important document, which reflects our strategy is the economic integration into the European Union," said Victor Yushchenko.

The President reminded that three-quarters of talks have been completed on the Free Trade agreement, and the talks on united energy system and joining the European Energy Association are continuing.

Viktor Yushchenko praised the dynamics of cooperation between Ukraine and such global financial institutions as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank. "We currently have a key package of relations with leading financial institutions," said the President.

Yushchenko praised the actions of the National Bank to stabilize the national currency under the global financial recession. "The robust monetary policy, to which the National Bank has returned in recent months, gives positive results evident today. We have a stable currency and freely functioning foreign exchange market virtually without intervention of the National Bank," he said.

Among the problems that have arisen in the Government budget and privatization policies, President Yushchenko mentioned the unmanageable budget deficit, which by experts’ estimates may reach 120-130 billion.

"The problem is around 120 - 130 billion. In fact, 50% of the budget in 2009 has no real income. This is a key challenge for the prices, for social and political stability. We have one of the worst budgets – the political budget, rather than the economic, which obviously cannot be anti-recessionary budget," said the President.

Fiscal policy has also been hampering investment growth, the President said, particularly with no transparent scheme for VAT return and collection of taxes in advance. He promised that he would submit the suggestions, made during the meeting on this issue for the consideration of the parliamentary majority and the Government to change the situation for the better.

The President also criticized the privatization policy and gave the unfortunate example of the recent attempt to sell the Odessa Port Plant. "Today we have a Government that cannot conduct good privatization of such a facility honestly, lawfully and objectively. Too much political and private interests involved in such projects," stated the President. For this reason, Yushchenko explained , in the last half of the year the Government has not held any major privatization.


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