IMF Mission Chief for Ukraine Thanos Arvanitis stressed the need to strengthen the investment component of the Ukrainian economic policy. He stated this during a meeting of IMF mission representatives in Kyiv with the Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Anatoly Maksiuta, the press service of the ministry reported Thursday.

According to Arvanitis, one should begin with the coordination of efforts to improve the banking system. "It is impossible to start lending to the economy with weak banks," he stressed, UKRINFORM reported.

For this purpose, the IMF advises that Ukraine solve the problem with non-performing loans, in particular with respect to their taxation, create the possibility of restructuring credits extrajuridically, and adopt legislation on insolvency.

Representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the IMF mission agreed to hold a second meeting during the mission's stay in Kyiv to discuss the problems in the banking sector, investment attractiveness, as well as a treaty establishing a free trade zone with the EU.

The IMF mission, which will work in Ukraine until February 11, has arrived in Kyiv for the second revision of the stand-by program.

As reported, the IMF Board on July 28 decided to allocate a loan to Ukraine for a total of 10 billion SDRs (special drawing rights, about 15.6 billion dollars) over 2.5 years under the new stand-by program.

In mid-November 2010, the IMF mission approved the first revision of the program of the Fund's cooperation with Ukraine.

On 22 December 2010, the IMF Board decided to allocate to Ukraine the second tranche of 1 billion SDR, which is about 1.5 billion dollars.

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