In Truskavets, Ukraine was called upon to join the EU and was predicted an optimistic future

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In Truskavets, Ukraine was called upon to join the EU and was predicted an optimistic future

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The XIII International Economic Forum “Globalization and Integration: Challenges and Solutions” started this week in Lviv region. This year, special attention was paid to the Vilnius Summit.

Last year, the forum was held at the Lviv Arena. But the experiment was unsuccessful, and the event was returned to Truskavets. According to the organizers, the event was attended by about 600 participants, 50 speakers from 22 countries. Among them were present investors, scientists, experts, businessmen, plenipotentiaries of embassies, foreign delegations and international financial organizations. In addition to the traditional participating countries, such as Poland, Germany and Belarus, delegations from Mexico, Vietnam and Iraq arrived.

The only representative of the Cabinet of Ministers at the International Economic Forum http://www.lvivforum.com.ua/ was Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Vilkul. The official spent a lot of time talking about the achievements of today – “stability and improvement.” At one of the discussions on European integration, they expected to see even Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, but he did not come.

The honorary foreign guests were the Minister of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Georgia, Alex Petriashvili, the Deputy Minister of Economy of Poland Andrzej Dycha, and the former Prime Minister of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara Levan Vashalomidze. Alex Petriashvili’s reflections on Georgia’s experience in overcoming economic transformations, the strategic Polish-Ukrainian partnership, the inevitability of the European path of development, and pressure from Russia were relevant.

The first foreign speaker was Oleksandr Pankov, Program Coordinator for Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova at the World Bank’s Private and Financial Sector in Europe and Central Asia. In his presentation, he noted that the primary barrier to doing business in Ukraine is access to finance, which is a critical criterion of transparency.

“Ukraine needs investment to stimulate solid economic development. But there are specific problems to attract the latter – says an international expert. – In particular, it is limited access to loans, both in terms of their pricing policy and maturity. For small and medium-sized businesses, rates reach 18-20%, slightly easier – for large, with external funding sources. In general, Ukraine is the worst country in terms of loans. Only Kazakhstan is catching up. The most painful indicator of problems is the departure of European banks. Plus, they are working with problem assets because their high level reduces the desire to lend. In addition, competition in the Ukrainian market is not beneficial for cooperation. This, in turn, leads to various macroeconomic imbalances and low investment interest. “

The head of the Department of Private and Financial Sector Development believes that the Tax Code of Ukraine needs immediate changes. This also applies to the credit information system. Ukrainian markets are small and inactive. Therefore, it is necessary to raise economic standards, solve infrastructure problems (including the implementation and compliance with banking agreements), and implement fair competition principles.

“I am optimistic about Ukraine. The country has learned lessons from previous years of crisis. By regulating current policies and learning from international experience, the economy and financial system can be stabilized. Compared to 2008-2009, Ukraine’s banking system looks more stable, including possible shocks, ” stressed Aleksandr Pankov.

No less interesting was the speech of another foreign guest, the Director of the UNDP Office in Ukraine Ricarda Rieger. She suggested researching the forum’s topic in the chain “economy-social development-environment” and answering the question: “Are we rationally using natural resources to keep them fit for our children?”.

The UN has developed a “human development index”. According to this criterion, the economy is not an indicator of society’s wealth and its future. Some countries may be wealthy in terms of GDP, but they lag in human development. Cuba, for example, has a very low GDP, but the government is investing heavily in the country’s infrastructure. It is necessary to improve GDP in parallel with the level of human development. Of course, it is more difficult for countries with economies in transition than for those who gained independence, for example, in 1947,” said the forum participant. She emphasizes addressing social and gender issues, sexual minority issues, and more.

“People in the country are an essential resource. They want to speak. We need to remember the ultimate goal – to consider people’s choices – emphasizes Ricardo Rieger. – Globalization is the use of experience, not copy-paste. Copy-paste doesn’t work because it’s the easiest thing to do. It is worth learning from other countries. Ukraine must apply its own decisions. On the issue of signing an agreement with the EU, Ukrainian businesses will cope with today’s challenges. It is better to minimize the risks than to run away from them. And to expand the dialogue to offer domestic solutions. It is helpful to take Vietnam’s experience in social affairs and the experience of Poland and Germany in civil service as examples. “

Also, during the XIII International Economic Forum, there were four sections. Discussions continued around the successful experience and new opportunities for creating technology and industrial parks, Ukrainian-European cooperation, Ukrainian hospitality, and environmental technologies as strategies for the future.

The unfurling of the largest flags of Ukraine and the European Union, which are recorded in the book of records of Ukraine, was symbolic. Therefore, it is to be hoped that such a forum will become an international foundation for the birth of progressive economic ideas and new financially promising projects. In short, opportunities (not only economical but also social and political) for our state. And then the calls of foreign colleagues to the EU and the “threat” of the optimistic future of her mother will finally come true.