Davos Ukrainian Breakfast: NEWS

25.01.2008

Impact of world economic crisis on Ukraine discussed at Davos Ukrainian Luncheon

The world economic crisis will not substantially impact Ukraine and economies of the neighboring countries. So predicted director of Petersen Institute of International Economy (Sweden) Fred Bergstein in his speech on the 4th Davos Ukrainian Luncheon, organized by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and EastOne Company.

"The fact that Ukrainian economy is growing is a positive feature for the world economy in whole", he said.Director of Peterson Institute thinks that if put in the context accessing to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is extremely important for Ukraine. "As WTO member Ukraine shall take strong position related to protection of sales markets and its economy".

Fred Bergstein considers monetary risks as a second risk group. "Since Ukraine is looking for its place within European Union, I would recommend you to change your currency policy and peg it to Euro instead of US Dollar. This will be an important step for strengthening a finance system of your country", he told.

President of European Bank of Reconstruction and Development Jean Lemierre in his speech at Ukrainian Luncheon outlined improvement of business environment and development of banking sector in Ukraine as a plus. Still, presently Ukraine is facing serious challenges.

First of all, according to Lemierre, it is necessary to urgently develop effective energy policy including energy saving policy. Furthermore, Ukraine is facing the serious question of infrastructure development. "It needs investing", mentioned President of EBRR. "You do so now that attention towards state and private sector partnership in the question of infrastructure is being increased, especially within the framework of EURO-2012 preparation. Still, infrastructure has to be developed not because of football, but to give economy a competitive edge".

9th President of World Bank James Wolfensohn specified that the most important action in present situation for Ukraine is to give investors a clear notion that a political antagonism within the country has been overcome. "The second factor that occupies our attention is Ukraine's integration into the European institutions. "We believe that when it is achieved it will make a serious statement for the international community".

Speaking at the luncheon President of Ukraine Victor Yuschenko laid down a schedule of immediate actions for Ukraine's integration into world institutions, mentioning that as early as on February, 5th Ukraine will join WTO. "This will be a great and memorable day for Ukraine and its partners", said the Head of the State. Furthermore, Yuschenko emphasized Ukraine's initiative in holding negotiations with the European Union as regards free trade zone creation. The President of Ukraine expressed a certainty that the year 2008 shall become a crucial moment in this respect. Victor Yushchenko considers negotiations with the EU as for concluding the new enhanced agreement to be the third important integration direction.

As this was informed, on January, 25th, "EastOne" Investment-Consulting Company and the Victor Pinchuk Foundation held the Ukrainian Luncheon entitled "Ukraine. What`s next?". This year the main accent of the event is the global challenges Ukraine faces as a part of global economic and geopolitical space. The luncheon took place at Morosani Schweizerhof Hotel. The key speakers were President of Ukraine Victor Yushchenko, 9th President of World Bank James Wolfensohn, Director of Petersen Institute of International Economy Fred Bergstein as well as Chief Managing Director of PepsiCo International Michael White.

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