Ukraine has returned to growth but more work needs to be done, said Oleksandr Danylyuk, Ukraine’s minister of finance, at a country panel at the EBRD’s annual meeting in London. “We need more ambitious growth and for that we need to attract investors to Ukraine – the real growth will come when private money starts flowing into the country. The IMF mission is in Ukraine, and we are discussing reforms we haven’t implemented in many years,” he said.
“We need a significant return of FDI, and we need the banking sector to seriously restart lending,” said Steven Fisher, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine. The country is currently waiting for the IMF to resume dispensing its $40bn bailout programme, which was postponed in September 2015 due to corruption concerns. The IMF package – along with banking sector reform, the cancellation of restrictions on the repatriation of dividends from the country, the relaxation of foreign exchange controls, the simplification of tax laws and serious anti-corruption efforts – is essential to reviving FDI in the country, the panellists said.
The panel, Investment Outlook Session: Ukraine, discussed what was needed to bring investors back into the country following the political and economic turbulence of Ukraine’s conflict with Russia, which saw Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, meaning that Ukraine lost 10% of its territory and several thousand lives, and left an ongoing war in the country’s east estimated to cost it between $5m and $10m per day.