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Foreign Economic Activities of Ukraine
On gaining its independence in 1991, Ukraine has become an equal member of the international community. There is little doubt that the economic, scientific, and human potential of Ukraine is one of the most promising in Europe and offers many business and investment opportunities.
However, the present state of the Ukrainian economy leaves much to be desired. This is due to the fact that the economy of Ukraine was not always oriented towards satisfying the national interests of the country. Besides, the pricing policy was basically inappropriate because the prices for raw materials and fuel supply were very low and did not stimulate their rational use and the introduction of high technologies.
Nowadays Ukraine pursues the policy of integration into the world market.
The course on European integration and its strategic goal, which is full-fledged integration into European political and economic institutions, is irreversible and remains the key priority of Ukraine's foreign policy.
Among issues topping the present agenda of the EU-Ukraine relations are the implementation of the arrangements, including granting Ukraine market economy status, visa facilitation, cooperation in the sphere of European security and defence.
The EU-Ukraine trade and economic cooperation has recently experienced notable intensification. From year to year the bilateral foreign trade turnover and direct EU investment in Ukraine are constantly increasing. Today the EU is the largest foreign trade partner of Ukraine (the share of the EU in the foreign trade of Ukraine reached 33% upon the accession to the Union of new ten Members-States).
Unfortunately, despite rather dynamic cooperation in trade, so far the sides have not succeeded in resolving a longstanding issue of granting to Ukraine the market economy status under the EU anti-dumping legislation. Taking into account that Ukraine removed administrative interference into private business activities and at present almost 75% of the GDP are produced in the private sector, the Ukrainian side believes that there are no grounds for retarding the solution of this issue.
Ukraine’s leading trade partners are: Russia, Germany, the USA, Italy, China, Turkey, The Czech Republic, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Poland, Bulgaria. Barter deals and export contracts make up some 43% of the foreign trade turnover.
As a result of thorough economic research of Ukraine conducted within the framework of European and American Programs a great number of joint ventures with American, British, Dutch, German, Swedish, Canadian, Polish, Czech, and Russian financial capital there have appeared. The goods produced in these joint ventures are sold both in Ukraine and these countries.
A number of free economic zones (among them the famous “Kurortopolis Truskavets”) have been operating in Ukraine since the late 1990s.
Important European transport corridors pass through the country. The infrastructure of major transport corridors Lisbon-Triest-Kyiv (motor transport and railway), Odessa-Gdansk (motor transport, railway, and pipeline) is now being improved.
Ukraine and the EU proceed with dynamic cooperation in the sphere of energy, including the nuclear one, agriculture and environment. The EU political and financial assistance to Ukraine in addressing the most urgent problems in the energy sector as well as in eliminating the consequences of the Chornobyl catastrophe is gradually increasing.
European choice of Ukraine is not the last minute decision of policy makers. Ukraine is consistently proceeding with its strategic course towards European integration, which lies, first of all, in the building up of democratic, economically strong and prosperous state, worthy of the EU membership, which corresponds to the interests of both EU and Ukraine.
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