07 June 2014
Dmitry Firtash: Ukraine is able to become the new European centre of economic growth
Ukraine has good chances to become Europe’s new economic development center, vowed Mr. Dmitry Firtash, Head of the Board of Directors of Group DF and President of the Federation of Employers of Ukraine as he was speaking at a meeting of the Council of Domestic and Foreign Investors under the President of Ukraine.
“Ukraine features an unmatched capacity, primarily territorial and natural one. The country can become a new center of Europe’s economic growth if its investment potential is realized,” commented Mr. Firtash.
Attaining high rates of economic development in Ukraine requires systemic support to small and medium enterprise promotion. “If one looks at the European statistics, it appears that the share of small and medium business in the national GDP is about 50 percent while in Ukraine this index averages at 12 – 15 percent. Changing this situation takes, among other things, the simplification of procedures of business’ interaction with the government, minimization of human factor’s impact on enterprise development, etc.,” said Mr. Firtash.
According to him, creating conditions for Ukraine’s basic industries modernization is another imperative. “We believe that our industrialists are faced with a serious challenge which is industry modernization. I am sure that sectors like metallurgy, chemical production, machine building are the key ones for the economy,” noted Dmitry Firtash. He stressed that the government must create necessary preconditions for maximizing Ukrainian enterprises’ reliance on the domestic machine building capacity. “At least 50 percent of Ukrainian machine building output must be used in the course of reconstruction of the existing plants or building new ones. Machine building is a key sector which will generate a powerful impetus for the development of all industries,” believes Mr. Firtash.
He is also convinced that Ukraine needs the state finance system decentralization and real participation of the central government and local authorities in developing the infrastructure required for putting up new enterprises: “City mayors and governors today are unable to address the challenges hindering regional business development. Creating a new business from scratch, organizing its logistical support and connecting it to the infrastructure is a very costly exercise. If the government were there to support and offer additional opportunities, investors would have been a lot better-off. Plus, it would have been a very persuasive argument in favor of attracting investment in regions,” concluded Mr. Firtash.