Tuesday, March 23, 2010

President conducts the first meeting of Committee on Economic Reforms.

Opening the meeting President stressed: today Ukraine must make a choice between the "scenario of stagnation" with populist promises, or proceeding to profound reforms for qualitative leap in national development.
"We will open new opportunities for people through profound reforms", said Viktor Yanukovych, urging the audience to work effectively for the state and its citizens rather than "throwing beautiful words or slogans about”.
"We must begin economic reforms immediately. Despite the difficult financial and economic situation, I'm sure we will come out of the recession stronger and make a qualitative leap towards our strategic goal - to enter the list of twenty most developed countries in 10 years. This is the real path", he said.
Strategic priorities for today, according to the President, are improving the life standards, building a dynamic modern economy and providing efficient and fair policy of the stable government.
In President’s opinion, in order to radically improve the life of people - from healthcare and education, to jobs and decent pensions - under current difficult conditions empty talks or populist subsidies from the budget are directly opposite to what is needed.
"This is achievable only through innovative dynamic economic growth, which will be generated by market initiative of millions of private entrepreneurs", he said, emphasizing urgency of developing and implementing a systematic program of economic reforms.
"In our work the fundamental principle should be publicity and transparency", said President Yanukovych. "It is very important that reforms were supported by the society”, he added. Thus, Viktor Yanukovych said, the maximum of publicity should be among main principles in the activities of the Committee on Economic Reforms, at both central and regional level.
The President also expressed belief that regional governors should actively participate in the development of economic reforms concept. He said that he has already set such a task before the newly appointed regional governors. "I would also like Regional Administration Chairmen to be initiators of some pilot projects, without which we cannot move forward. This gradualness of our movement we are to determine together in the nearest future”, said the President of Ukraine.
"I think people understand in which direction we are suggested to move. So once again I repeat: publicity is the prerequisite for success of reforms ", said Viktor Yanukovych.
The President stressed that he would like to see professional and systematic approach to reforms. "I would like to see a real program, and most importantly, the mechanisms through which it will be implemented", he said, reminding that Ukraine has already formed effective political mechanism for that: the parliamentary majority, Government, etc.
The President said that currently main task of the Government is to stabilize the macroeconomic situation in the country as the basis for further strategic reforms.
"Urgent and in most cases unpopular measures to overcome the recession are temporary. It will be a painful, but short period, during which we will open the new prospects... Operational firefighting operations should be accompanied by qualitative changes of strategic nature. The consolidated political model offers us a real opportunity for deep changes", he said. Viktor Yanukovych stressed that this is certainly the work, which will be conducted using the experience of successful reforms in leading countries of Europe and the world.
The President stressed that he will strictly supervise implementation of economic reforms. "I will be supervising the quality of reforms personally. For that we will establish a system for monitoring the successfulness of the reforms program ", said Viktor Yanukovych. According to him, it is about specifying clear criteria for qualitative and quantitative changes that must be achieved at each stage of the reforms. In addition, the appropriate programs will be refined and reforms implementation staff improved on the basis of periodic monitoring reports of independent experts.
" Primary allies in effective control and implementation of the reforms I see in the public and media. I will always carefully listen to signals from you. When elaborating the program, we need an integrated approach with clear results, rather than pointed application of efforts", said the President of Ukraine.
The President outlined main directions for the economic reforms program: providing sustainable development, making business climate comfortable and attracting investment, technological modernization and economic infrastructure development, creating conditions for economic development (primarily in rural areas and narrowly specialized cities), shaping a new quality of international integration and economic cooperation and reforming social sector.
"We will elaborate a new model of dynamic growth, primarily through reforms in public finances, adoption of the tax code, bringing stability to monetary and foreign currency markets. The administrative burden on businesses will be reduced. The development of financial sector will restore confidence in banks and bring affordable loans and other resources to the real sector", said Viktor Yanukovych.
The President separately pointed to critical importance of developing transport infrastructure and conducting effective reforms in energy sector.
Speaking about providing conditions for economic development President Yanukovych said that it certainly requires the reform of budgetary relations.
Reforming the social sector, according to Viktor Yanukovych, for now is the most ambitious task for the authorities.
"On each of these priority directions, I expect the leaders of relevant working groups to present courageous and, at the same time, reasonable suggestions on how to make rapid changes for the better", said the President of Ukraine, addressing participants of the meeting.
The first draft program of economic reforms, he said, should be ready no later than in 60 days. "We must not lose a single day. We must use the recession to conduct deep and systemic reforms; as the chance to modernize the economy ", said Viktor Yanukovych.