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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $ 49,537 41,380 37,600 55
GNI per capita
 US $ 970 770 720 137
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Ukraine

Update No: 358 - (26/10/10)

The hinterland of Eurasia
Ukraine is midway between Europe and Russia, hence the hinterland of Eurasia. Ukraine is a mighty country, the size of France, with the same amount of people, about 50million. It commands the marches of Central Europe.

It is one of those countries where one might surmise that the future of the human race is to be decided. Who controls Central Europe? Who controls Eurasia? Who controls the world?

Actually no one state should control all of these geopolitical entities. That would be dictatorship.

Yet another EU member?
It is certainly a logical proposition to consider the inclusion of Ukraine in that assemblage of democratic states, called the European Union. There is to be a potentially most momentous event on November 22, namely the first European Union Ukraine summit.

To begin with, the European Commission reaffirmed in mid - October its commitment to the negotiations of an Association Agreement with Ukraine. "We are fully committed to the negotiations on the Association Agreement," Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fle, declared on October 20 on the occasion of the visit of Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov in Europe.

According to Fle, Ukraine is already travelling in the direction of economic integration with the European Union (EU) and the country has enormous economic potential. However, a number of obstacles have led to a loss of confidence among the business community, and a loss of investment in Ukraine.

Fle pointed out a series of concerns, including the taxation system, agricultural exports, customs procedures, lack of respect of court decisions, slow progress in the fight against corruption, and a lack of transparency in the area of privatisation in Ukraine. The European Commission therefore encourages Ukraine to pursue dialogue with business partners and authorities on difficult issues, but also to make a step forward on economic transparency.

According to Fle, the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement would play an important role in Ukraine's path towards the EU as the agreement will offer the gradual opening of the bloc's internal market and will assist Ukraine in exploiting the European market and in securing the investment needed to develop sustainable growth. "For Ukraine the impact of the agreement is likely to be largely positive, involving real income increases, gains in international trade, productivity, and employment generation. It will impact positively on consumers, businesses, investors and workers," Fle said.

Actually the economy is already doing well
Ukraine's economy was growing faster than expected, the National Bank of the NBU said on October 20. The bank said that the success was due to significant improvement in production in basic industries in September. "The growth on an annualized basis was 10.8 percent, for nine months growth speeded up to 6.5 percent," a statement said.

The main factor for the acceleration was a relative improvement in agricultural production, whose decline slowed from -4.1 percent in the first eight months to -1.3 for the first nine months. The growth of grain yields contributed to improving the dynamics of crop production, whose decline reduced to -4 percent from the previous -10, according to statistics. The situation in cattle breeding remained stable with 3 percent growth recorded for nine months, the data showed.

The NBU said a recovery in economic activity in the Middle East and new demand in Western Europe contributed to increased metallurgical production. After a 1.1 percent fall in August, production went up by 14 percent in September.

According to earlier reports, January-September industrial production in Ukraine rose by 10.8 percent compared to the same period last year.

Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych said on October 19 with considerable satisfaction "Ukraine's economy demonstrates good results."

All of this augurs well for the vital EU-Ukraine summit on November 22.





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