Ukraine - Economic development

In 1993, Ukraine's parliament tentatively approved a new economic reform plan to stabilize the republic's economy, attract more capital from abroad, and lay the groundwork for a market economy. Measures proposed included stricter monetary and banking regulation, and demonopolization of industries. A privatization program was under way in sectors including retail trade, services, the food industry, agriculture, and housing.

Since the election of President Kuchma in 1994, the government has implemented a far-reaching economic reform program. Almost all price and trade controls have been abolished in an effort to stabilize the new market economy. Privatization began in earnest in 1995, and a new convertible currency was adopted in 1996. In the 1990s, Ukraine continued to register negative growth. By the end of the 1990s, real gross domestic product (GDP) declined to 40% of its pre-independence level. In late 1998, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loaned Ukraine another $2.2 billion after Ukraine promised to introduce more fiscal discipline.

The economy started to grow in 2000; GDP growth in 2002 was over 4.5%. Small- and medium-sized enterprises were privatized by 2002, but the energy and telecommunications sectors had yet to be privatized. The government passed a foreign investment law, but bureaucratic hurdles, poor corporate governance, corruption, and the weak enforcement of contract law by courts all hamper investment. At the end of October 2002, total foreign direct investment into the country amounted to around $4.9 billion, which was one of the lowest figures in the region. In 2002, land reforms were ongoing, supporting growth in the agricultural sector.

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