The seminar "Strengthening Ukraine's Resistance through Reforms and Fighting Corruption" with the participation of Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark - Anders Samuelsen, took place in Brussels a month before the international conference on reforms in Ukraine in Copenhagen. In the keynote speech the Deputy Prime Minister presented progress made and further plans regarding reformatory processes in Ukraine.
"Despite the external challenges and internal difficulties, the process of reforming Ukraine continues. We have already achieved significant results in many areas including judicial reform, health care reform, pension and educational reforms ", - stressed Ivanna Klympush -Tsintsadze.
She also provided the latest statistics relevant to the reformation of Ukraine. In 2017 the real GDP grew by 2.5%, and in 2018 the IMF forecasts GDP to grow by 3.2%. Ukraine has also risen to the 76th place in the World Bank's “Doing Business” ranking (from 112 in 2013) - it is the highest result for Ukraine in the history of this project. Ukraine also ranked 43d in the tax rating. This is 41 steps higher than last year. After the tax reform, NJSC “Naftogaz” became the largest taxpayer in the country and for the first time in ten years reported on making profit in 2016. This result was possible due to eliminating the price difference between private and commercial users. Furthermore, in 2017, “Naftogaz” reported an income comparable to Russia's state-owned monopoly Gazprom (of $ 1.5 billion comparing to $ 1.63 billion). According to the Government, in 2017 the state budget received $ 2.7 billion due to the fight against corruption at the customs, as well as $ 1 billion as a result of the confiscation of corrupt assets and property.
The first results of an innovative decentralization reform can be already observed as well. Therefore, 30% of the territory of Ukraine is already under the management of the newly established territorial communities. Such communities are empowered to be self-governing. The tax revenues of these communities increased by about 32% in 2017 and are used to address local issues.
The Deputy Prime Minister stressed that the Government launched a reform of the management of state-owned enterprises. There are more than 3,000 state-owned companies in Ukraine, but only 1,000 of them are profitable.
"Our reform priorities for 2018 are matters of financial and business environment, privatization, deregulation and digitization of the economy," said Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze. – “We will also reform the national security system based on the best EU and NATO recommendations and standards. "
The main thesis of the speech was that all of the above-mentioned reforms, growth of Ukraine in international rankings and openness to the reformation and change are the first and most important results of anticorruption policy of the state. The elimination of the prerequisites for corruption schemes has no less importance than the administration of justice in relation to corruption crimes. "Fighting corruption is a change not only in procedures and in ensuring justice, it is also a change in mentality," said Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze.
In his opening remarks, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Anders Samuelsen, praised Ukraine's breakthrough in the direction of positive change and transformation of almost all the spheres of public life. The Minister emphasized the importance of the forthcoming conference in support of Ukraine in Copenhagen in order to present the progress, as well as the opportunities that Ukraine's progress towards reform can open to the world.
Full video featuring the keynote speech of Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze can be found below: