Ukraine’s IMF envoy: Country has ‘unique chance for breakthrough’

IMF alternate managing director Vladyslav Rashkovan, who is reportedly in the running to become Ukraine’s prime minister, has said that the country has a “unique chance” to make an economic breakthrough.

In an opinion editorial for Ukrainian magazine Novoye Vremya written prior to last weekend’s snap parliamentary election, Mr Rashkovan argued that Ukraine has made progress since it stepped on the path of modernisation in 2014 and that there is now a new opportunity for the country.

Mr Rashkovan highlights two reasons: there is no longer an economic crisis in the country, with Ukraine’s GDP growing, the foreign debt obligations decreasing and the income levels increasing. At the same time, the reformist agenda of president Volodymyr Zelensky enjoys a record level of support and this will serve as an impetus for the country’s next government.

“Our task is to ensure the growth level at four-seven per cent for at least the next 10 years, in order to reduce the gap with the main neighboring countries – Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary,” Ukraine’s IMF envoy believes.

Mr Rashkovan argues that the country’s next government has to focus on five key areas: improving the quality and quantity of the workforce, creating domestic demand, increasing productivity, ensuring competition by eliminating monopolies including those which he calls “oligarchic”, and attracting international companies to include Ukraine in global value chains.

“In fact, now it is up to the president: is he ready to take the risk and put it on professionals, and not just on loyal people?”, he wrote, commenting on the future composition of the next Ukrainian government. He also recommended a number of non-political economic professionals to be taken into consideration for executive roles.