Kyiv, 14 March 2014 – “We are having talks with the IMF. But it’s us, our country, who needs reforms, not the IMF. We have been living with a deficit budget for too long. Now, we are curing our disease, not carrying out instructions from the USA or Antarctica”, said Pavlo Sheremeta, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine at a press briefing at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center.
Speaking about the cut-down on budget spending, the Minister underlined that no half-measures will do. “We will be planning quite radical approaches”, said Sheremeta, adding that the list of expenditures whose reduction is now being discussed comprises over 100 items. He stressed that there is currently no way out other than to cut spending and increase tariffs.
According to Mr. Sheremeta, an important task is to cheapen and simplify doing business in Ukraine in general. “There will be no preferences in any sector until we de-regulate the entire Ukrainian economy”, added the Minister.
“To resume talks with the EU about the economic part of the Association Agreement, we need to decide which sectors are a priority for us”, said Mr. Sheremeta. According to him, discussions are currently ongoing in this direction.
Sheremeta also pointed out that the European Union has opened its markets to Ukraine – the rates have been either reduced or eliminated, although this is a temporary measure until 1 November. “This is a good gesture which we welcome and appreciate as a helping hand”, he said. At the same time Mr. Sheremeta noted that access to the market is not ‘manna from heaven’ and that in order to compete successfully, Ukrainian companies will have to actively implement innovations.
Speaking about the possible trade war with Russia, Pavlo Sheremeta said that both parties will benefit from trade. “We are not alone in this competitive world. We have a common agenda with Russia on many issues. I am working with a range of Russian counterparts in this direction and I hope we will manage to widen this range and its influence”, he said.
Pavlo Sheremeta is the Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine. He was the founder and first Dean of the Kyiv Mohyla Business School. In 2006–2010, he was Vice-President of the Central and East European Management Development Association. In 2008–2011, he was part of the team of the Blue Ocean Strategy Institute of Malaysia, which advised the Malaysian government on economic reforms. From November 2012 to February 2014, Mr. Sheremeta was the President of the Kyiv School of Economics.