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A Short Introduction to Ukraine

March 27, 2018

Ukraine features a unique combination of beautiful landscapes, deep cultural roots, and a storied history, along with a skilled, low cost workforce and rich natural resources. This makes Ukraine the ideal emerging market and a big draw for businesses and investors. It is the of the largest country in Europe, and it has a population of 43 million people, with the capital in Kyiv.

Political System

Ukraine is a democratic parliamentary-presidential republic according to its constitution. Petro Poroshenko is the country’s current president, and the government is divided into the three branches: legislative, executive and judicial. There are currently over 300 political parties in the country; however, only 10 of them have representatives in the parliament.

Business owners should get further acquainted with the political system of the country, and they should be aware that there is a certain degree of uncertainty in Ukrainian politics, partly because the country is in a transitional period. 

Due to intensive efforts on the part of EU-aligned players to ensure that the country advances steadily on the path to Euro-integration, Ukraine is in the process of restructuring and improving its governmental systems.

Judicial System

The judicial system is comprised of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, which is tasked with the interpretation of the Ukrainian Constitution, and courts of general jurisdiction, which resolve legal matters in the private, business and criminal fields. The general jurisdiction courts are further divided into local courts, courts of cassation and courts of appeal.

The highest court of general jurisdiction is The Supreme Court of Ukraine. It’s important to note here that court precedents do not play a role in Ukraine unless they are specific rules of law implementation that have been given as conclusions by the Ukrainian Supreme Court.

Ukraine has signed several bilateral treaties, which allow decisions reached by foreign courts to be implemented on the Ukrainian territory, and the country’s judicial system is also on its path to reform in order to meet the EU standards for integration.

Economy

Ukraine has experienced steady economic growth from the year 2000 until 2009 when the financial crisis rocked the world. In 2009 alone, the country experienced a 15% decline in GDP. However, it was well on the path to recovery from 2010 until 2013, when due to political shifts, the country implemented stricter border controls with Russia, which at the time, took in a quarter of all Ukrainian exports.

To cover for the economic decline brought on by the conflict with Russia, Ukraine borrowed $17.5 billion from the IMF, over a period of four years, a sum that is contingent on economic reforms. 

The economy has been stabilized since and is currently experiencing economic growth. As the country moves closer to the EU, this growth rate will further increase.

Investing in Ukraine

Ukraine’s rich natural resources, strategic position, low cost, and highly educated workforce make it a prime target for investments. 

The country is also on the path to reform and integration with the European Union. 

There is, of course, the risk of operating in an uncertain political and economic climate, which is the case in any emerging market, but the advantage of being first to deploy operations in Ukraine might make up for it.