Ukraine’s National Bank (NBU) forecasts that unfavorable trends on global oil and gas markets will cause the country’s negative foreign trade balance quadruple, which in turn threatens with devaluation of the national currency. According to OPPOSITION PLATFORM – FOR LIFE MP Serhiy Lovochkin, this scenario can be avoided if quick and large-scale export promotion measures are taken.
The politician reminded that external economic conditions in 2020 were beneficial for Ukraine. On one hand, the prices for imported energy resources dropped to their record lows in the past decade; on the other, the key exports remained on high level (the ores at their seven-year maximum, the steel at nine-year maximum, and the FAO food price index at its six-year maximum).
“Still, Ukraine’s foreign goods trade shortfall topped $3,3 billion. The situation continues deteriorating: in January, gas exchange prices reached $300, and Brent and WTI oils trade at over $50 with no prospects of getting cheaper for global economies started recovering. At the same time, Ukrainian export dropped due to short crop in 2020, when Ukraine’s agriculture underperformed by almost 10 million tons of grain crops and legumes. Thus, the NBU’s forecast of possible quadrupling of the negative foreign trade balance is quite justified. This poses extremely huge risks for hryvnia and demands urgent measures,” Lovochkin said.
According to the MP, a long-term program for economic activation must be adopted in the upcoming weeks. It should include manufacturing industry revival, exports increase, development of transport infrastructure, and creation of positive environment for attracting of foreign and national investments.
“The package of solutions has been developed and offered by our parliamentary faction. It provides for redistribution of budget funds, with 35 billion hryvnia allocated for economy support, export promotion, and regions’ development. The government and the parliament must consider our proposals as soon as possible, otherwise 2021 will be another year of extreme deterioration of our citizens’ living standards,” Lovochkin summed up.Follow @serhiylovochkin