In Saturday’s radio address to the nation, Victor Yushchenko summarized economic achievements of 2006 and spelled out major tasks facing Ukraine’s government, according to the President’s press-office.

The Head of State said the country’s new cabinet should continue to promote economic growth and improve the welfare of the people. He also urged the Verkhovna Rada and government to responsibly resolve energy problems. 

Mr. Yushchenko opined that these goals can be achieved by a team of professionals that should be led by a politician capable of putting national interests first and taking responsibility for the economic development.

“I think these challenges should unite all the political parties,” he said.

The President said the economy was recovering despite “the political battles in Ukraine”: “The Ukrainian economy has withstood the two challenging elections and is gradually coming out of the zone of political risks.” 

The GDP rate grew by 5% in 2006 (9.3% in July), which is one of the best results in Europe. Real incomes of the people grew by 20%. The people began saving more money. This year’s investment rate is USD 371 per capita. Having the biggest budget over the past fifteen years, the agricultural sector is also developing. The 2006 sowing campaign was carried out without problems. Ukraine also began producing more oil and gas, which should help reduce the county’s dependence on foreign energy and political plans of our neighbors, he said.