A Japanese Policy and Human Resource Development (PHRD) Grant Agreement to help the government advance its structural reform agenda was signed today by the First Deputy-Minister of Economy, Mr. Anatoliy Maksyuta, and the World Bank Director for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, Mr. Paul Bermingham, in the presence of Mr. Mutsuo Mabuchi, Ambassador of Japan in Ukraine, according to to a WB press-release, forwarded to UNIAN.

Under the coordination of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, the US$ 700,000 grant will assist the government in preparing the second Development Policy Loan (DPL) from the World Bank by implementing policy commitments and planning future reform steps in three major areas: improvements in the investment climate, better public administration and public financial management and greater social inclusion.

The World Bank has supported Ukraine’s key policy and institutional reforms over the past five years, through the series of loans: PAL-1 (2001), PAL-2 (2003) and DPL-1 (2005). These loans supported the following accomplishments: the elimination of pension, wage and most other budget arrears, the reduction of tax arrears and tax exemptions, improved business accounting standards and practices, the launch of land reform and pension reform, the establishment of a legal system for mortgage and secured interest, improvements in the regulation of banks and other financial institutions, and material progress towards WTO accession.

“Accelerating the implementation of structural reforms will be critical if Ukraine is to achieve the target of doubling GDP over the coming decade” – says Paul Bermingham, World Bank Director for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova. - “We have already started the dialogue with the new government on the necessary steps going forward and we are grateful to the Japanese Government for their assistance.”