At a meeting with Kharkiv’s business leaders, Victor Yushchenko has suggested that they set up a group to formulate proposals on how to boost the region’s big business., according to the President`s press-office.

      “We are aware of the role the Kharkiv region and its industries play in the nationwide dynamics of the economy and understand we cannot neglect it,” he said.

      He thus suggested that the group involves heads of the region’s leading companies, local officials and self-government representatives. He said they should work out a number of plans which could be later considered at a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council.

      The President and the business leaders spoke about regulatory policies, tax and budget issues, free economic zones, municipal reforms and customs procedures. Mr. Yushchenko said he would not sign next year’s budget if it did not improve fiscal laws. He also insisted that some taxes be changed.

      Then Secretariat Chief of Staff Viktor Baloha read out a presidential decree to decorate Academician Volodymyr Stashys with the Hero Star of Ukraine.

      Following the meeting, the Head of State met local students that are participating in a social program to support orphans.