President Victor Yushchenko took part in all-Ukrainian forum “State and business are partners” which gathered business groups and state authorities officials.

First of all the President sketched priorities of work for 2008 aimed at solving problems business is facing. Key areas described by the President included keeping macroeconomic stability, decreasing tax burden, VAT rebating, reforming permit and license issuing system, business checks authorities actions, energy policy, etc.

Speaking about macroeconomics V. Yushchenko said that the government has all necessary resources to keep inflation back. He also added that government, Ministry of finance, National Bank, other authorities are already working on the program of antirecessionary measures and that this program shall be ready within next few weeks. Of greatest concern the President considers rise in prices on food. To V. Yushchenko it would be reasonable to consider modification of branch budgetary policy and agricultural sector stimulation by the state.

Dwelling on easing tax burden the President expressed confidence that it would contribute to overcoming shadow economy and to establishment of an effective dialogue between business and the state. He also stressed the need to pass a new tax code to reduce taxes.

As to permit and license system improvement V. Yushchenko said the state must finish the process in 2008. He also expressed an opinion that licensing bodies themselves encourage companies to obtain permits and licenses elsewhere. As the result only 20% of the licensing bodies work effectively. To the President 2008 should become a year of substantial reforming the system of licensing and permits issuing.

The President also said that he awaits from law-enforcement bodies protection of businessmen from officials injustice.

Often business checks to V. Yushchenko is one of the most harming issues for businessmen as nearly 95% of companies are constantly subject to different checks. The law “On foundations of state control in economic activity field” which entered into force in December 2007 to President’s mind shall bring order into the area.

The President also drew attention of those present to the issue of state energy policy. He noted that as energy resources prices grow Ukraine must build up a clear-cut national energy policy aimed at minimizing resources consumption and liberalize energy market. There are many projects in this area, which to President’s mind might be interesting for national business groups.

V. Yushchenko stressed that the propositions of the working group that shall be established in the result of today’s meeting must be taken into account in 2008 budget.