• Igor Mazepa

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Igor Mazepa: 2019 will be an eventful year

Following a slow 2018 without major business splashes, we can expect the excitement to pick up dramatically this year.

The tumultuous political events will merely serve as background noise. Politicians won’t do as good a job to improve our lives as our own selves. If we focus on what we can do each in our own place, our country will heal.

Examining the economic situation, many positive things that can occur this year have already been set in motion. They include the improving financial sector owing to the creditor rights legislation approved last year and the new bankruptcy code for individuals, which will enhance the ability of banks to deal with unreliable borrowers.

Another factor invigorating the baking sector is the gradual reduction of the National Bank’s discount rate. Lending will grow and possibly even boost the mortgage and real estate markets, which in turn will stimulate growth in other sectors. In turn, wages will inevitably grow, outpacing inflation since demand from European employers for our labor market will be even harder to restrain. That also will invigorate the service sector.

Another sector worthy of attention is medical reforms, which will make our medical system more effective, if not more accessible. We plan to continue to invest in private medicine.

Igor Mazepa also expects that the Big Privatization of large state assets to begin this year, with active involvement of Concorde Capital. “I’m confident the majority of assets targeted for privatization won’t be affected by this year’s political risks. At minimum, they will weaken opposition to privatization process from political forces, which will be a great success in and of itself. And the Big Privatization should significantly enhance the interest of foreign investors in our market, even possibly leading to an investment boom that we haven’t seen in more than a decade.

Yes, we can’t ignore the risks posed in 2019, states Igor Mazepa. That’s the possible drop in global prices in raw materials, which is being discussed with increasing certainty for more than a year now. That’s also the high loan rates for Ukraine, making life difficult for government and business. That’s also the risk of our country turning farther away from the IMF and closer to default, which I don’t believe in, by the way. On the subject of the IMF, I am certain that every thinking politician is aware that we won’t be able to get through 2019 and 2020 without its financial support. And the same time, we need to understand that the IMF won’t help us become wealthier or happier. The IMF is merely a doctor who helps us treat our chronic illnesses.

Ultimately, the events that didn’t occur or were postponed in 2018 is longer than successes. Nonetheless, last year’s sluggishness provided a solid foundation. And we’re called upon this year to create the next layers of growth and development.