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According to the Business Tendency Survey, a quarterly survey of industrial enterprises in Ukraine carried out by the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting (Kyiv), the biggest obstacles to production growth in Ukraine in May 2015 were low demand, liquidity problems, excessive taxation, and unstable political situation.

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The economic situation in Ukraine in 2015 and 2016 will depend on progress in externally supported reform program and on stabilization in the Eastern Ukraine. Fiscal consolidation, decline in real wages and unemployment will cause reduction of real private consumption. Weak hryvnia, despite dragging down consumption and investments, helps to increase fiscal revenues and narrow the current account deficit.

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In March, Ukraine’s government adopted the Action plan for reforms in 2015 and 2016 while the IMF board approved four-year USD 17.5 bn extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The EFF supports ambitious program of Ukrainian authorities, which would in IMF words ‘put the economy on the path to recovery, restore external sustainability, strengthen public finances, and support economic growth by advancing structural and governance reforms, while protecting the most vulnerable’.

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Ukraine introduced value added tax (VAT), which is one of the essential sources of fiscal revenues in many countries, in 1992. The tax became important for Ukraine’s economy as it brings about one third of consolidated fiscal revenues and accounts for near 10% of GDP. However, with years the tax became known for poor administration and fraud. Some loopholes in the administration relate to numerous VAT privileges and exemptions.

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Application of genetic engineering technology is strictly regulated in the EU. GMO as well as food or feed containing GMO is subject to a comprehensive authorisation procedure which involves risks assessment to human health and the environment, before the company is allowed to place GMO on the market. But how does it work in Ukraine?