Two interrelated processes are characteristic of Ukraine's economy today, namely its assertion as that of an independent state, and its transformation from planned-centralized to market-controlled. These processes are rather complicated, but there are all prerequisites for their effective accomplishment.
Kryvyi Rih. Krivorozhstal
Present-day independent Ukraine has a considerable potential to quickly develop its economy — and this is explained not only by the favourable natural conditions, but also by the convenient geographical position in terms of international trade exchanges.
In the Donbas the coal deposits are estimated at 2,000,000,000 tons. Some 4.2 billion of hydrogenous (brown) coal are to be found in the Dnieper Basin. Ukraine's iron and manganese ores arc considered the richest in the world — primarily in the Kryvyi Rih Basin (up to 62%) and the Nikopol Basin.
Ukraine provides one-tenth of the planet's cast iron, one-eleventh of steel, and one-twelfth of Sit coal.
Ukraine's enterprises conduct business transactions with partners in 137 countries, and the foreign trade turnover reaches $27 billion (export — $ 12.9 billion; import — $ 14.1 billion). Major export items: metals, ores, coal, electricity, fertilizer, soda, cement, glass, construction materials, equipment, sugar, vegetable oil. Major import items: oil, gas, timber, nonferrous metals, cars, machines, knitted wear and garments, foodstuffs, medications.
Reforms, started in the national economy after the proclamation of independence, aimed at the establishment of an open market type structure, e. g. incorporating and privatizing enterprises, demonopolizing and restructuring the economy, liberalizing prices and foreign trade activities, denationalizing domestic trade and implementing banking reforms, restructuring the agrarian sector, switching from planned to market economic regulators, simultaneously replacing bureaucratic structures. Reforms in the sphere of property continue, aiding the development of the nongovernmental sector.
Today's industries are unable to satisfy the consumers' wants, because they are not integrated into the world process of economic, technological and scientific progress. Characteristically, the national industries show low standard in processing raw materials; outdated and worn-out production equipment; unwillingness to accept progressive techniques and approaches, and lack of innovating initiative.
These and other problems are to be solved in the course of new economic reforms aimed at creating an open, effective market type economy.