1945

Ukraine is a lower-middle-income economy in Eastern Europe, neighbouring the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Belarus and the Russian Federation. The country has faced significant turmoil in recent years: the Maidan Revolution, continuous protests, political upheaval and territorial disputes. With its fertile soil and large, arable fields earning it the nickname “Breadbasket of Europe”, Ukraine is one of the continent’s largest producers of agricultural goods, such as wheat and sunflower oil and seeds (box I.1). Recently, lower prices for steel, one of its largest export products, and lower investment levels overall, both foreign and domestic, have led to a contraction in industrial output, including manufacturing. Ukraine enjoys great potential for innovation, with a well-educated labour force, a long tradition of science and technology resources, natural endowments, market access, a large and successful diaspora, and a nascent but successful ICT sector. At the same time, despite significant reform momentum over the past years, political and economic instability, corruption and the low quality of institutions and overall governance continue to constrain Ukraine’s ability to enable and promote the broad experimentation with ideas and technology – or innovation – needed for the country to put its economy on a solid, diversified and well-integrated foundation for long-term sustainable development.

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