13 Oct 2023 13:57

Ukraine's economic growth projected at 4.7% in 2023 - finance minister

MOSCOW. Oct 13 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian economy has been demonstrating stability this year, and the country's GDP is expected to grow by up to 4.7% following a 29.1% drop in 2022, Ukrainian Finance Minister Sergei Marchenko said at a meeting with the G7 financial bloc on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank annual meeting in Marrakech on Thursday.

"Inflation is decelerating faster than expected - to 7.1% in September 2023 from 26.6 in 2022. Domestic borrowing has exceeded the target and has already reached more than $11 billion since the beginning of the year. Thanks to our partners, international financial support has been steady and predictable. Its total volume is 2023 is $33.8 billion," Ukrainian media quoted Marchenko as saying in a statement circulated by the Finance Ministry's press service on Thursday evening.

The meeting, which was attended by the finance ministers and Central Bank heads of the G7 countries and senior officials of the IMF, the World Bank and the European Commission, addressed Ukraine's financial system, the progress of structural reforms and cooperation with international financial institutions and the EU in the context of financing Ukraine's budget needs in 2024.

The finance ministers of a number of countries and senior officials of the EU, the IMF and the World Bank pledged to continue to support Ukraine for as long as it takes, the press release said.

The uncertainty caused by the crisis persists, even though the joint efforts of the Ukrainian government and international partners have ensured the full-fledged provision of public services in Ukraine for nine months in a row, avoiding monetary financing, Marchenko said.

The 2024 budget provides for the accumulation of maximum resources for the security and defense sector, with expenses matching this year's level, and the creation of conditions for developing the domestic defense industry, the minister said. At the same time, spending on social protection and humanitarian assistance will also be increased, because supporting the population is a key priority for the Ukrainian government. Therefore, the budget deficit is projected at $42.9 billion.

"I am grateful to partners for their assurances of continued support for the following year. We already have agreements with countries such as Japan, the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Ukraine and the EU are working actively on the Ukraine Facility for 2024-2027 with a total budget of 50 billion euros," Marchenko said.

The fulfillment by Ukraine of the terms for cooperation with the IMF will allow Kiev to receive $5.4 billion as part of the Extended Fund Facility program in 2024, he said.

"However, even taking all these commitments into account, the deficit remains high," the minister said, expressing hope that donors would help Ukraine finance its social and humanitarian expenses in full.