Ukraine: Economy

Ukraine’s per capita GDP places it among the lower- to middle-income countries. The country has a highly-trained professional labor force, fertile agricultural land, and a wealth of raw materials, metals, and natural resources. So why do they need the Peace Corps, you may ask? Well, after declaring independence in 1991, the Ukrainian government liberalized most prices and created a legal framework for privatization. But reform efforts soon stalled, leading to 8 years of sharp economic decline. Because of this, the country needs help with improvements like fighting corruption, developing capital markets, and improving the legal framework for businesses. On the positive side, the U.S. and E.U. granted Ukraine market economy status in 2006, helping pave the way for its joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2008. Because Ukraine wants to get a strong foothold in the world economy, Peace Corps Volunteers work in many areas of business, community development and education (see previous post).

The Ukrainian currency is the hryvnia (UAH, or

), which subdivides into 100 kopiyok. According to Wikipedia, the current exchange rate is 8-8.25 UAH/USD. And according to the above image, it is quite colorful currency!

(Most of the information in this post comes from my Peace Corps/Ukraine Welcome Book.)

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