World Bank ranks Ukraine as one of the poorest nations in Europe

Ukraine is rated as one of the poorest countries in Europe and Central Asia when it comes to GDP per capita, according to the country’s key creditor, the World Bank.

The agency placed the nation on the same level as Moldova, Armenia and Georgia, saying that it would take Ukraine more than 50 years to reach the income levels of today’s Poland.

Economic growth in Ukraine has turned to the pace of recovery since the crisis the nation passed through in 2014-2015, the World Bank said. However, rates of growth reportedly remain low with wages failing to reach income standards of the neighboring states.

The latest report revealed that Ukraine’s economy contracted by 16 percent over the years of crisis. The economy returned to growth of 2.4 percent over the two years up to 2017, having increased to 3.3 percent last year.

“Achieving higher and sustained economic growth will require progress on further critical reforms to boost productivity and investment,” the global lender said.

According to the World Bank’s Special Focus Note on Ukraine’s growth potential, the country should invest heavily in areas such as rule of law and property rights protection, land reform, governance and supervision in the financial sector, competition in the gas sector, as well as logistics and connectivity to fully leverage external trade opportunities.

“This includes opening the agricultural land market, unbundling the energy sector, strengthening governance of state-owned banks, making progress on anti-corruption, and safeguarding fiscal stability,” said Satu Kahkonen, the World Bank’s country director for Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.