Ukrainian Economy and Industry – The Breadbasket of the Soviet Union
Ukraine's previously unstable political situation caused various problems for the economy. When Victor Yushchenko came into power several reforms took place and Ukraine's economy grew some 12.1% in the year 2004. Unfortunately high oil prices as well as an increase in inflation caused the economy of Ukraine to slow down in 2005.
Ukraine, the “breadbasket of the Soviet Union” is known as a major producer of wheat. Important crops in Ukraine include rye, flax, corn, barley, sugar beets, sunflowers and potatoes. Ukraine also has a large industrial concentration due to the many raw materials in the country as well as power resources. Materials which come out of the region are iron, manganese, coal, anthracite, aluminum, mercury, nickel, natural gas, oil, zinc, titanium and bauxite. Kharkiv, Donetsk, Luhansk, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporzhizhya, Mariupol and Makiyivka are major industrial hubs in Ukraine whilst Vinnytsya and Zhytomyr are important agricultural locations. Industrial products from Ukraine include: steel, tractors, machinery, building materials, chemicals, consumer goods and fertilizers. The majority of Ukraine’s trading takes place with Russia, Germany, Italy Belarus, China and Turkmenistan.
Foreign investment is another important aspect of Ukraine’s economy, but is sadly not operating as it should, and steps are being taken to improve opportunities for foreign investors. Whilst Ukraine’s economy has undergone various developments, there is still work to be done. As projects are implemented, Ukraine can look forward to an improved economy in the years to come.