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Ukraine’s business climate is rife with both risks and opportunities. On the one hand, complex laws and regulations, weak enforcement of contract law by courts, corruption, an inept bureaucracy, and a large shadow economy, continue to stymie direct foreign investment. On the other hand, a wealth of resources, a broad-based industrial sector, a highly skilled workforce, and growing domestic consumption, are all tempting reasons to forgo the aforementioned risks.
Endowed with some of the most fertile land in the world, the country derives a large percentage of its national income from agricultural produce and livestock. Ukraine is also one of the world’s most important mineral producing countries, both in terms of the range and size of its reserves. (Key mineral deposits include iron ore, manganese ore, mercury, titanium, and nickel). Although Ukraine is a net importer of oil, natural gas and nuclear fuel (particularly from Russia), it has other important energy sources including rich coalfields and hydroelectricity. Ukraine has a sizable industrial base and is one of the largest refiners of metallurgical products in Eastern Europe. Manufactured products are diverse, from large diameter pipes and metallurgical equipment to high-technological goods such as vertical drilling apparatus, diesel locomotives, tractors, vehicles and aircraft. Other important sectors include the chemical industry (coke, mineral fertilizers, sulfuric acid), arms manufacturing, and IT (one of the fasted growing sectors in the Ukraine). Finally, a key contributor to the nation’s economy is tourism. Boasting a winter playground in the Carpathian Mountains, popular summer destinations along the Black Sea coast, plus countless natural and cultural sites, Ukraine has immense potential to expand its tourist base.