In the new annual ranking of countries by the level of economic freedoms Ukraine has lost 4 positions, falling from the 162 nd to the 166 th place.
We are between Angola and Suriname. Ukraine has fallen far behind its neighboring countries:
Belarus has moved upwards taking the 104 th position, having covered 55 positions as compared to the previous year. The leaders in the ranking are Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand.
Unfortunately, Ukraine has moved to the section roughly entitled ‘depressive economies of the world’.
The situation is also not at its best in innovation development. In the Bloomberg ranking of innovative economies of the world, Ukraine has fallen from the 41 st to the 42 nd place over the recent year. Our neighbours in the rating are Croatia and Serbia. The most innovative countries of the world are South Korea, Germany and Sweden.
Is there any ranking where we have improved? Yes, due to war in the east, Ukraine has been showing a breakthrough in the Global Militarization Index for a second year in a row already. In 2017 we ranked 15 th , moving 8 positions upwards at a time. Also, Ukraine takes the 9 th place in the SIPRI arms exporters ranking. The country has launched supplies of new arms models to
foreign markets, while formerly Ukrainian export used to mainly focus on the sales of repaired Soviet machinery.
Taking into account the data of the world rankings, one may draw the following conclusions.
First, in 2017 greater attention should be paid to development of economic freedoms and continued anti-corruption. These topics have already bored everyone to death, but without investment, business and entrepreneurship development there will be nobody and nothing to invest into Ukrainian innovations.
Second, we need to keep the innovative capacity at least at the level of the previous year. With this in view, in 2018 more should be invested in science and education, and the government should develop special national programs to encourage inventors, researchers.
On the one hand, such action would enable to get back at least a part of our scientists from other countries, and on the other hand, it would be a signal for those who intend to leave Ukraine.
Definitely, it is the choice of every individual whether to leave or not. But Ukrainian society needs to try and use every effort to preserve our human capital assets and Ukrainian innovators.
Third, it is possible to start developing innovations in the fields where there is more money right now. Today that is ‘defense’. It means that innovations and inventors can help the state become stronger and develop the scientific cluster at the same time. We are already among the world leaders in unmanned aircraft technology developments. We could show same-level results in the development of cyber security, military robotics technology, and in other directions.
The most important thing we, Ukrainians, can do, is not to be looking for consolation in the best Ukraine’s figures in the world rankings. It is necessary to look for opportunities even where they are seemingly not available, and work persistently, rolling up our sleeves.
Keep calm, and do innovations!
Ukrainian entrepreneur, financier, benefactor, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the All-Ukrainian Charity Foundation ‘Initiative for the Future’