Ukraine is traditionally one of the most developed regions of the post-Soviet economic zone. The rate of heavy industry in macro-economy exceeded the Polish heavy industry more than twice. Until 1991 machine building, ferrous industry (iron and steel), energetic, chemical, paper and building materials formed 70% of industry production.
The worldwide disarmament, reorganization of the economic system, independence with the following rupture of traditional economic relations threw the country several years back, beginning with detachment from the USSR in 1991. From 1998 (Russian banking crisis) strong economic growth was recorded in Ukraine.
Ukraine is rich in raw materials. It is one of the countries which were especially affected by the world financial and economic crisis. Ukraine is an industrial and agricultural country. It is rich in natural resources such as coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, and uranium. Highly developed industries include metallurgy, mining, power and fuel, machine-building, food production and textile.
Ukraine is important to world energy markets as it is an important transit center for export of Russian oil and natural gas to Eastern and Western Europe. It is a major energy producer (including nuclear power) and consumer.
The national economy of Ukraine includes heavy machine building, ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, shipbuilding, automotive industry, manufacturing of agriculture machinery, production of power plants, oil extraction and equipment. Ukraine produces planes and ships, trucks and buses, motorcars and trains, computer and electronic equipment, precision instruments and agricultural machines, TVs and radios, chemicals etc.
Odessa, Sevastopol, Nikolaev, Kherson and Kerch are the main Ukrainian sea ports.
The most important foreign economic partners are Russia (21,1%), Germany (8,0%), Turkey (6,9%), Italy (6,3%), followed by the United States (4%), Turkmenistan (3,8%), Poland (3,4%) and People’s Republic of China (3,3%) (according to the survey in 2007).
The most important Ukrainian export goods are metallurgic products, chemical products, machines, food products and textile etc. The most important import goods in Ukraine are primary energy carriers and mineral products, machines, electro-technical and chemical products, vehicles and others.
Today the Ukrainian currency is Hryvnya (rus.: Grivna, internat. UAH). Commercial operations in the country must be processed in UAH. Transfers from and to the foreign countries must be in the respective currency (as a rule, it causes losses). Unofficial second currency is USD. Particularly popular is “uslovnaya yedinitsa”, shortly “u.е”, which is nothing but US Dollar. That is why USD is the basis of comparison at many companies. The trust of economy and population to the own currency is not high, though beginning from 2000 the Ukrainian Grivna was astonishingly stable, with the rate 1$ = 5 UAH. Only with crisis 2008 -2009 Grivna considerably depreciated and in September 2009 the rate was 1$ = 8 UAH (the rate of the National Bank).
With the growing meaning of the foreign economy and direct investments from Eurozone, the influence of Euro is also growing. Export-oriented enterprises profit for a time from the weakness of Grivna.