Economic lessons from Ukraine: Part 1

One of the more important things to happen during the Ukraine war has gone largely unnoticed.

The Ukrainian government has announced that “half of Ukraine’s business regulatory procedures will be cancelled”.

Obviously, one hopes they get the right 50%.

The pressures of war seem to have clarified the government’s understanding of Ukraine’s long-standing economic weaknesses. And perhaps simplified the politics of applying a solution.

Should a free Ukraine obtain peaceful access to the global economy, the result could be a remarkable growth catch-up. Certainly the development of Ukraine’s frackable shale oil reserves ought to do something for European energy independence from Russia.

This  – and recent actions by the government against bribery – give hope that the fighting may have delivered a terminal blow to the old political nexus of oligarchic control and official corruption.

If so, step forward Vladimir Putin to receive the award for the man who contributed the most to making Ukraine a member of the Western community of free nations.

There might even be a lesson for the rest of us as to what happens when governments stop micro-managing economic outcomes and focus on principle-based policy settings.

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