Firtash estimates black economy in Ukraine at 40% of GDP

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Nov. 29, 2011, 9:50 p.m. | Business — by Interfax-Ukraine
The size of Ukraine's black economy comes to at least 40% of the country's GDP, the well known Ukrainian businessman Dmitry Firtash said at the congress of the Ukrainian Federation of Employers on Tuesday. "There is one reason [for this]. Because we all have problems with the tax system…we have problems with customs, with fire-fighting stations, with local authorities," he said.

Firtash requested that Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, who was at the congress, resolve the problem of VAT compensation on product exports.

"We aren't saying that it is necessary to pay everything and this has to be done in a day. But the issue should be settled," Firtash said.

Firtash is the owner of major chemical enterprises in Ukraine, Estonia, and Tajikistan. He also invests in the financial sector and real estate.

In addition, Firtash owns a 50% stake in the gas trader RosUkrEnergo.

The businessman's main assets are concentrated in the chemical sector.

For instance, he owns OJSC Azot (Cherkassy), PJSC Severodonetsk Azot, PJSC Stirol (Donetsk Region), and OJSC Rivneazot in Ukraine.

Firtash also owns Crimean Titan (and its subsidiary Irshansk ore mining and enrichment plant) and Vilnohirsk mining and metallurgical works), as well as Crimea-based Crimea Soda Plant and Kyiv-based Nadra Bank.

He is also the owner of Nitrofert (Estonia) and Tajikazot (Tajikistan) outside of Ukraine.

Firtash was elected chairman of the Ukrainian Federation of Employers on Tuesday.
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