"We are beginning to modernize Ukrainian transport infrastructure. We will definitely use the unique geographic location of Ukraine," President Petro Poroshenko said at the All-Ukrainian Public Forum “Open Dialogue".
The Head of State reminded that last year, for the first time in the years of independent Ukraine, a new Beskidy tunnel had been opened becoming the largest infrastructure project. According to him, today, more than 60% of the railway export goes through this tunnel: "Reduction in the price of services increases competitiveness of Ukrainian goods".
"This year, the modernization of the rolling stock of "Ukrzaliznytsia" will be continued. Tens of new General Electric locomotives will be put into service, on which I agreed with US President Donald Trump and obtained extremely attractive easy credit terms for their delivery. Interсity speed trains will soon be departing to every regional center," he said.
According to the President, air transportation is being developed at the highest rates. "This is also supported by our targeted policy of opening the Ukrainian aviation market for low-cost airlines," Petro Poroshenko said, reminding that on June 11, 2017, when the visa-free regime with EU countries was launched, there were many doubts whether Ukrainians would be financially able to travel to Europe. "Low-cost airlines that have taken a strong position in Ukraine this year sell tickets to most European capitals for 10, 15, 20, 30 euros. And the visa-free regime really began to work," he said.
The President added: "The main air gates of the country - the "Boryspil" airport last year served almost 13 million passengers. This has never happened. Impressive progress is demonstrated by the Lviv airport. A new runway is being built in Odesa. A new large airport will soon be built in Dnipro".
Petro Poroshenko also noted that the improvement of the situation with the main roads had already positively influenced the tourism industry. The government has great plans to restore many of the roads destroyed in previous years.
"So far, tourism provides only 1.5% of Ukraine's GDP, while in the world's GDP, tourism is almost 10%. So, we have an area to grow," he said.
"I want to emphasize that tourism development should take place not only in Kyiv, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Odesa and Lviv. Ukraine will not have a tourist periphery. Green tourism will be developed in the rural areas, attractive objects of our history and culture will be found in each city of regional subordination where Ukrainians will start to travel, to know Ukraine well, to know our history well. And foreigners will definitely go after them," the President also said.
"We are opening the nature and culture of our country, visiting its various corners. And I am happy that it becomes fashionable," Petro Poroshenko said.
"And the world should discover Ukraine," the President said.
He stressed that tourism, as well as high-tech industries, provides additional income and jobs in many other areas - hotel, restaurant, commerce, transport, entertainment, financial services. "This is a colossal market for small and medium businesses. This gives an opportunity to grow, become entrepreneurs," the President said.
Petro Poroshenko stressed that the Eurovision 2017, the last year's Champions League final in Kyiv had shown that Ukraine, even in the face of Russian aggression, could be a worthy host of sport or cultural events of a high international level.