Business calls for a transparent short-term deferral mechanism for travel abroad
At present, resuming economic activity is extremely important for Ukraine – government officials have repeatedly emphasized this. The engine of this resumption is a working business that is able to plan its further development and pays taxes, salaries, and other commitments.
Given martial law and the damage to a large number of infrastructure facilities, export and import operations gain even greater importance for not only the needs of the war but also the needs of the population, temporarily displaced persons, etc. They are also necessary for the development of new business projects.
Such operations include negotiation processes, organization of logistics chains, conclusion of foreign economic contracts, etc – sometimes require that key personnel of companies to go abroad on short-term business trips. Unfortunately, the experience of 2 years of pandemic and 2 months of martial law shows that not all meetings can be held online and not all agreements can be signed remotely. Thus, the establishment of new logistics chains and the search for new markets and supplies usually require the personal involvement of management and relevant staff of companies. Besides, in order to launch new manufacturing lines directly in the country, it is important for engineering and technical personnel to participate in relevant training and exchange of experience (foreign specialists often cannot come to Ukraine due to security risks).
However, today there is no clear and transparent procedure for obtaining deferments from conscription for military service abroad, which in the short term, according to the EBA experts, could significantly reduce the quality of negotiations with international business partners or even suspend the launch of new ones. This will ultimately affect the production of industrial and agricultural goods and, consequently, reduce foreign exchange earnings for the country.
The issue remains unresolved regarding the possibility for reserved workers, who have been granted deferment of conscription during mobilization and wartime, to cross the border.
Therefore, the European Business Association appeals to Denys Shmyhal, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, to ensure the possibility of departure for employees reserved by companies during martial law. Besides, it is necessary to initiate the development of an effective and transparent procedure for providing short-term deferment of Ukrainian conscripts from military service to go abroad for business purposes.