Business position on the Economic Stimulus Program to overcome the consequences of COVID-19
Last week, the Government approved the Economic Stimulus Program to overcome the consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic, provided its further revision.
Thus, the European Business Association welcomes the Government’s intentions to restore the national economy including the manufacturing, energy, agroindustry, IT, service sector, etc. After all, almost all businesses face challenges with attracting financial resources, accessing markets, creating jobs, modernizing the infrastructure, ensuring energy independence and sustainable development of the energy system, and so on.
At the same time, when developing large-scale measures to stimulate the business, it is necessary to take a reasonable approach to have balanced rules of the game that meet the interests of all market players.
Thus, the program provides for the protection of Ukrainian goods, works, and services from their imported alternatives. On the one hand, the community understands the state’s desire to protect its own business by following global trends. On the other hand, it is necessary to take a very balanced approach to this issue, so that the protection of some producers does not come at the expense of other domestic producers who depend on imported products. Moreover, several foreign companies that have built their production facilities in Ukraine also continue to import, so ill-considered decisions to restrict imports may have a negative impact on the sentiment of foreign investors.
In general, it should be noted that the program looks quite professional, although some aspects still need to be revised. Equal rules of the game should be the basis for supporting and promoting competition in the country. After all, every business, regardless of whether it is an importer or a national producer, creates jobs, pays the necessary taxes and contributions to the state budget, and invests in the economy of Ukraine as a whole. Moreover, an express survey conducted by the European Business Association shows that the situation with the coronavirus has affected small and medium-sized businesses, as well as large companies.
The business community is ready to join the revision of the above-mentioned Program and make its amendments to develop a truly balanced and comprehensive document with concrete steps and solutions.
Thus, the European Business Association proposes to include 8 comprehensive measures in the Stimulus Program or in its Implementation Plan. Such measures are aimed at supporting and developing the economy of Ukraine and improving the business climate. These include reducing the tax burden on the wage fund and pressure on legal business, adopting modern labor legislation, introducing the land market, promoting international trade by signing the ACAA Agreement. Besides, it is necessary to counter the shadow economy by combating against smuggling and counterfeiting, as well as protecting intellectual property rights; harmonizing Ukrainian legislation with EU norms, so that Ukrainian products meet European requirements and businesses do not have difficulties in supplying products to and from the EU. At the same time, it is important to introduce the circular economy, namely, reducing the number of pollutants generated and disposed of by industrial enterprises subject to Ukraine’s international obligations and to introduce a European approach to recycling.
It is also necessary to promote the development of innovations and new technologies so that communication between the business and the state can be as flexible and digitalized as possible.
So, we hope that the voice of business will be heard, and together we will be able to finalize the document and develop effective steps that will help ensure effective rules for doing business in the country.