The first year since Vladimir Zelensky’s victory in presidential elections
April 21 marks the first anniversary of the victory of Volodymyr Zelensky in the second round of the Ukrainian Presidential election 2019.
Last year, immediately after the presidential election, we at the European Business Association announced 7 top priority steps that business expects from the newly elected President of Ukraine. We could see that many business proposals were taken into account, there were productive dialogue on industrial issues, and on behalf of the business, we sincerely thank the President for this. Surely, it was not an easy year, and the business understands that. At the same time, it is still necessary to enhance transformation processes and bring quality changes in the country.
Thus, in the context of favorable business and investment climate, the business community would like to highlight 5 directions in which the country has succeeded during this year.
First is maintaining macroeconomic stability by supporting the independence of the NBU, maintaining a policy of low budget deficits (although the pandemic has made its adjustments). At the same time, it is still urgent to continue cooperation with the IMF, and the business hopes that shortly Ukraine will make the step to secure the deal by adopting promptly a law on non-return of banks to ex-owners as, given the coronavirus situation, there is no time to postpone the decision.
Second, the initiation of unpopular decisions on the demonopolization of Ukrspyrt and the opening of the land market. Besides, in the context of counteraction to the shadow economy, we should mention the Laws 128-IX and 129-IX which implies an increased liability of a business for non-issuance of fiscal checks, introduction of the so-called cashback mechanism, gradual expansion of the compulsory use of cash registers and the possibility of using modern technologies for calculations, etc. At the same time, abolishment of the Presidential Decree on violations of cash discipline and 1% duty on notarial services.
Third, the continuation of structural reforms, such as health, pension, and education reforms, and the transformation of the banking sector. In addition, a new customs was launched and were accepted some initiatives to more efficient work (Authorized Economic Operator Act and Joint Transit Act). Also, it is worth recalling the start of the reform of the State Tax Service of Ukraine.
Fourth, the independence of market regulators was partially assured, beginning with the Antimonopoly Committee and the National Commission regulating issues on energy and utilities.
Fifth, the country is heading towards digitalization and continues to develop the concept “State in a Smartphone”.
However, some fundamental issues on the effective fight against corruption, the proper functioning of the judiciary and fair rules of the game still remain.
In the context of industrial issues, the business also has suggestions, which are worth paying attention to.
Thus, it is important to adopt modern labor legislation, to ensure a reasonable tax burden (for example, by simplifying tax administration, reducing the burden on the payroll fund, etc.), to accelerate the harmonization of Ukrainian legislation with EU norms, to ensure the further development of energy, including alternative energy sources in order to overcome the crisis in the industry. In addition, to focus on infrastructure development by stimulating river development, port construction, improving the level of Ukrzaliznytsia services, etc. At the same time, contribute to solving various environmental issues, further development of cashless and paperless technologies, etc.
The European Business Association has repeatedly shared specific proposals on those issues and is fully ready to engage in discussions in order to create a favorable business climate in the country.