Meeting with the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine in Kharkiv
The issues of trade and investment with the European Union (EU) in Kharkiv region, implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU and the impact of Russia’s threat to doing business in the region were discussed during a meeting with representatives from the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine.
Eduard Rubin (Telesens) stressed that Ukraine’s access to the European Community and the introduction of a visa-free regime allowed the IT Industry to capture a larger share of the EU market. In recent years, business has grown by an average of 30-50%. Now the problem in Ukrainian IT companies is a lack of qualified and experienced staff.
Igor Balaka (Krona) noted that just in this past January, the potential military threat caused the number of real estate transactions to drop by nearly one half compared to December 2021.
“Investments and support programs should be targeted at the sectors of the economy that are currently at risk,” said Igor Sbitnev (French Boulevard Shopping & Entertainment Center).
As for banking activities, according to Olena Zhukova (Megabank), operations are proceeding normally – in January 2022, the potential threat affected only small depositors, but in February the situation stabilized.
Serhiy Polumysny (NOVAAGRO GC), highlighted the fact the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU helps agricultural companies expand their market shares. Therefore, the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine could be very helpful in supporting High Business Standards, the fight against corruption, legislative and judicial reforms and social policy of our country.
Regarding the last issue, in case of a military threat, only the IT sector can relocate its activity, but those present noted that almost all companies have “Plans A, B and C”. In addition to targeted action plans, the financial institutions may also minimize risks in accordance with the NBU requirements. Farmers are insuring their facilities, but “evacuating” the business is almost impossible.
Nowadays the lack of communication between the business and the government is a sensitive and important problem. It is desirable to understand the state’s participation in the protection of entrepreneurs.
“Kharkiv is a multinational city, with about 30,000 students from around the world. Certainly, the international community needs to draw attention to Kharkiv, which is a border city,” added Fabrice Disdier (Alliance Française de Kharkiv).
The participants unanimously thanked the EU for supporting Ukraine in this difficult time and expressed their hope for fruitful cooperation in all areas!