Business news from Ukraine

PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE SIGNS LAW TO PREVENT PRESSURE ON BUSINESS

President Volodymyr Zelensky signed law No. 1320-IX on amendments to certain legislative acts of Ukraine to prevent excessive pressure on business entities, which was adopted by parliament on March 4, 2021, the presidential press service said on Thursday. “The law allows local authorities to exercise control over the observance of labour legislation at enterprises, institutions and organizations of communal property of the respective territorial communities,” the press service said in a statement.
It is noted that local government authorities can also take the initiative to carry out a public audit at enterprises that are not in communal ownership, as well as in relation to individuals, entrepreneurs using the labour of hired employees.
“The executive authorities of village, settlement, city councils can contact the central executive agencies implementing public policy on state supervision and control over compliance with labour legislation, or its territorial agency (State Labour Service of Ukraine) on violations by a business entity of legislation on labour and employment of the population,” the President’s Office said.
The President’s Office said that the executive authorities of city councils and merged territorial communities are deprived of the right to draw up protocols on administrative offenses for violation of labour and employment legislation.
“Among other things, the law proposes to exempt the State Labour Service of Ukraine and its territorial agencies from paying court fees when considering cases in all courts,” the President’s Office said in the statement.
The document also amends the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses, according to which, for failure to comply with legal requirements or prevent officials from the central executive agency implementing public policy on supervision and control over compliance with labour legislation and its territorial agencies, or preventing their officials for the implementation of measures of state supervision provides for a fine for officials from 50 to 100 non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens.
This law comes into force one month after the date of its publication.

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UKRAINE’S SERVICE-BUSINESS INCREASES SALES BY 10.4% IN Q4 2020 – STATISTICS

The volume of sales of companies operating in the service sector of Ukraine in the fourth quarter of 2020 amounted to UAH 264.2 billion, which in comparable prices was 10.4% higher than the level of the fourth quarter of 2019, the State Statistics Service has said.
According to the report, the volume of services provided to the population amounted to 17.4% of the total volume of services provided in the country (UAH 46.05 billion).
The State Statistics Service reminded that in the fourth quarter of 2020 the volume of service provided by companies grew by 10.9% compared with the previous quarter.

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UKRAINE DOES EVERYTHING TO SUPPORT LOCAL FILM BUSINESS – CULTURE MINISTER

The government is doing everything to support the Ukrainian film business, even despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and Ukraine has gained a good reputation as a partner of international film companies, Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko has said.
“Even during the difficult period of the pandemic, we are doing everything so that the Ukrainian film business has support from the state, and Ukraine gains a good reputation as a partner of international film companies. We have cool locations and equally cool productions for this. This has already been proven by the film The Last Mercenary from Netflix with Jean-Claude Van Damme in the title role, of which the lion’s share of the shooting took place in Kyiv,” Tkachenko wrote in his Telegram channel.
He also said that Ukraine presents its films and a national stand at the European Film Market of the Berlin Film Festival. There are such domestic films as “Stop-Zemlia” and “Ursus”, animation “Gulliver Returns”, documentary “Puzzles”.
According to Tkachenko, the stand is “a guarantee for the future. Both for promoting our films abroad, and for advertising the system of cash rebates and other benefits from filming in Ukraine.” In particular, the Locations.com.ua service was presented – an online catalog for finding the best locations in our country.

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ON WEDNESDAY KYIV’S BUSINESS COURT BEGINS TRIAL UNDER CANADIAN TIU CLAIM AGAINST NIKOPOL FERROALLOY PLANT

On Wednesday, the business court of Kyiv will hear a court case under a claim of TIU Canada, owned by Refraction Asset Management (Calgary, Canada), against Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant (NFP) due to the disconnection of its 10.5 MW solar power plant from the power grid in March 2020 year.
“Today’s hearing is the first date for the trial since the completion of the preliminary hearing last month,” TIU Canada said in a report, which is available to Interfax-Ukraine.
According to the report, the solar power plant with a capacity of 10.5 MW was disconnected by the NFP from the power grid on March 2, 2020 “despite the fact that only electricity producers have the right to initiate the disconnection of the plant from the power grid in accordance with Ukrainian law.”
TIU Canada aims to immediately restore the connection to the electric grid and plans to bring NFP and its shareholders to full responsibility in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine, the company said.
The company said that NFP took advantage of the fact that the solar power plant was connected to a substation located on its territory, and explained the need for shutdown by carrying out repair work.
According to TIU Canada, the illegal shutdown caused over EUR 1.5 million in losses to the company, which “continue growing every day.”
At the same time, the company refers in the report to the high assessment of its activities by the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky at Ukraine Reform Conference in Toronto in July 2019, who noted the priority of developing green energy and thanked the company for its work in this area.
“Now this case is becoming a test of President Zelensky’s readiness to protect foreign investors in Ukraine,” TIU Canada said.

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LITHUANIAN COMPANIES INCREASE NUMBER OF REQUESTS FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN UKRAINE

The number of requests from Lithuanian enterprises for business development in Ukraine, search for new partners has increased, Ambassador of Lithuania to Ukraine Valdemaras Sarapinas has said.
“From our own experience, we can say that now we see an increase in requests from Lithuanian enterprises for business development in Ukraine, searching for new partners. By the way, the same can be said about Ukrainian enterprises. We observe especially great potential in the introduction of electronic services, as Lithuania has vast experience in this area and is ready to share it with Ukraine,” Sarapinas told Interfax-Ukraine.
He also said that a reduction in the supply chain can also reveal new opportunities for both Lithuania and Ukraine.
“Lithuania can also become an excellent platform from which Ukrainian enterprises can significantly increase their exports to the West. By way of example, I can cite Kormotech company, which moved part of its activities to Lithuania, and this made it possible to take advantage of the EU financial policy and increase its competitiveness in Europe and other markets,” the diplomat said.
At the same time, Sarapinas said that Lithuanian business in Ukraine is faced with such problems as non-transparency of the judicial system, unequal conditions of competition, and administrative pressure on business.
“I am not a businessman, so I can only convey the position that I hear when communicating with our entrepreneurs: Lithuanian business, as, by the way, investors from other foreign countries or local Ukrainian entrepreneurs face the same problems, namely, the lack of transparency of the judicial system, different conditions of competition, administrative pressure on business. In the area of combating these problems, Lithuania and other Western partners are ready to share their experience,” he said.
The ambassador also said that there are several large Lithuanian companies that are now planning investment projects in Ukraine, however, negotiations are underway on this matter.
“It was recently announced that the Novus retail chain, which is operated by the BT Invest investment company, is buying 35 Billa stores. This is the fairly large investment: according to market analysts, the deal is worth about EUR 65 million. There are also few more large Lithuanian companies that are now planning investment projects in Ukraine, however, now it would be better to refrain from commenting, since negotiations are underway,” he said.

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PANDEMIC ACCELERATES DIGITALIZATION OF BUSINESS PROCESSES

The pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of business processes for 39% of respondents out of 74 surveyed managers of companies in various sectors of the economy, 42% intend to reduce office space, according to a report “Business leaders’ view in Ukraine 2020: Special issue of COVID-19” by KPMG company in Ukraine. “Leaders understand that increased digitalization is one of the main drivers of organizational development. Companies have to reсonsider what customers want and how they can achieve it,” the report said on Friday.
However, capital shortages and a lack of consensus on key technology trends are the biggest challenges in accelerating digital transformation, the report said.
At the same time, the most successful were converting operations into a “figure” (39% of respondents) and the creation of new digital business models and income streams (36%), according to the survey, which was conducted from July 15 to August 31 of this year.
At the same time, 30% indicated that progress in digitalization not only accelerated, but put the company forward for years to come.
When asked about the barriers to digital transformation, 22% indicated a lack of capital to accelerate progress (7% globally).
According to world leaders, the biggest challenge is to focus efforts and investments in areas that will be promising in the future, while avoiding areas that may be only a short-term response to the pandemic.
As a result, 33% of global CEOs identified the biggest challenge in accelerating digital transformation as “a lack of understanding of future operational processes.” Companies need to understand if COVID-19-related changes (such as consumer behavior) are indicative of an ongoing trend, or just a temporary effect of the pandemic.
In Ukraine, “a lack of understanding of future operational processes” was recognized as the main challenge by 14% of managers , the authors of the report said.
Regulatory pressures were cited by many respondents as the top threat to businesses in 2020, while executives prioritized staff shortages last year.
“This risk continues to be on their radar, but has shifted to fourth position,” added the authors of the reports.
At the same time, according to the survey, 73% of respondents in the world and 39% in Ukraine are convinced that remote work has expanded their access to the pre-personnel reserve.

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