Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba has offered President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine (ACC) Andy Hunder and Executive Director of the European Business Association (EBA) Anna Derevyanko cooperation to develop trade and attract investment, the press service of the ministry said. “In the United States, Asian countries, and EU countries, the protection of internal business abroad, the development of trade, and the attraction of investments are some of the key functions of the foreign ministries. Now we are creating such an effective system of economic diplomacy in Ukraine. I would like to invite the leading Ukrainian business to unite forces,” Kuleba said during a video conference on Tuesday.
Kuleba also told about the relaunch of the Council of Exporters and Investors under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A meeting of the members, 80% of whom were reelected, is scheduled for May 21. Participants will be organized according to industry principles and will develop a joint work plan for the year.
The minister also shared with Hunder and Derevyanko his vision of cooperation between the diplomatic system and business, which will fill the agenda of relations with other countries with real cooperation projects, liberalize trade, expand the geography of exports, and attract investment in Ukraine.
Kuleba believes that successful Ukrainian business is also able to play a key role in establishing an effective system of economic diplomacy. It is, in particular, about professional expert assessment, attracting business to diplomatic education, and conducting special trainings and courses.
Derevyanko and Hunder, in turn, expressed gratitude for the initiative, which, in their opinion, is able to bring cooperation between business and diplomacy to a new level and contribute to the protection of Ukrainian economic interests. For their part, they confirmed their readiness to cooperate under the Council of Exporters and Investors, as well as in the development of an assessment system and diplomatic education.The parties paid special attention to the subject of encouraging foreign companies that transfer production from other regions of the world closer to sales markets, to locating production in Ukraine.
The European Business Association (EBA) has asked Head of the Verkhovna Rada committee for transport and infrastructure Yuriy Kysyl to support a bill proposing new legislation for the taxi market, the press service of the EBA said on Friday. “The adoption of a new model for regulating the taxi market is a significant step in introducing European standards into the life of Ukrainians. We hope that the new law on taxis will allow us to remove transportation from the shadows, get rid of outdated regulations and instead introduce clear and equal rules of the game for market players. For the first time, Ukraine has approached the reform of the taxi services market in such a comprehensive and professional manner that it is undoubtedly a positive signal,” the press service said, citing Advocacy Team Leader at the EBA Igor Gotsyk.
According to the report, the bill proposes the cancellation of obtaining a license for the domestic transportation of passengers by taxi, while at the same time the obligation is introduced to notify the State Service of Ukraine for Transport Safety, which also provides the functions of the public register of road carriers.
In addition, according to the document, an individual road carrier is not required to register as private entrepreneur. He also does not need to draw up a contract on transportation for each service in paper. He can only draw up a contract in electronic form.
“Given the thoroughness of the above-mentioned provisions and the importance of their adoption in order to increase the transparency of operations by carriers who operate road passenger transport services, we expect fruitful cooperation and hope that the bill will be adopted this autumn,” the EBA said.
The European Business Association (EBA) shares the position of the office of the president regarding the introduction of a nationwide system of electronic timber accounting and stresses the need for all timber makers to join this system. “For a more efficient operation of the electronic timber accounting system, it is critically important that all timber makers are connected to it, regardless of the form of subordination,” Yevhen Kuzmenko, the manager of EBA committees, told Interfax-Ukraine.
He noted that the system shows all the data from logging to timber sale or accepting for processing: who is involved in timber logging and on the basis of what documents, the characteristics of timber, as well as to whom and at what price it was sold.
“This system has already been introduced in forestries subordinated to the State Forest Agency. But it does not apply to other forest users, such as state enterprises of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Environment, municipal companies, and others. They, according to various sources, harvest from 17% to 27% of the total volume of timber,” the expert said.
According to him, this situation allows manipulating the origin of wood.
The European Business Association (EBA) has called to annul the excise label for wine, as it does not help to fight counterfeit products, while creates additional expenses for manufacturers, the press service of the association has reported.
According to the EBA, Ukrainian legislation requires the application of an excise label on all beverages with an ethyl alcohol content of more than 8.5% ABV. At the same time, wines with 1.2-15% ABV are subject to excise tax at a rate of UAH 0.01 per liter, while the value of the label is UAH 0.19 per piece. Alcohol importers also bear the cost of sending labels abroad.
“According to the calculations of the member companies of the association, there are UAH 278.6 of additional expenses per UAH 1 of the paid excise tax. Moreover, the major part of the sum does not go to the budget of Ukraine, but remains abroad,” the EBA said.
According to the EU regulations on labeling and protection of names of origin of alcoholic beverages, which Ukraine will have to adapt, beer from malt, grape wines, vermouth, cider and ethyl alcohol are not considered to be alcoholic beverages. Consequently, their quality control in Ukraine should not take place with the help of excise labels, but according to the general legislation on product safety, the EBA said.
“The products with alcohol content up to 8.5% ABV do not apply the excise labels. However, the safety control of such products is carried out. Therefore, it is reasonable to introduce the same logic for products with 1.2-15% ABV,” the EBA reports.
According to the press service, to abolish the excise labels, it is necessary to make changes to the Tax Code. “The business has already submitted the relevant proposals to the government. We hope that they will be taken into account in the near future,” the EBA said.
The European Business Association (EBA) in September got 15 new members, including Ukrlandfarming, one of the largest agricultural holdings in terms of land bank, the UNIT.City innovative park, Biopharma pharmaceutical plant LLC and ADD (Apteka Dobroho Dnia) pharmacy chain.
According to the EBA, among its new members are also Aakon Grain Ukraine LLC with an elevator of 10,000 tonnes, providing agricultural machinery leasing services, Brovary Aluminum Plant from ALUMETA Group, and Art Nation of movie maker Eduard Akhramovych, working in the sphere of marketing.
Its new members also became Audit Consult Group LLC, the creators of premises for entrepreneurs Business Interiors LLC, a real estate company from Benish Group GmbH, Edwin Steel Corporation LLC and Goodgrainoil, selling grain and oilseeds.
According to the release, in addition, EBA members became Perenio, whose parent company Perenio IoT has its headquarters in the Czech Republic, Rent-a-car Ukraine LLC, an official representative of Europcar in Ukraine, and Skyrora UA, a subsidiary of British-based Skyrora Limited of Volodymyr Levykin.
The EBA told Interfax-Ukraine the total number of the association members reached 979 companies.
The small business spirit index in 2018 was 3.2 points out of the maximum possible five, which corresponds to a neutral level, according to a study conducted by the European Business Association (EBA). According to a report on the EBA’s website, small business representatives are optimistic about the prospects for development this year: out of the 278 interviewed owners and directors of small enterprises in all spheres of activity 76% expect business to improve in the next six months, while 87% forecast profit growth in 2018.
More than half of the companies surveyed plan to increase the number of employees, while 57% to raise wages, 64% to increase the amount of financing their business in 2018, the report says.
At the same time, the materials of the study indicate that 40% of the companies polled were founded in the crisis years of 2015-2017.
“The survey shows the orientation of small businesses to exports. Some 27% of the companies surveyed have already entered foreign markets, and 30.3% plan to do this this year. The companies intend to develop their enterprises and reinvest their earnings in their own business,” the report states.
However, small business development is hampered by difficulties in obtaining loans. According to the survey, 82% of the surveyed heads of companies admitted that they need credit funds, 65% of respondents have difficulties with this, in particular 15.5% of them say that borrowings are “absolutely impossible.” “In general, 68.2% of respondents believe that the economic situation in Ukraine does not contribute to the development of small business, and only 3% of respondents are completely satisfied with the business climate in Ukraine,” the release says.