Business news from Ukraine

WORLD BANK ENDORSES LAND REFORM IN UKRAINE

The World Bank has expressed its strong support to land reform in Ukraine and praised its necessity to all market participants.
“The World Bank strongly endorses the plans of Ukrainian leadership to open the agricultural land market. Land reform is needed for Ukrainian farmers to buy and sell agricultural land, access credit, invest and diversify, as well as land owners to get proper return for their most valuable asset,” the World Bank said in its statement posted on Facebook on November 9.
The statement reads that all farmers, including small, medium and large, and landowners will benefit from the opening of the land market.
“It raises economic growth as well as living standards of all Ukrainian people by unleashing the country’s agricultural potential. The planned reform also includes measures to limit land concentration, stop raider attacks and provide financial assistance for small farmers. Two decades of a closed market and non-transparency that fosters corruption are enough: the time for land reform is now,” the World Bank said.

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LITHUANIA AND UKRAINE DISCUSS PREPARATION FOR INTERNATIONAL UKRAINE REFORM CONFERENCE

Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the European Union Mykola Tochytsky has discussed at a meeting with Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Ričardas Degutis the organizational aspects of the preparation of the International Ukraine Reform Conference, as well as current issues of Ukraine-EU cooperation.
“On October 10, Ukraine’s representative to the EU Mykola Tochytsky met with Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Ričardas Degutis, who is preparing the International Ukraine Reform Conference, which is scheduled to be held in Vilnius in 2020,” the press service of the Ukrainian mission in the European Union said.
Degutis emphasized the priority of the Conference, which is considered in Vilnius as part of the overall strategy to support the reform process in Ukraine.
In turn, Tochytsky thanked Degutis for the consistent support of Lithuania to Ukraine both at the bilateral level and within the EU, especially in the context of confronting Russian aggression and introducing systemic reforms in the state.

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EUROPEAN BUSINESS ASSOCIATION IN UKRAINE ASKS PARLIAMENT TO BACK TAXI MARKET REFORM BILL

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.

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UKRAINE TO REFORM ECOINSPECTORATE

The newly created Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection sees the reset of the Environmental Inspectorate as its priority, the ministry said on its Facebook page. “One of our priorities is a complete reload of the Environmental Inspectorate’s work. We must establish effective monitoring of emissions and effluents. Regulatory indicators must exist not only on paper, but also be seen in practice. To do this, we will establish the effective work of the Environmental Inspectorate,” the press service quotes Minister Oleksiy Orzhel.
He also emphasized the importance of preserving nature and taking additional measures to reduce an impact on the environment.
“We have information that half of 4.7 billion cubic meters of effluent falls into rivers with excessive levels of pollutants. This situation is unacceptable. We will work to reduce this figure,” said Orzhel.
Another key task, according to the minister, is to establish control over compliance with environmental laws and eco-monitoring.
As reported, Ukrainian resident Volodymyr Zelensky instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to conduct a “full personnel reshuffle” at a number of departments by the end of 2019 as part of the elimination of large-scale corruption schemes in state authorities. This list includes: the State Service of Ukraine for Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre (DerzhGeoCadastre), the State Service for Geology and Subsoil of Ukraine (DerzhGeoNadra), the State Architectural and Construction Inspectorate, the State Environmental Inspectorate, UkrTransBezbeka and the Ukravtodor Road Agency.

STATE-RUN UKRZALIZNYTSIA PLANS TO REFORM PROCUREMENT SYSTEM

JSC Ukrzaliznytsia (Kyiv) in several weeks will present a strategy for reforming procurement, Ukrzaliznytsia Board Chairman Yevhen Kravtsov has said.
“Everyone asks if a conversation has already taken place with the new head of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine Vladyslav Krykliy. Yes, and very detailed. I can already say about the priority steps. Ukrzaliznytsia has a green light to make order in procurements,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
According to him, in particular, Ukrzaliznytsia intends to create a public council on increasing transparency and procurement efficiency with the participation of representatives of anti-corruption nongovernmental organizations and the media.
In addition, Kravtsov said that Ukrzaliznytsia begins a comprehensive audit at the branch of the Center for the Provision of Production, where, according to him, the largest amount of procurement is made. In addition, an internal audit of the Service Center is ongoing.
“I am tired of reading media reports about obscure tenders and personally canceling them. Such a volume of procurement cannot be coordinated manually. It is good that we respond to signals from the public, but it is bad that we give them reasons [to make these signals],” he said.

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UKRAINE PLANS TO REFORM SECURITY SERVICE

The new Ukrainian authorities are planning to reform certain elements of the governance system, including the Security Service, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Danyliuk said. “We have a security sector reform on our agenda. Without reforming the Security Service, any other reforms make absolutely no sense, because the Security Service has been historically integrated into multiple processes,” Danyliuk said in a televised interview.
“The Security Service should become a powerful organization, but in one key field; namely, counterintelligence. The Security Service should be deprived of other functions it has, including economic matters and efforts against corruption,” he said.
“Our international partners and the president actively support all of this,” Danyliuk said.
“A lot will have to be changed to make these reforms a reality; in particular, legislative amendments will have to be made,” he said.
“I have set up a group to work on [bills], and we are moving ahead very quickly. I know that we already have a bill, but, for some reason, our partners, such as, for example, NATO, do not approve of it. And our experts don’t support it for some reason, either. Why? Because this legislation would leave the Security Service’s work unchanged. We don’t need such bills. I am convinced that the Security Service and our Ukrainian and Western partners should be engaged in drawing up bills. This is exactly what is happening now,” Danyliuk said.

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