Do­ing Busi­ness in Ukraine

Kyiv Post Legal Quarterly - - Introduction -

Wel­come to the sec­ond an­nual Kyiv Post Do­ing Busi­ness in Ukraine guide. De­spite suc­cesses, the out­look for the na­tion still re­mains ten­ta­tive. A new gov­ern­ment that came to power in April is ex­pected to build on the re­forms en­acted by the pre­vi­ous one.

But the na­tion still has made lit­tle progress in im­prov­ing rule of law or pun­ish­ing cor­rup­tion. A new wrin­kle came with the re­lease of the Panama Pa­pers, show­ing that the world's elite – in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko – like to do busi­ness in off­shore tax havens. De-off­shoriza­tion and de-oli­garchiza­tion aren't heard much from the pres­i­dent's lips lately, but an in­ter­na­tional ef­fort is un­der way to com­bat these se­cre­tive ways of do­ing busi­ness.

Ex­perts also see many bright spots in Ukraine’s eco­nomic fu­ture.

For starters, cheap Western cred­its, led by the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund, might re­sume soon. The Na­tional Bank of Ukraine con­tin­ues to close badly run banks and bring more trans­parency to the opaque fi­nan­cial sec­tor. Bring­ing en­ergy prices to mar­ket lev­els on May 1 elim­i­nates a ma­jor source of cor­rup­tion and waste. The prices also help cut de­pen­dency on Rus­sian en­ergy im­ports. Ukraine's la­bor force re­mains cheap by in­ter­na­tional stan­dards. Taxes have been cut in key ar­eas. The gov­ern­ment is promis­ing again to sell or close most of its 3,000 state-owned firms, sources of pri­vate wealth for in­sid­ers and pub­lic debt for the rest of us. Pro­zorro, the on­line sys­tem for mak­ing pub­lic pur­chases com­pet­i­tive and trans­par­ent, has al­ready saved mil­lions of tax­payer dol­lars. In good times and in bad, the agri­cul­tural and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy sec­tors keep hum­ming along. And Ukraine is ex­pand­ing its trade agree­ments. Be­sides the Euro­pean Union pact that came into force in Jan­uary, Ukraine is close to sign­ing a free trade deal with Canada, where a Ukraine-canada busi­ness fo­rum will take place in Toronto on June 20. So, all in all, life is look­ing up in many ways.

The Kyiv Post launched Do­ing Busi­ness in Ukraine last year. It be­came a huge suc­cess and the most-read publi­ca­tion of the year with dis­tri­bu­tion in Washington, D.C., Lon­don and other cities. This mo­ti­vated the news­pa­per to pub­lish the guide an­nu­ally to pro­mote Ukraine’s im­age abroad as well as the na­tion’s abundant busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties – and chal­lenges.

This year, we fo­cus on key sec­tors – chem­i­cals, en­ergy, bank­ing, agri­cul­ture, tele­coms, au­to­mo­tive – and in­ter­view key busi­ness and gov­ern­ment lead­ers. We hope you en­joy this 80-page guide giv­ing the state of play in Ukraine’s econ­omy and please let us know how we can make it bet­ter next year. Do­ing Busi­ness in Ukraine 2016 will also be avail­able in the Kin­dle for­mat on Ama­zon. We thank our sec­tion part­ners – CITI, life­cell, METRO, Ukr­plas­tic, Vasil Kisil and Part­ners, Zamm­ler and all of our ad­ver­tis­ers and sub­scribers for sup­port­ing in­de­pen­dent jour­nal­ism in Ukraine.

Aly­ona Nevmerzhyt­ska Act­ing Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer

Brian Bon­ner Kyiv Post Chief Ed­i­tor

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