When Ukrainian SMEs are given a choice between two options – to obtain certain benefits for their sector from the government or to make sure that the government creates equal conditions for all enterprises – they choose the latter. This tendency manifested itself in the results of the national “Annual Business Climate Assessment” survey in Ukraine.
What exactly does Ukraine sell to the EU? Has the trade structure changed during last three years taking into account multiple factors such as improved access to the EU market, lower global commodity prices, and economic crisis of 2014-2015?
49% of Ukrainian SMEs said they were inspected by a government body in 2015. These inspections took up to 14 days per year for a business on average, which means that businesses spent around 2 weeks of their operation time on dealing with the officials.
Year 2016 in Ukraine became a year of starting on the economic recovery path. Real GDP growth in 2016 is estimated at 1.4%. It was supported by higher domestic demand. In particular, real private final consumption increased due to higher disposable income primarily attributed to increase in wage income.
In 2015, the USAID Leadership in Economic Governance (LEV) Program conducted a large-scale survey of small and medium enterprises (Annual Business Climate Assessment in Ukraine). One of the features of this survey is that entrepreneurs themselves identify obstacles to doing business and reforms they expect from the state.
We believe that if the state ceases to intervene in the pricing mechanisms, the profitability of enterprises will improve, investments will increase and administrative burden on business will be reduced. On the other hand, there are certain risks that were the reason why the government abolished this regulation in the form of experiment.
In late 2015 – early 2016, when the ABCA survey was conducted, Ukrainian small and medium businesses mostly assessed business climate in the country as neutral or negative. Only 6% of the polled SMEs believed that business climate was favorable.
The Association Agreement (AA) between the EU and Ukraine is a complex document covering a wide range of issues from justice to energy, from free trade to sports. Therefore, its impact on the Ukrainian economy will also be multifaceted. For business, the AA means new opportunities, both domestic and abroad.
Two years have passed since Euromaidan won in Ukraine. We try to look at what changed over the last two years. We discuss macroeconomic situation, fiscal issues, financial sector, and trade. We also outline major reforms conducted over this period and outline shortly future reforms agenda.
Ukrainian exporters say that inefficient and non-transparent VAT refunds system and high levels of bureaucracy are the biggest obstacles for export. The survey also reveals that smaller enterprises tend to be more burdened by complicated customs procedures and lack of transparency in the operation of tax agencies.