In October, the USAID Leadership in Economic Governance (LEV) Program held its final event. The project lasted for three years and made an important contribution to the policy of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) development in Ukraine.
In 2016, the Institute of Economic and Social Studies (INESS) from Slovakia decided to fill the gap and the Bureaucracy Index was born. In collaboration with experts from different areas, INESS identified and analyzed all the administrative tasks that the state requires from a model SME company.
In 2016, the costs attributed to operating a business in Ukraine have been lower than in a respective index in 2015. In particular, during the past year, Ukrainians spent on average UAH 27,412 for the purposes of compliance with the effective regulatory requirements.
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.
The cost of payment backlogs is not limited to the cost of maintaining the liquidity of the company. In addition to the interest on bank loans, one should also take into account all the additional costs associated with the monitoring of payments from contractors, chasing late payments, and growing risks caused by the delays.
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.
While higher taxes cause immediate pain, numerous fees can be hidden in prices of products with anybody hardly noticing. A systematic concealing of environmental or social policies into the electricity prices is one of the causes of high prices. INESS has attempted to quantify the effect by introduction of the imaginary “Electric Tax”.
The need for a CMU is clear; capital markets still remain shallow despite the European Union’s founding commitment to the free-flow of capital in the Treaty of Rome. If the green paper’s estimates are correct, 90 million additional euros would be available for business financing in the member-states if capital markets were as deep as the US.