In March, Ukraine’s government adopted the Action plan for reforms in 2015 and 2016 while the IMF board approved four-year USD 17.5 bn extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The EFF supports ambitious program of Ukrainian authorities, which would in IMF words ‘put the economy on the path to recovery, restore external sustainability, strengthen public finances, and support economic growth by advancing structural and governance reforms, while protecting the most vulnerable’.
Ukrainian SMEs are poorly represented in the European market and do not expect any significant benefits from the free trade zone between Ukraine and the EU. At the same time, they are relatively less afraid of the possible negative consequences of trade liberalization with the EU.
Ukraine introduced value added tax (VAT), which is one of the essential sources of fiscal revenues in many countries, in 1992. The tax became important for Ukraine’s economy as it brings about one third of consolidated fiscal revenues and accounts for near 10% of GDP. However, with years the tax became known for poor administration and fraud. Some loopholes in the administration relate to numerous VAT privileges and exemptions.
2014 was the most difficult year for Ukrainian economy in the 21st century. Ukraine faced economic crisis and military conflict in the East, while Russia annexed Crimea. Real GDP is estimated to decline by near 7% in 2014 due to a drop in domestic demand and weak external demand.
Application of genetic engineering technology is strictly regulated in the EU. GMO as well as food or feed containing GMO is subject to a comprehensive authorisation procedure which involves risks assessment to human health and the environment, before the company is allowed to place GMO on the market. But how does it work in Ukraine?
The Ukrainian policy of export restrictions over recent years did not have the desired effect on the consumer prices and does not solve the declared policy target of food security.
On September 12, 2014, trilateral ministerial meeting of the EU, Ukraine and Russia produced quite unexpected decision to postpone the implementation of the EU-Ukraine DCFTA (Title IV of the Association Agreement) till January 1, 2016.
Ukraine is now in a completely new environment – military operations in the east and military invasion and aggression of the Russian Federation have left a significant mark on the processes taking place in the country, including the reform of the business environment.
The survey showed that 42.3% of managers reported no change when comparing the financial situation of their company now and a year ago, 8% indicated that the situation improved, 40.7% of respondents answered that the situation has worsened, and 9% failed to answer the question.
While EU and US sanctions against Russia over its aggression in Ukraine, and Russia’s counter-sanctions, are much discussed due to their evident political significance, less attention has been given to Russia’s punitive sanctions against the three Eastern European states–Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia – that have signed with the EU Association Agreements (AA), which include Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) provisions.