The year 2017 brought wins and failures. The Ukrainian Government was able to approve important reforms, which was still not sufficient to receive scheduled assistance from the IMF and the EU. 2018 will be tough as Ukraine should make large progress in many areas, while the 2019 elections are approaching.
At the beginning of September, the representatives of the biggest Polish trade union “Solidarity” submitted in the Polish parliament a policy proposal to ban Sunday trading. This proposal, signed by hundreds of thousands of Poles, became a trigger for a public discussion on potential effects of this regulation.
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.
Businesses in Ukraine want the customs procedures to become less income-focused and instead, to be aimed at facilitating trade. As the 2015 survey of Ukrainian businesses by the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting showed, changes in trade regulations and customs rules are needed to boost international trade.
On January 1, 2016, provisional application of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with the EU started, which lowers duties on the EU goods. Import duty surcharge (at 5-10%) was cancelled. Further we try to analyse impact of these events on international trade.
This story of bilateral cooperation between Turkey and Georgia gives an interesting example of how good will and understanding each others needs, despite of several historic and political differences in past, can create a high level of cooperation from which both sides can benefit politically and economically.
Earlier this week, the world witnessed two deals sealed by international powers: on Greece’s future in the European Union and on Iran’s future in the world. Both deals will have their political and social costs and profits, winners and losers.
The economic situation in Ukraine in 2015 and 2016 will depend on progress in externally supported reform program and on stabilization in the Eastern Ukraine. Fiscal consolidation, decline in real wages and unemployment will cause reduction of real private consumption. Weak hryvnia, despite dragging down consumption and investments, helps to increase fiscal revenues and narrow the current account deficit.