The street protests that have started in Tbilisi on June 20, 2019, became a direct result of the mistakes of Georgian officials and a brazen behavior of a Russian politician. The majority of Georgian people thinks that, first, Russia is dangerous and, second, we cannot be partners of Russia, and instead need more integration with Europe and NATO.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, the Chairman of the European Research Group on the House of Commons, claimed that this treaty would make the UK a vassal state. It is difficult to not agree with him. The last treaties that gave jurisdiction to foreign courts were the aforementioned 19th-century treaties with China.
In compliance with the requirements of the International Monetary Fund, Ukraine has split its previously combined fiscal service into separate tax and customs agencies. This is a step in the right direction, which should be followed by re-orienting the customs to serve businesses and promote cross-border trade.
The first steps of the long-awaited customs reform in Ukraine started in 2017 only to be cancelled at the beginning of 2018. Meanwhile, customs clearance in the country remains lengthy and complicated, which is reflected in Ukraine’s low positions in comparative international rankings.
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.