The first online meeting with Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and Ihor Petrashko, Minister for Development of Economy, Trade, and Agriculture, was held on April 02, 2020. The one-hour discussion focused on the current challenges of doing business in Ukraine with the COVID-19 outbreak and the new Government's reform agenda.
Key highlights of the meeting:
- Ukraine plans to "restart the economy" in May after deepening stricter quarantine measures this month to slow the spread of coronavirus
- The strategy lies in the fact that Ukraine can't afford an extended quarantine of two, three, four months
- Families and businesses do not have a sufficient "stock of reserves" to economically sustain a longer lockdown
- Upon easing restrictions on businesses in May, the elderly and children still have to stay home
- Ukraine's economy could shrink by 4 percent after growing in past years at 2.4-3.4 percent
- State finances will be stabilized by an $8bn loan from the IMF and billions of dollars of additional funding from foreign backers
- The IMF and World Bank had given "positive" signals after the country's parliament voted on two reforms that are required to unlock the international funds
- The Government has launched a fund to fight COVID-19 aimed to reach UAH 90-100 billion.
- The Government will not make the restrictions for business more robust and called enterprises to be responsible and create safe conditions on their enterprises
- Support of businesses – the Government works on the credit programs, reducing the tax burden, and extension of the "5-7-9" lending program. The Government also works with the National Bank on the credit load.
- Think tank under the PM – the Prime Minister announced the creation of a special think tank with top-professionals to discuss all proposals from the business community that can be further transformed into resolutions and draft laws to support the economy. ACC will be a member
- Movement of goods will not stop
- Green corridor for medicines and essentials is working. If a company has a problem at customs, please let us know
- The PM advised to use a risk-oriented approach with workers at borders (e.g., drivers) in case they have the confirmed COVID-19 case
- The Prime Minister promised to follow up on working with telecom operators to organize a transparent and open auction of radio frequencies
- Renewables – the PM plans to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with the industry that will serve as a basis for the draft law.
- Agreed to follow-up on allowing companies to transport employees to work by private transport and liaise with local authorities on access to public transport for critically important staff
- The PM supports the idea of the digitalization of all processes, i.e., cutting soviet style red-tape bureaucracy
We agreed to continue working with the PM's office through constant dialogue and the professional expertise of our members. We have already provided the 13-page document, a detailed action plan, and a roadmap for Ukraine's economic growth. Prime Minister said that our cooperation is already "stabilized and successful." His office is already using all our materials to help businesses strategically and during these challenging times.
The Prime Minister promised to provide written answers on the questions that were submitted and weren't covered during the discussion.
We continue to work to help your business in Ukraine. We will continue to support you.