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AmCham Ukraine calls for real fight against shadow economy, as business needs tangible results

AmCham Ukraine calls for real fight against shadow economy, as business needs tangible results

AmCham Ukraine once again calls for active actions to combat the shadow economy, which has reached record levels in certain industries, and believes that the Government of Ukraine should choose a champion who will lead this fight and show real results.

AmCham Ukraine member companies' experts have been working for a long time to draw the attention of the state authorities and, especially, law enforcement agencies to the growing problem of the shadow economy. The negative trend of the increase in the share of the shadow market of tobacco products, observed during the last few years, causes significant damage to the state and legitimate businesses, as competition is distorted, and the State Budget loses revenue during wartime due to under-received taxes. In 2023, KANTAR Ukraine experts estimated the amount of unpaid taxes from the illegal tobacco market products to Ukraine's budget to be 23.5 billion UAH (610 million USD). While Ukraine is in its second year of full-scale war, these funds could be used to strengthen its defense capabilities. For example, 20 F-16 fighters could be purchased with these funds.

Last year, the business community did not see an effective fight against the shadow economy, especially in the example of the illegal tobacco market. It poses a significant threat to the country's economic security and requires urgent and coordinated actions.

Any authority in a country at war must work. AmCham Ukraine's position is clear - moving from words to actions, putting maximum efforts into filling in the State Budget, establishing trust with businesses, attracting investments, and cooperating with international partners are necessary. It is worth focusing on the money going to the state. It can be done realistically only when the responsible law enforcement body properly works, has all the necessary resources, and is ready to lead the fight against the shadow economy in Ukraine.

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