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Rule of Law Should Be Ukraine’s Government #1 Focus to Achieve Economic Recovery and Growth in 2021 – New Survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine and Citi Ukraine

Rule of Law Should Be Ukraine’s Government #1 Focus to Achieve Economic Recovery and Growth in 2021 – New Survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine and Citi Ukraine

Kyiv, March 15, 2021

The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, together with AmCham member company Citi Ukraine, conducted Ukraine Business Climate Survey: A Year of Lockdown. The Survey is aimed at assessing how one year of lockdown impacted businesses in Ukraine and identifying key concerns and expectations for doing business in 2021.

100 CEOs and top managers of AmCham member companies took part in the Survey, conducted on February 22 – March 9, 2021. The majority of the respondents (69%) are CEOs.

Lack of rule of law (66%), corruption (54%), and lack of bold reform agenda (45%) were identified by business representatives as the TOP-3 biggest obstacles to doing business in Ukraine.

62% of respondents are dissatisfied with Ukraine's Government performance in managing the COVID-19 outbreak, while 18% are satisfied. 60% of respondents are dissatisfied with Ukraine's Government commitment to supporting businesses during the lockdown, while 11% are satisfied.

The business representatives were asked to name TOP-3 things that Ukraine's Government should focus on to achieve economic recovery and growth in 2021. Among them are the following: implement real and effective judicial reform, rule of law, fair justice (74%), protect the population from COVID-19 through wide-scale testing, vaccination, and effective treatment (46%), and eradicate corruption (37%).

One year of lockdown impacted revenues, the number of employees, and investments of AmCham member companies. 40% of members saw an increase in revenues; 37% reported a decrease. 56% of respondents indicated that their companies managed to retain employees, 24% hired new personnel, 20% had to cut staff. 19% of respondents reported that their companies increased investments in Ukraine during the lockdown, while 15% decreased.

The biggest changes that AmCham member companies introduced during the lockdown were the introduction of the hybrid work environment (82%), digitalization of workflow (63%), development of new crisis management strategies (49%), and introduction of resilient models that can serve clients despite circumstances (47%).

Emotional burnout (59%), lack of teamwork (44%), lack of communication (42%), and digital fatigue (36%) are the biggest challenges that companies' employees are currently facing.

TOP-3 major concerns with regard to doing business in 2021 are unclarity with COVID-19 vaccines (69%), the continuation of the lockdown (57%), and the security of employees (47%).

On average, 5%-30% of AmCham member companies' employees have contracted COVID-19. 59% of respondents plan to promote vaccination among their staff.

The majority of business (60%) forecasts an increase in revenues in 2021. At the same time, 32% plan to increase the number of employees, and 39% plan to increase investments.

Andy Hunder, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, commented: "With 43% of members that are cautiously optimistic about doing business and potential investing in Ukraine in 2021, the top challenges remain the same. Business calls the Government to ensure rule of law, protect the population from COVID-19, and fight corruption. AmCham Ukraine continues to stand up for business and stands ready to help the Government reignite the economy and defeat the pandemic."

Vice-Chair of AmCham Ukraine Board of Directors, Country Officer and Corporate Banking Head of Citi Ukraine, Alexander McWhorter told: "2020 was a year of challenges and rapid change that required significant effort and agility from the companies’ management to navigate. Respondents named implementing the hybrid work environment and the digitalization of work as among the biggest changes. I fully agree with these, having gone through these same challenges too. These changes have us even stronger and more adaptive than before. Going forward, it is extremely important to look at the areas we need to continue to develop to unlock the economic potential of Ukraine. In my view, we have necessary skills and experience for this."

Full results of the Survey: https://chamber.ua/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/AmCham_CITI_survey_2021_EN_FINAL.pdf

About the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine:

The American Chamber of Commerce is Ukraine's most powerful international business association that has been serving members in Ukraine since 1992, helping companies grow, promote their services and brands. AmCham Ukraine is an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Being a non-governmental member-funded non-profit organization, AmCham Ukraine represents the biggest U.S. & international investors operating in Ukraine, who have invested over $50bn in Ukraine and remain committed to the country. AmCham Ukraine is the largest AmCham Office in Europe and a part of a strong global AmChams in Europe network. For 29 years, AmCham Ukraine has been delivering the voice of business at the highest level, advocating for the betterment of the business climate, and working closely with Ukrainian and U.S. Government officials. AmCham also focuses on attracting Foreign Direct Investment into the economy and advocates for predictable, transparent, and stable rules of doing business. For more information: https://chamber.ua/

About Citi Ukraine:

Citi Ukraine (JSC Citibank) has had a presence in the country for more than 20 years, serving multinationals, large Ukrainian corporations and some public sector in the country. Citi offers solutions that serve clients’ needs and cover all aspects of cash and liquidity management, trade services and finance, treasury services, corporate finance and lending, securities services and issuer services. In 2020, JSC Citibank obtained the Expert Rating Credit Agency’s highest credit rating of AAA on the national scale and was recognized Best Corporate/Institutional Digital Bank in Ukraine by Global Finance World’s Best Digital Bank Awards as well as Market Leader in Ukraine by Euromoney Cash Management Survey for corporates.

Contact person:
Yuliana Chyzhova, AmCham Ukraine Senior Communications Officer, ychyzhova@chamber.ua

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