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Yuliya Svyrydenko: "Over the past two months, businesses have fewer complaints about law enforcement agencies"

At the beginning of the year, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy established the Council for Business Support, which includes owners of large companies. The government should take care of the security of business in Ukraine, in particular, to counteract the arbitrariness of law enforcement. During a panel discussion as part of the joint project of and EFI Group "New Country" dedicated to the interaction between government and business and economic recovery, Deputy Prime Minister Yuliya Svyrydenko told whether there are any shifts in this direction, whether it is possible to say that tax pressure is decreasing today, and how the relationship between business and government is developing. 

Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Economy Yuliya Svyrydenko
Photo: Oleh Pereverzev
Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Economy Yuliya Svyrydenko
 Over the past month, three important things have been done for business: a draft law cancelling the ban on profits for defence companies was passed; the law "On BES" was voted on in the first reading (the creation of a single inspection body was among the key requests of business); and the Pulse portal was launched in test mode, which "will generate appeals from the business community" about violations, and government officials will analyse them accordingly and "respond promptly," Yuliya Svyrydenko said.

The minister also noted the launch of the Made in Ukraine economic platform (an initiative of the president, where the government is establishing a dialogue with small and medium-sized businesses from the Regions).

"I see it in two ways. The first one is a set of tools to promote the development of Ukrainian entrepreneurship. The second aspect, which is very important, is the establishment and improvement of relationships and communication with businesses in the Regions. We are on the road every week, and it is important to receive this feedback to understand whether everything is working as we would like, what needs to be improved in the regulatory part, what regulation is in the way, which agencies are working and how," said the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy.

Therefore, she noted, we can talk about certain changes.

"I think we responded in time to the signals of pressure coming from business, and we are trying to keep track of all these things. From what I can see from my communication with business, with associations, with the Regions, there have been fewer complaints about the work of law enforcement agencies over the past two months. My subjective opinion is that there have been some positive developments over the past two months," the official said. 

 She added that she understands the requirements of business, but that she also has complaints about entrepreneurs.

"I think I am the biggest business advocate in the government. If the issue of booking an economic flight is a matter of concern, I am a supporter of this story. The issues of reducing the pressure of law enforcement, deregulation, simplification are for me. But when business says that we are still not satisfied, I would say that I also have complaints. Because no one wants to come to the government. No one wants to work in the Ministry of Economy or the Ministry of Finance. Because you are a lifelong PEP, your children are PEPs. My child is a PEP. She doesn't know what it means, but she is already a PEP.

The second aspect is that business and the community put pressure on your activities, even if you are motivated by the purest thoughts, you want to help, deregulate, simplify, reduce pressure," she explained and added that some colleagues find it difficult to communicate with business representatives today.

Svyrydenko noted that at least the liberal part of the government and authorities is ready to contribute to the development of Ukrainian entrepreneurship as much as possible, ready to strengthen cooperation, but this movement should be bilateral.

"I believe that Ukrainian business is the backbone of our economy. The basis of defence capability. On the contrary, we support those who pay taxes in every way possible, and we note this... The taxes paid by business go to support the army. We are at war. Obviously, we need to accumulate more revenues to be able to mobilise resources, pay salaries, and buy weapons. That is why we have set a course to support Ukrainian producers by all means," the Minister of Economy said.

During the discussion
Photo: Oleh Pereverzev
During the discussion
 According to Svyrydenko, there are dozens of support tools for Ukrainian entrepreneurs in the country today: 5-7-9, grant programmes, cashback, mortgage lending, etc.

"We have introduced small grants for small and medium-sized businesses. This is important because self-employment is the number one issue. The unemployment rate is very high. You can respond to it with training, retraining, and such tools.

Grants for processing are up to eight million hryvnyas. Why is it important? Because we are going into processing, and Ukraine needs to start producing value-added goods. Processing accounts for less than 10% of our GDP. This is just a path to poverty. In the middle of nowhere.

There is a cashback for agricultural machinery from 1 April. This is a good programme. Ukrainian producers are entered into a register, farmers buy and receive a 25% refund. In this way, we encourage loyalty to the Ukrainian producer.

Mortgage programme. UAH 14 billion of mortgages issued. 9,000 families. This is a very good incentive for the construction market. We need to close the secondary market. This is a sensitive issue, but it must be done, otherwise there will be no incentive to develop the economy.

Stimulation of non-resource exports by the ECA (Export Credit Agency), which both finances and insures export contracts. The government's task is to ensure predictability and access to markets. Still, we need to push the EU to extend duty-free trade.

And a large block is investments. This includes military risk insurance, industrial parks, for which the budget was finally allocated in 2024, and investment incentives starting at €12 million," Yuliya Svyrydenko spoke about the available programmes. 

 In addition, she believes that energy and defence can become the engines of economic development. Foreign investors are interested in them.

In general, the minister stated, the government is ready to meet the needs of business.

"I would like to express my gratitude to every business and businessman working in this country. Obviously, we could not finance the army or any other expenses if there were no Ukrainian business. Minus 30% drop in the first year of the full-scale invasion. 5.3% growth last year. We hope that in 2024 there will be growth of less than 3.5-3.6%. Statistics for March showed 3.5% GDP growth. This is recovery growth. Obviously, after a 30% decline, we will return to the pre-war period, probably in '28, unless there is a large amount of investment in the economy. Therefore, the task is to support Ukrainian producers," said Yuliya Svyrydenko. 

Yuliya Svyrydenko (on the left)
Photo: Oleh Pereverzev
Yuliya Svyrydenko (on the left)

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