09 February 2008

Positive Steps Forward - WTO Membership for Ukraine

Well done to Ukraine. Its official, this week Ukraine joined the World Trade Organisation. Like many, I hope this brings benefits to businesses in Ukraine, but also allows for many restrictions to be lifted on doing business WITH Ukraine.

Just this week, I was contacted by a British company who were having problems getting paid by a Ukrainian company. I explained the long beaucratic process businesses must endure in order to make payments outside of Ukraine. (Translation of invoices and then approved by a lawyer etc)

But maybe good news is that from next week, residents and non residents can transfer higher amounts of money to other countries. But expats (if they are non residents) will still have to prove where they got the money from. I still transfer spending money to my daughters in England by Western Union, because its easier than using a bank. (Actually my wife sends it, as she is Ukrainian, I being a 'foreigner' cannot send money so easily)

Like many I am optimistic about the future and changes will come eventually. One problem we still have in Ukraine is that laws are passed by Parliament, but there is no real system for dissemination of law. It takes along time for the people on the ground (at customs posts etc) to become aware of the laws and procedures.

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