30 May 2009

New Rules - 180 day system- enforcement

on 15 May Ukraine introduced new laws for restricting the movement of foreign citizens in the country. Some see this as a negative step towards protectionism of the labour market. Many expats are concerned, due to the fact that in Ukraine the state agencies are never correctly informed about changes and procedures, so there is never a clear system to follow.

However, I think the new system is a positive step to ensure that any foreign citizens who are living here are 'legal' and they have gone through the correct processes to obtain work permits and residency status. During the past few days many expats living here have contacted me for help. Many of them live here on a normal multiple entry visa, but some of them 'work' or do some 'business' without having work permits. So I decided to introduce a special service from the BBCU to help these people who needed to become legally employed and be provided with the correct documents.

The new rules mean that a foreign citizen can only stay in Ukraine for a maximum of 180 days out of 365 per year. The ONLY way to remain longer is to have a work permit with temporary residents status, which is usally for one year, or to obtain Permanent Residency Status.

Because this is Ukraine, many of the new rules have not been thought through correctly.
For example it would appear that the law makers completely forgot about spouses and children of expats living and working in Ukraine.

However, I still think its a positive step. Ukrainians certainly know how to endure the hardships of going through a strict employment process as foreign citizens in EU states and in particular in the UK. So, I'm advising my expat friends who are not 'legal' in Ukraine to stop complaining and just do things as per the rule of law.

I met with the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, this week and he informed me that they too are taking this very seriously and helping their citizens to get on the right side of the law. (AMCHAM have 5 times more in their staff team than the BBCU).

Business Opportunities in Ukraine - Networking Meeting

On 28 May we held another succesful networking meeting together with the International Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine. 72 people attended.
Our guest speakers were: Vladimir Mikhailov, First Deputy Chairman and Secretary General of ICC Ukraine and Ihor Shevliakov an economist from the International Centre of Policy Studies (Ukraine Think Tank).
Generally it was agreed that we will still have a difficult year in Ukraine and many investors are waiting for the results of the Presidential elections, however, a feeling of optimism was shared regarding the prospects for opportunities late 2009 and through 2010.

24 May 2009

Charity Auction a great success

Last night we held a charity event to raise money for the Kharkov Childrens Cancer Clinic.
Supported by many of our partners including: IDISA Clinic, Open Up Communications, EBA, Kyiv Lions Club, Radisson SAS Hotel Kyiv, Canadian Embassy, EU-Ukraine Business Council, Engarde Law Firm, Institute of Stem Cell Research, Ol & Rust (Law Firm).

We raised UAH 138,100 on the night via an auction of artistic photos kindly donated by the well know artist Ksenia Shevchenko.
(Other works also donated by the famous artist Oksana Mas, and local well known photographer Leonardo Dixon)

Many thanks to all those involved in organising and planning th event and those supporting the night and also those succesful bidders who purchased artwork at great prices.
The money will go to a good cause.

03 May 2009

Networking Meeting 29 April - Feedback

Our meeting on 29 April in Kyiv was a great success with 84 people attending.
The Theme: Property Market in Ukraine.
We had presentations from DTZ, CBRE, EFG Property Services and NAI Pickard.

Many members told me later that this was one of the best events they had attended this year.