The year 2010 has been another eventful and interesting year in Ukraine. Many will claim that the country is now 'stable' now that a 'strong' President is in total control of the country and he is quick to remove anyone who is seen as in opposition. The scenes a few weeks ago in the parliament of elected members physically fighting amongst each other, reminded us all that Ukraine still has a long way to go to show the rest of the world it is a civilised country ready for foreign investment.
My experience is that 2010 was a difficult year for everyone. There are still many business sectors that may yet experience further difficulties in 2011, e.g Banking and Real Estate.
The government tried to introduce a new tax code which caused protest on the streets in Ukraine.
Tax avoidance and even tax evasion is widely practiced in the business community. Very few people in Ukraine pay the correct level of taxes. Looking towards 2011, I think we will see further difficulties as the Ukraine government always tries to introduce new legislation before it has been fully thought through how it will work in practice.
Lets all hope that 2011 will be a year where people can be confident about making investment decisions without the continual fear of what the government might do next? (We can all hope).
The relationship between Ukraine and the EU appears to be hot and cold and forever changing.
Ukraine still has a long way to go before the EU would be prepared to offer anything like a chance of EU membership. Corruption, Rule of Law, are just two areas that would need to see changes. Those of us who live here know it will be a LONG process to combat corruption.
I would go as far to say that Ukraine will never become a member of the EU during my lifetime.
During 2011 we will see more changes in the business community in Ukraine. The British Business Club will also see changes and I am confident we will see more members and clients taking up opportunities via the BBCU.
I wish everyone a very Happy New Year for 2011