Ukrainian business will have to adjust to new rules once Ukraine joins EU, expert warns

28 April, 12:16 AM
Taras Barshchovsky, founder of T.B. Fruit (Photo:NV)

Taras Barshchovsky, founder of T.B. Fruit (Photo:NV)

After Ukraine becomes a member of the EU, Ukrainian companies will face a challenging adjustment period, founder of T.B. Fruit, Taras Barshchovsky, said in an interview with NV Business on April 27.

According to him, while accessing EU’s Single Market would present Ukrainian businesses with vast expansion opportunities, they will also have to make substantial changes to how they operate.

“The first seven years will be like manna from heaven – cheap loans, simpler business rules, deregulation, help from the EU, but at the same time, the screws will be tightened,” said Barshchovsky.

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“Businesses must take care of the environment, pay official salaries, and properly employ staff. This is a plus for the country and for people. And Ukrainian business is accustomed to living differently.”

He explained his point with a household example, suggesting many Ukrainians don’t consider paying taxes to be their civic duty.

“At one of our family gatherings, when we gathered to celebrate a birthday, everyone started talking about how patriotic they were,” Barshchovsky said.

“And I asked (one of my family members) how much taxes they paid in a year, for example. They don't understand the word 'taxes.' So, patriotism in Ukraine is a national costume. People don't understand that the pavement in villages was bought with their (tax) money. When they realize this, they will start controlling the government and demanding that it fulfills its duty."

According to the entrepreneur, it will take another 20-30 years for these mental transformations to take place.

“I think EU accession will be painful for 50% of businesses,” he concludes.

“There will be a requirement, for example, that we have five years to install water filters in boiler rooms. And entrepreneurs won't do this, hoping everything will work as before. But it won't. And there will be millions of such requirements. Ecology will be the most challenging. Nobody pays attention to it now.”

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