The Jan. 1 start of Ukraine's free-trade agreement with the European Union -- and whether the nation is ready -- was the main topic of the fourth Kyiv Post/DHL Express/Syutkin & Partners Nov. 6 CEO breakfast.
More than a dozen participants discussed the opportunities and challenges for Ukraine under the trade agreement.
Economy Minister Aivaras Abromavicius; Deputy Agricultural Minister Vladyslava Rutytska, European Commission First Secretary Jocelyn Guitton, former deputy head of the State Fiscal Service Kostiantyn Likarchuk, U.S.-Ukraine Business Council president Morgan Williams, DHL Express Ukraine CEO Vadim Sidoruk, Syutkin & Partners partner Nataliya Osadcha, SUN InBevUkraine acting general director Denis Khrenov, Nestle Ukraine/Moldova market head Ansgar Bornemann, Chumak President Carl Sturen, METRO Cash & Carry CEO Martin Schumacher, Kyiv-Atlantic Ukraine general director Daniel Sweere, Horizon Partners CEO Lenna Koszarny, Credit Agricole Bank’s Jean-Jacques Herve and Corum Group.
In a survey of participants by moderator Andrey Bulakh, managing partner of Deloitte Ukraine, 69 percent see the free-trade agreement as bringing more opportunities for Ukrainian-based businesses, while 23 percent expect more challenges and 8 percent think it will have a neutral effect. When it came to barriers for Ukraine’s full participation in the free trade area, 73 percent cited the inability to meet EU quality standards.