Economic freedom in Ukraine: a fall is impossible if you are already at the bottom

Heritage foundation – Washington’s leading analytical research centre – has published a rating of the economic freedom research of the countries of the world. Ukraine ranked last among the countries of Western Europe.

An independent view on the realities of our country says that now we must at least catch up with Moldova and Belarus, not to mention neighboring Poland or yet unattainable Western Europe.

Therefore, we need to immediately implement changes that will give impetus to the economy. This means to provide our entrepreneurs with the conditions for work and development.

Why neither domestic nor foreign investors are in a hurry to invest in the economy of Ukraine today? Because at any moment law enforcers might come and interfere with the work: they might search for bitcoins at IT enterprises or 40 officers might come to a large enterprise with the aim to confiscate some contracts. At the same time, law enforcers are not engaged in their direct duties – the fight with real treason, espionage, and financing of terrorism.

For some reason, the authorities have not had enough political will to eliminate the economic units of the Security Service, the police, the General Prosecutor’s Office, and somehow in our country the military prosecutor’s office is engaged in the investigation of economic crimes. So far, the authorities do not have enough political will to create a single body that would investigate all financial crimes in the sphere of public finances.

Heritage foundation also gives Ukraine bad marks with regard to the criteria of “rule of law” and “honesty of the government”. Therefore, we need the Anti-Corruption Court. Because today Ukrainian courts make discriminatory decisions, they are not transparent, they damage the development of the market economy in Ukraine. Our courts are destroying the individual motivation of entrepreneurial activity, because there is a possibility that everything one has been working on might be taken away at any time through court decisions on which people associated with the authorities can easily insist.

Economic freedom means, first and foremost, free flow of capital and free currency regulation. But they should be preceded by an automatic exchange of information with banks and the relevant institutions of other countries. The Tax Code should include the reporting of international groups of companies, transfer pricing must start operating, and the incomes of foreign companies owned or controlled by Ukrainian citizens must be taxed in Ukraine. And this is our number one task for this year.

If we want investments, then we need to abolish the tax on income, introduce a tax on the withdrawn capital, adopt a new electoral code that will let us finally change the ruling elites, adopt the law on the Anti-Corruption Court, and create a single body of financial investigations. This is what will ensure our success in various ratings and, most importantly, our economic freedom.

Tetyana Ostrikova
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