Talking point: Western Ukrainian Branch of EBA: opportunities and challenges in 2011
2011 comes to an end, having passed by so quickly. It seems it was just yesterday that we were making predictions for the upcoming year 2011, and today we already have to plan activities for 2012. In this article, I would like to make a brief overview of the goals achieved in 2011 by the Western Ukrainian Branch of the European Business Association, its activities and its members.
First of all, I would like to mention that in 2011 we began our activities with 69 regional companies conducting their business in Western Ukraine. Since then, 16 new companies have joined us, and so we have become bigger and stronger. Secondly, I want to say that we have conducted 97 events during the year including Committee meetings, meetings with authorities, ad – hoc meetings and, of course, inspiring social events. We started 2011 together with the British Embassy in Ukraine discussing current opportunities and challenges in the framework of the new comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. We expected an interesting year, and so it was.
2011 was full of changes and all the member companies had to get used to new rules. For instance, the new Tax Code has raised a lot of questions regarding its implementation. The new Customs Code was another document that motivated us to arrange numerous meetings in order to learn more about the new rules concerning relations between customs and entrepreneurs. EBA members were some of the first people to meet newly appointed Head of Lviv Customs. The meeting was marked with the signing of a Memorandum of effective cooperation between Lviv Customs and EBA, Western Ukrainian Branch. Customs experts took part in EBA Customs Committee and Legal Committee meetings where we discussed the Customs Code, VAT refunds, problems of imported goods, customs value calculation, etc.
Working with our Committees, we were happy to invite interesting speakers, among them were Oleksiy Svyetlichnyy, who talked about Adizes Change Management, Yevhen Hlibovytskyy, who spoke of the global changes at economy of Ukraine, Kateryna Strapko from the delegation of the Warsaw Stock Exchange, who told us about IPO and what would be required from a company to take part in Warsaw Stock Exchange, etc.
Besides that, our members visited SoftServe, the new Lviv Stadium and the New Terminal of Lviv Airport. Fulfilling its strategy goals, EBA Western Ukrainian Branch was active in Ivano-Frankivsk oblast. Udo Heine, Chairman of the EBA Board 2011, visited the Governor of Ivano-Frankivsk and signed a Memorandum on cooperation between the oblast and Association.
As for EBA activities based on our strong belief that its people are the main treasures of any business, we arranged several social events in order to build friendships and become closer to each other. So, due to the good weather this year we managed to organise successfully EBA family day where our members had a chance to have some fun with their families and friends from Association. Also, we arranged bowling and mini-football tournaments where people who are keen on these kinds of sports could show their best. To sum up, all our activities have been organised for the EBA members as a platform of cooperation and a helping hand for each company.
Step by step, together with the active members and other EBA branches, in 2011 we were trying to facilitate the issues arising in legislation, relations with state authorities, etc. in order to establish European standards of business in Ukraine and I can proudly claim that in the overwhelming majority of the events the year 2011 brought us sure success. I would like to express my gratitude to Udo Heine, Chairmen of the WUBEBA, Taras Yurynts, Deputy of the Chairman of the Board, Markiyan Malskyy, Deputy of the Chairman of the Board, Liubomyr Zubrytskyy, Board member, Andreas Jueterbock, Board member. Without the brilliant team spirit it would have been hard to achieve such good results.
Also, I would like to express my gratitude to Olga Zelenchuk, Committee Coordinator, and Uliana Scorupska, Administrative assistant, for their active work and understanding. Without them such kind of activities would be very hard to conduct. Taking this opportunity, I would like to congratulate everybody on the upcoming New Year and to wish you peace in your families, luck, wealth and happiness in 2012. Remember we are working for your future and together we are stronger than ever.
Maryana Lutsyshyn, EBA Regional Coordinator