President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy took part in the panel discussion with the leaders of agricultural enterprises and farms in the Kherson region.
"We want to change this region for the better, that's why we are here, that's why we want to talk to you about where we can urgently help each other, what we need to develop strategically," the President said at the beginning of the meeting.
Representatives of agricultural enterprises called on the President to help promote Ukrainian products on international markets.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted that Ukrainian diplomats should join this process.
"These people must have diplomatic experience and appropriate education. But the first aspect now is the seller. That is, they must sell our goods, become exporters of the country. In other words, they are Ukraine's export ambassadors," the President said
According to him, the relevant concept is currently being developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
"That is, the ambassador is not there to meet me and open the door. He must sell domestic goods. This is the main thing. Well, geopolitics as well, this is obvious," the Head of State stressed.
"Now, on the initiative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the institute of trade missions is being restored, which will be aimed at promoting our products, our manufacturer. Therefore, I think that within a month or two we will start working in this direction," Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak emphasized.
Representatives of agribusiness once again complained to the Head of State about high interest rates on loans.
"Interest rates on loans have dropped to 8-10% per year, but this is not enough to do business properly. We understand that and we will sort everything out. At least state-owned banks will work for a domestic entrepreneur," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
He reminded that there is a state program "Affordable loans 5-7-9%", which needs to be improved.
"We are fighting for "5-7-9%". It seems to me that today a 5-7% business loan is a normal condition. I'm from business, we took under 18-25%, and it's awful. But we are fighting for the figures I'm telling you about. And we will win," the President stressed.
Entrepreneurs also touched upon the issue of reducing the VAT rate for a number of types of agricultural products, including livestock.
Representatives of the wine industry offered the Head of State to draft a comprehensive program for the development of winemaking.
Head of the Kherson Regional State Administration Yurii Husiev called for systematizing the proposals of industry representatives and sending them to the government in order to develop a comprehensive support program.
"We will study that. Give it to the Government and the Office of the President - let's have a look at it in parallel,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
Entrepreneurs also complained about the current practice of paying salaries "in envelopes", which makes it difficult for "white" businesses to compete with less honest market participants.
In addition, local entrepreneurs complained about problems with the connection to the grid when planning the construction of new plants and asked for improvements to the irrigation system.