During a working trip to the Khmelnytskyi region, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy discussed with local business representatives the urgent problems that hinder the development of various sectors of the region's economy.
"I would like to talk to you about reality. Because only by coming to the city or the region and talking to people who are from this region, you can really understand what is happening. We want to talk to you about the problems of the region," the President said at the beginning of the meeting.
The President expressed his conviction that against the background of the coronavirus pandemic, the authorities should not only not hinder business, but also help it.
In addition, Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged entrepreneurs to share their views on personnel decisions both at the level of central authorities and at the local level.
"We want to know where we can help. We want to have an understanding of the situation: what kind of people do you need, who should be in power? We want to receive proposals as regards such people," he said.
The entrepreneurs told the President about the main problems they face in their activities. In particular, they pointed out the difficulties in obtaining special permits for subsoil use, connection to the grid. The business representatives called for the establishment of lending mechanisms at affordable rates for exporters.
In addition, entrepreneurs called for a reduction in customs duties on imports of raw materials for the manufacture of products in Ukraine and assistance in promoting Ukrainian exports and in the presentation of domestic products on the world market.
The President of Ukraine announced that a Deputy Prime Minister for Industry and Defense-Industrial Complex will be appointed soon to deal with business issues.
"On the basis of the National Security and Defense Council, I gave instructions last week, and now personnel are being selected. Suggest names. Next week we will have a commission on the basis of the National Security and Defense Council, and I will also be a member of this commission. People with strategy will come. It will not just be the Minister of Defense-Industrial Complex - we will have a Deputy Prime Minister for Defense-Industrial Complex and Industry," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
In addition, businessmen pointed to unfair competition from "gray" and "black" importers, with whom it is difficult to compete for "white" Ukrainian producers who pay all taxes.
In response, the Head of State stressed that the authorities would not allow smugglers to dictate their terms.