Thursday, April 28, 2005

Some thoughts on economic changes

The changes in the simplified tax regime have caught many businesses off guard. A great many organizations were using a loop-hole in the tax regulations to “hired” employees as individual contractors. This allowed the employees to pay a much reduced social and income tax amount. It also allowed the organizations to avoid paying social taxes for the employees. Many organizations, including many who supported Yushchenko, used the loop-hole to lower their tax bite. While the changes in the tax regulations can be debated, the appropriateness of using a loop-hole to avoid paying taxes that directly pay for pensions, teacher salaries, and other social needs is not debatable. The simplified tax regime was designed to protect small businesses from over-enthusiastic tax inspectors, the new version will continue to offer this protection. The reform will strip away the ability to shield regular employees from taxes. The ‘Orange Revolution’ promised changes, this is an over-due one. The complaint that the tax regulatory changes were sudden has some justice, but they were required never-the-less.

The re-valuation of the Hryvnya has caught many people off guard. The Hryvnya has been roughly pegged to the US Dollar and the Dollar has been falling against major currencies for the past year. The pegged Hryvnya has also fallen. It is about time that the Hryvnya rose in value. The economic growth in Ukraine certainly did not support a lower Hryvnya. Certainly, any reasonable viewer of the Ukrainian economy saw this revaluation coming for a few months. I do not see this as caused by Yushchenko presidency; the general economic growth caused it.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

English Language Ukrainian newsources

For a while I have wanted to collect reliable news services on Ukraine. Here is a start. It is not complete and I will be adding more as time goes on. I will say that currently there is not one single information resource that is truly great. It is interesting to note that many are fee based. While the Kyiv Post is readily available in Kyiv for free, it charges a fee for its online content. It is very hard to view its content as being of any value except for the casual international reader.

Kyiv Post This is the English language weekly newspaper in Kyiv. It does not really treat any subject in depth but is good for basic lifestyle information. A large part of the site requires registration and is fee based. It is difficult to understand if the content is worth it cost. The actual newspaper is available for free in many restaurants/bars in Kyiv.

Ukraine-Observer This site provides news clips on Ukrainian news. It is good source of general news. It is the online version of a monthly magazine published by the Willard Group. Again, it is fee based but offers daily news summaries for free.

Ukrayinska Pravda: A good source for Ukrainian news-clips. It is the English version of the main Ukrainian language website.

Brama Gateway: This is a very Diaspora oriented web link collection. It is updated daily and provides a wide variety of information but it does comes through a prism of Diaspora politics.

FirsTnews - a new source of Ukrainian economic news

FirsTnews / Start page

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

abdymok: good wine

abdymok: good wine

An interesting description of the business information marketplace in Ukraine. From abdymok, an interview with Mikhail Kukhar.

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Wild, Wild East.

by Steve Miller.

A good article on David Sweere and Kiev-Atlantic Group. Mr. Sweere one of the great success stories in Ukraine.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Beating the Blues, Keeping the Orange Faith

Beating the Blues, Keeping the Orange Faith

Echos from the recent past.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Software Developers Want to Go Legal: time for the government to take notice of them

by Petro Izhyk, The Day

A solid article about the current state of the Ukrainian outsourcing market. The need for promotional activities is covered.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

The New York Times > Travel > Is Newly Liberated Kiev the Next Prague?

The New York Times > Travel > Is Newly Liberated Kiev the Next Prague?

It had to happen, NY Times Travel section has found Kiev.

"a city that has all the makings of a new Prague."
I thought Krakow was the new Prague?

Friday, April 01, 2005

Mr. Bush, Tear Down This Trade Barrier - Releasing Ukraine from a 30-year-old trade restriction could be America's greatest contribution to the Oran

Mr. Bush, Tear Down This Trade Barrier
Releasing Ukraine from a 30-year-old trade restriction could be America's greatest contribution to the Orange Revolution. By Peter Savodnik

A solid article on the Jackson-Vanik regulations and how it fits into Ukraine's WTO goals and its place in American politics.