Ukraine’s Business Ombudsman has become operational in a major step forward towards the improvement of the investment climate in the country.
The Business Ombudsman is a key element in an Anti-Corruption Initiative agreed among the Ukrainian government, international organisations, including the EBRD and the OECD, and a number of Ukrainian business associations.
Marking the start of the Council’s activities, Business Ombudsman Algirdas Šemeta said: “We are now fully equipped to start working and we are ready to receive and review complaints from businesses in Ukraine.”
Mr Šemeta, a former Lithuanian Finance Minister and former European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud, added: “with experience in law, auditing and risk management, our professional team is in a position to thoroughly investigate each matter to help Ukrainian entrepreneurs do business in a fair and transparent environment without being subjected to harassment, unfair business practices and corruption”.
The Business Ombudsman institution provides a forum for the business community in Ukraine to file complaints about the unjust treatment by the state or municipal authorities, state-owned or controlled companies, or their officials.
The EBRD played a pivotal role in the creation of Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Initiative and the Bank has made a priority of working with the authorities in Ukraine in order to create the conditions needed to attract investment back to the country, especially during this time of economic fragility.
The EBRD invested a record €1.2 billion in Ukraine last year. A continuation of investment at similar high levels will depend on the pace of reforms in the country.