07 September 2012

Dmitry Firtash: SMEs should be put into the center of Ukraine’s economic growth model

KharkivSpeaking at Kharkiv-based 4th International Economic Forum “Innovations. Investments. Kharkiv Initiatives” today, Dmitry Firtash, President of the Federation of Employers of Ukraine stressed that Ukraine needs to revisit its economic growth pattern centering on small and medium business.


According to the FEU President, quite a few countries today are searching for ways to curb the economic crisis, often times relying on outdated tools though. “We are used to refer to Europe and the USA as to a benchmark and we see that they too are trying to find a way out. Ukraine likewise must assess its capacity and come up with optimum approaches to enhancing its economic potential. We are positive that the question of employment is a paramount priority. Economy will go up in countries where new jobs with decent salaries will be mushrooming. In this context, the employers’ role becomes critical as these are the people creating jobs and assuming responsibility for them,” explained Mr. Firtash.


He further noted that Ukraine’s small and medium business must play a key role in advancing the national economy. “Ukraine’s development depends, first and foremost, on small and medium business. At present, 85 % of the economy equals 300 large companies and it is as little as 15 % of the GDP that is generated by small and medium business,” said Mr. Firtash. In contrast, as he further showed, in Austria, SME account for 45% of the GDP, in Germany – 60 % and in France – 52 %.

“Modern business is very vulnerable to the world market fluctuations. If we want to raise GDP, to reduce imports, then we have to promote our small and medium business. For that matter, Ukraine has to reshape the economic pattern of its development putting private businesses in the center of its attention. Small and medium enterprises must generate at least 50 percent of the national GDP,” stressed Mr. Firtash.


He also pointed out that a perception of entrepreneurs as a class must change in Ukraine. “These people need to be given greater freedom to realize their talents and ideas. The government must put in place clear rules of the game for at least 5 – 10 years down the road. Young business people need cheap and long-payback loans. Instead of policing business, regulating authorities have to help it develop,” argues Mr. Firtash.