This regional position paper, endorsed at the final East Invest 2 project conference in Kyiv on 21 June 2017, was drafted with the input of around 200 business associations in the six EaP countries. Addressed to the governments of the six Eastern partner countries, the EU and the donor community, the position paper includes a set of policy recommendations “to improve conditions for growth and for the best possible business climate”. It will be submitted as a contribution to the 4th EaP Business Forum in Tallinn in October 2017.
Calling on political decision makers to conduct systematic public-private dialogue involving SMEs as a crucial element in designing and implementing reforms, the position paper issues a set of key recommendations to meet specific challenges in the region, including:
- Simplifying administrative procedures for SMEs and ensuring a level playing field through fair competition laws
- Enhancing financial literacy among SMEs so they can deal with complicated loan and funding application procedures
- Introducing an online platform across the EaP countries to allow SMEs to connect with each other and access information easily
- Establishing innovation bodies in each country
- Closing the skills gaps in the countries through educational reforms and involving business communities in drawing up curricula
- Simplifying and stabilising tax and customs systems for SMEs and treating them equally compared to state and larger enterprises
- Helping SMEs overcome technical barriers to trade by giving them better access to standardization and certification services.