Diya.City - how to build a Garden city
Artem Kokhanevich, CEO GigaCloud
The online project of a Special Economic Zone announced by the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine is a necessary and correct idea. But it would have been declared 3-4 years ago. And today we would come to the implementation of the first necessary legislative changes.
Over the past months, the Ministry of Digital Transformation has learned to create digital services at almost market speed. It’s a pity, the rest of the state bodies cannot keep up with it…
In April of this year, Ukraine became the first country in the world where a digital passport can be used without a regular one. That was a breakthrough. But digital passports are not accepted everywhere. Even the state-owned Ukrposhta does not always cope with the customer identification, much less business logisticians.
The Cabinet recently approved the permission to use digital passports for domestic flights only. We wish we knew when it will be accepted in the Rada ... Still not every city of Ukraine has ID-passport scanners. Though they were introduced in January 2016.
Therefore, it is too early to talk about the “state in a smartphone” and to digitalize public services en masse. First, one should solve deeper, strategic tasks. Change the model of the state structure globally, its relationship with business and people. And Diya.City blatantly demonstrates that it should have been changed “for yesterday”.
A big buzz topic is hunting IT people from Belarus. They are ready for relocation, we have introduced immigration quotas, we are waiting for 5,000 IT professionals ... But the devil is in the legislation on the foreign IT specialists' employment.
In Belarus, the secretary of a company fills out several pieces of paper and sends them to the relevant department. In Ukraine, this is paperwork with the participation of a relocated specialist (which takes away working hours), the legal department of his company and several government agencies. I myself waited for an immigration permit for a year and then 3 months for a residence permit!
Moreover, our government agencies operate only during office hours. And in order to take a "referral for obtaining a certificate to fill out a form" a person takes time off at work. Foreign companies in Ukraine feel very uncomfortable.
It's different in Estonia! It is the only country in the world where business can be conducted completely online. You don't need to go somewhere either to register or to rule the company. And in Ukraine, the path to a bright digital future was blocked by the monumental figure of the numbers cruncher Petrovna with a damn dozen forms (to fill in only by hand).
How to get rid of her? Introduce pilot projects on legal support of relocation by the state. Convene a round table with international companies and come up with a solution together. And immigration with obtaining a residence permit should be left to the employer company. Indeed, in terms of a fairly moderate cost of living and market wages in terms of purchasing power, Ukraine wins several times (or even tens of times) over Europe. So we are more than capable of attracting and retaining specialists interested in relocation. And this is good news.