3 Dec 2019 23:05

Zelensky promises Ukrainians cheap loans to start business in attempt to stop people leaving the country

KYIV. Dec 3 (Interfax) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced a launch of the new state program dubbed 'Come Back and Stay'.

"Dear Ukrainians, I said during my swearing-in ceremony that there are 65 million of us Ukrainians across the globe, and our country badly needs you, your knowledge, your talents and mental values. We very much want you to come home. We also want to see those who have unfortunately given up in despair and are planning to leave Ukraine stay here," Zelensky said in a video address on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

Affordable loans for those who wish to start or expand their own business will be the first step under this program, the Ukrainian president said.

"The loan amount will be 1.5 million hryvni for 5 years. There will be the following interest rates: 5% for an existing or new business that will create at least two jobs, 7% for a new or existing business with revenues below 25 million hryvni that creates no jobs, but if you hire a new employee, the rate will be cut by 0.5% with every new worker hired; and 9% for anyone presently working with revenues from 25 to 50 million hryvni, who wishes to expand their business," Zelensky said.

Detailed information about conditions and mechanisms to facilitate the program and about its further stages will be available soon, he said.

"We have a lot more interesting ideas. If you've been dreaming of opening your own coffee shop, or car service, or barber shop, or wishing to expand your convenience store, cheese dairy or furniture factory, basically, any kind of business, please do come back and stay [...] Let's build a successful and flourishing Ukraine. And let's do it together!" Zelensky said.

Zelensky, who took office of Ukrainian president on May 20 this year, promised Ukrainian citizenship to all ethnic Ukrainians across the globe willing to work for the benefit of the nation.