The Kharkiv section of the Ukrainian Information Resistance (Informatsiynyi Sprotyv) has compiled a list of travel guidelines that foreign ministries of Western countries, many of them key business partners, issue with regard to traveling to the Kharkiv region, and made projections on how this may impact international business.
The Revolution of Dignity and the war in the East of the country have created seismic change in how the region relates to its export and import links. Sharing a border with Russia, Kharkiv region had exported to Russia on a large scale. While redirecting flows for certain groups of products, such as crops and food, is easy enough, one can’t simply find internal customers for hi-tech products or industrial machines. Should local manufacturers channel their produce westward, they need to innovate and conform to European standards – this is an area where foreign investment is very welcome.
And when it comes to foreign investment, few factors are as significant as safety. While seeking to make a profit in an economy that is anyhow prone to high risk levels, investors will look for signs that both their people and their assets are safe. Therefore, the fact that countries such as Canada and Australia recommend that citizens abstain from non-essential travel to the Kharkiv region, is to be regarded with utmost alarm, and attended to, by regional authorities. It highlights the importance of detecting, prosecuting, and above all preventing criminal activity, including terrorism, and combating any manifestations of xenophobia in this dynamic, promising and largely safe city.