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Business to continue to operate in Ukraine even if military invasion happens – EBA survey.

Among 136 company executives surveyed by the European Business Association, some 45% of companies are ready to continue operating even in the event of a Russian military invasion of Ukraine, another 17% of companies consider the relocation to the western regions, some 10% think of leaving the country in the worst-case scenario, while 7% fear that external aggression may lead to the closure of their business.

"A quarter of the EBA member companies see the situation on eastern borders as a psychological attack through disinformation in the media. Meanwhile, the majority, namely 67%, believe that Ukraine and the international community should stay alert," the EBA said in a press release on Friday following results of the survey conducted among member companies on January 24 to January 27.

However, some 40% of EBA member companies have their contingency plans, some 40% think of preparing ones, and 15% are currently without any plans. Companies note the difficulties of plan preparation as there are too many potential scenarios to be considered.

Most of the companies with "plan B" formed it with consideration of the following priorities: the first is providing safety for people (employees, their families and customers), the second is the security of assets, documents, data, financial stability, while the third is ensuring the viability of the company and business continuity.

With regard to the safety of people, companies are considering relocation, evacuation, information and support, the association said.

Common plans for the preservation of assets include the physical protection of property and equipment or its relocation to other regions, strengthening information security, withdrawal of funds, and insurance, the EBA said.

Some 58% of companies plan to retain their team, while for 14% this is not even a question, they continue to hire and develop people. Only 14% say they will resort to laying off some employees or sending them on unpaid leave, while 4% think of reducing the salaries, according to the survey data.

"We also asked companies what factors will be most important for their business in the case of an emergency. For most respondents (91%), it is a stable operation of the infrastructure which includes telecommunications, financial, ground-based logistics. Meanwhile, 62% consider it important to have constant communication and enough information from country leaders. For 60%, the most essential is to have a smooth and coordinated work of state agencies and services," the EBA said.

The association urged the authorities to pay attention to these aspects that can heavily impact business operations at a critical moment.

"Also communicate more with companies because this is what helps to reduce misinformation and tension" the EBA said.

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