I would like to thank A7 Conferences for an invitation to speak and for their effort in organizing this important and timely event in the New York City.
Series of trade and investment conferences together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Dentons with support of many other companies and institutions bring together a number of brilliant experts, representatives of government and public sector to discuss investment opportunities in Ukraine.
It is notably that these conferences were launched in Canada and will continue in New York, Houston and San Francisco – these are the places where we see the most interesting opportunities for business with Ukraine.
This effort indeed reinforces Ukraine’s relations with the United States. We are in close dialog with the new Administration on a wide range of issues of our strategic partnership. Two very productive telephone calls between President Poroshenko and President Trump, a meeting with Vice President Pence, a number of meetings held by Minister Klimkin and National Investment Council Secretary Lozhkin, have set a solid ground for continuous fostering of our bilateral relations with the new U.S. Administration.
Please excuse me for not joining you in person. Today Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin, Minister of Finance Oleksandr Danyliuk, Deputy Head of Presidential Administration Dmytro Shymkiv are in Washington DC to fill our future agenda on issues of security, economic cooperation and support to Ukraine’s continuous reforms.
Ukraine today is a country of growth and opportunities despite its ongoing fearless fight against Russian aggression. And our joint mission is to open Ukraine for the American investors, to boost our trade and economic cooperation and to bring the best Western business practices to our country.
Here I have to stress that leading American companies are already working in Ukraine and demonstrating promising results, planning to extend presence on Ukrainian market.
I will not be giving you detailed overview of Ukraine’s investment opportunities, as I’m confident that the following speakers will provide brilliant outlook on that. Instead I would like to underline that here, in the United States we are feeling strong support as well as true interest for more productive engagement of American companies.
We have promising projects in energy sphere, agriculture, infrastructure; leading American companies are interested to develop production cooperation in aviation, automobile industry; show their readiness to include our industry in global supply chains and to deploy their research and development centres in Ukraine.
Special attention is paid to US-Ukraine cooperation in Hi-Tech and IT sphere. I would like to mention that last year export of Ukrainian services to the United States exceeded export of goods almost in 1.5 times, while export of IT related services was 1.4 times of export of steel and metal and has a great prospect for further growth. Here we see a great shift in our economy – we are transforming ourselves from supplier of low added value products to exporter of Hi-Tech innovative solutions.
Also, I would like to mention that American market has an outstanding potential for Ukrainian exporters. Yes, it is difficult to enter this market as it is extremely competitive, but it is open for Ukrainian exporters. We’ve already granted together with our partners from the US Trade Representative Office preferential trade regime for Ukrainian producers and we are continuing our joint effort to create even better access to the US market.
We see close and fruitful US-Ukraine economic cooperation as one of our top priorities. On daily bases, we are encouraging American companies to invest in Ukraine and at the same time we are working on improving conditions for foreign investors in Ukraine.
Last year together with the US Department of Commerce we’ve developed and launched implementation of the US-Ukraine Roadmap: Suggestions for Business Climate Improvements addressing, among other, issues of the Intellectual Property Protection, anti-corruption measures, the rule of law, Value-added Tax administration, gas extraction royalty rates and deregulation. These are practical steps which I’m confident will help to create even better business environment in Ukraine for attracting foreign investments.
I’ll be frank with you – a lot should be done during this year, but I’m truly confident, that together with our international partners we will build a truly new European Ukraine. And I believe that a strong, democratic and economically vibrant Ukraine will be a favorable destination for foreign investors.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me wish you a very fruitful discussion and all the success for your business with Ukraine.