U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk issued the following statement
regarding discussions on October 26th in Kyiv to accelerate economic reform and
increase the U.S.-Ukrainian bilateral trade and investment.
spirit of the close partnership between our two countries, we continued our
fruitful dialogue on Ukraine’s ambitious economic reform efforts and the
important role of the American private sector to increase business ties with
Ukraine. Both sides noted with satisfaction the U.S. announcement of the Obama
Administration’s intention to work with Congress to move forward with a third
$1 billion loan guarantee designed to support progress on Ukraine’s
anti-corruption and economic reform agenda. This new support builds upon two
previous $1 billion U.S. loan guarantees and nearly $570 million in U.S.
security, technical, and programmatic assistance provided since February 2014.
Both sides affirmed that meeting all of Ukraine’s commitments in its
International Monetary Fund program is essential to both near-term economic
recovery and long-term economic growth.
Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine and the occupation and attempted
annexation of Crimea, the IMF supported reform progress continues. In the last
year, Ukraine has doubled its foreign currency reserves to more than $12
billion and signs of economic stabilization are emerging. Ukraine has also
taken active steps to create a Business Ombudsman, pursued deregulation through
a decrease in licensing and permitting and has launched an electronic VAT
reimbursement system to improve tax administration. The Ukrainian side
including the President, the Parliament and the Government confirmed its strong
commitment to continued economic reforms.
States will remain a full and committed partner in this effort. Recognizing the
importance of private investment to Ukraine’s long-term prosperity, we were
pleased that six high-level executives from the U.S. financial, technology,
agricultural, and energy sectors joined our meetings to provide private sector
views as to how Ukraine can retain and attract American private sector capital.
During a meeting hosted by President Petro Poroshenko
and an Executive Business Roundtable hosted by Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and his
economic cabinet, the leaders of Cargill, Citibank, Dupont,
Honeywell, NCH, and Westinghouse expressed their views on broad, overall reform
measures that can further improve the business climate and attract more foreign
direct investment to Ukraine. The U.S. Executive Business Roundtable was
organized by the Government of Ukraine and demonstrated the importance of a
strong public-private partnership in support of Ukraine’s courageous and
essential economic reform efforts. Deeper and accelerated economic reform will
ensure Ukraine's success as a modern European state with a flourishing economy
led by the private sector.
As a result
of our consultations, both sides developed a roadmap featuring several
short-term, actionable steps that will further increase business confidence and
attract private capital. Both sides underscored the urgency of such steps and
the importance of actions by both Ukrainian government officials and the Rada to deepen said reforms. With the support of the United
States, Ukraine will intensify anti-corruption efforts through reforms in the
Prosecutor General’s Office and implementation of judicial reform; improve tax
administration to ensure a level playing field for all companies; reduce gas royalty
rates to encourage investment by world class firms; continue deregulation and
eliminate unnecessary licensing and permitting; approve and implement
anti-piracy legislation to support intellectual property rights; fully execute
an e-procurement system and complete accession to the World Trade
Organization’s Government Procurement Agreement. Ukraine also underscored its
commitment to move forward on putting in place agricultural standards that will
attract investment; development and implementation of a thoughtful and
transparent privatization plan that provides genuine opportunities for
international investors; and civil service reform.
Department of Commerce continues to work with the Government of Ukraine to
ensure that the U.S. business community is fully informed of Ukraine’s progress
in implementing these critical reform priorities. We built on the success of
the July 2015 U.S. – Ukraine Business Forum in Washington, a joint effort
of the Department and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce which attracted more than
150 leading U.S. and Ukrainian private and public sector officials. Through
conferences, webinars, seminars, and other fora with
leading U.S. executives, the Department of Commerce will continue to strengthen
U.S. - Ukrainian business ties. The Department of Commerce will also continue
to provide Ukraine with technical assistance on intellectual property rights
protection, government procurement and trade facilitation.
conclusion of our October 26th consultations, both sides agreed that while much
work remains, Ukraine is pressing forward on reforms that will help it
modernize, integrate more fully with the global economy, and create the broad
based prosperity the Ukrainian people want and deserve.