FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk issued the following statement regarding the outcomes of the first-ever U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum. Co-hosted by the Department of Commerce and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the forum gathered high-level government and business leaders from both countries to discuss Ukraine’s economic reform agenda and opportunities to improve trade and investment between our two countries.
“It was with great satisfaction that we joined more than 150 senior Ukrainian and American business and government executives, including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Ukrainian Ministers of Agriculture, Economic Development and Trade, Finance and Infrastructure at the U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum in Washington D.C on July 13th. During the event, we joined productive discussions on Ukraine’s economic reform efforts and pledged to work collaboratively to create opportunities for bilateral trade and investment that will ensure a democratic and prosperous Ukraine.
While the Government of Ukraine continues to face Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine and Russian occupation of Crimea, it has already undertaken key reforms to enhance competition, reduce corruption and strengthen the rule of law. At the Forum, leading business participants welcomed the ambitious scale and pace of these reforms and offered additional concrete recommendations to further improve Ukraine’s business climate. They also emphasized the constructive role the U.S. and Ukrainian business communities can play in supporting Ukraine’s integration with the European and global economy.
As part of our mutual goal to grow economic ties, and as a follow-up to the Forum, the U.S. and Ukraine pledge to build support for and execute priority reforms to promote business competition and entrepreneurship based on the rule of law; expand the scope of dialogues between government and business focused on increasing growth in the agribusiness, energy, pharmaceutical and other key sectors; and continue to strengthen bilateral diplomacy in support of these objectives, including a planned visit by Secretary Pritzker to Kyiv in October 2015.
The Government of Ukraine commits to taking concrete and meaningful steps towards the full implementation of gas sector reform; strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights to reflect Ukraine’s commitment to its artistic and innovative sectors; and accelerating efforts to accede to the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement. During Secretary Pritzker’s October visit, she intends to highlight Ukraine’s success in implementing these reforms. Over the next twelve months, the Government of Ukraine also committed to develop and adopt an updated and modern tax code that ensures business growth and make concrete progress on the fair and transparent privatization process of state-owned enterprises.
The Department of Commerce is committed to working with the Government of Ukraine to ensure that the U.S. business community is fully informed of the above reform steps through an ongoing series of webinars, seminars, and fora with leading U.S. executives.
The U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum, organized by our governments and by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, showcased the vital interest the U.S. government and business community have in supporting Ukraine’s success. All participants agreed that Ukraine is open for business and committed to transforming and modernizing its economy.”