October 29, 2018
Mr. Deputy Prime Minister, members of the U.S. trade mission, distinguished guests: I am so pleased to welcome the U.S. Trade Mission to Ukraine – the first in 10 years! It’s organized by the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council and certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
This trade mission is a very positive signal.
It shows that U.S.-Ukraine commercial relations are strong and growing stronger.
And, more broadly, it shows that Ukraine is headed in the right direction.
More than four years after the Revolution of Dignity, Ukraine continues to pursue its vision of a modern, thriving market economy.
The government has implemented key economic and political reforms designed to stabilize the economy, modernize state-owned enterprises, and stem corruption.
To our friends in the Ukrainian government: Thank you for all your work to date and for your support for this mission!
I’d also just like to note and commend the Ukrainian Government on reaching agreement with the IMF on a financial support package, a key step towards ensuring Ukraine’s future economic stability and continued economic growth.
These kinds of steps lay the foundation for domestic and foreign investor confidence.
Of course, challenges remain, as they do in any country, but Ukraine is growing closer to realizing its economic vision.
U.S. companies are excited about the potential here and this mission is clear evidence of that.
And in the last year alone, we have witnessed important agreements with U.S. companies like GE, Xcoal, and Holtec.
These deals were a powerful signal of the importance of Ukraine’s markets, and I remain bullish on Ukraine’s tremendous long-term potential. Sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, IT, and energy are all ripe for further expansion.
And the 12 U.S. companies on this mission bring products, services, and solutions for three critical sectors in Ukraine: agriculture, energy, and infrastructure.
By bringing top-notch, state-of-the-art U.S. solutions to Ukraine, together we can increase efficiencies, adopt best practices, and unlock the potential of Ukraine’s economy.
These 12 companies represent a mix of small, medium, and large enterprises, and I am thrilled that they are here to see firsthand the opportunities and potential in Ukraine.
I’m also pleased to see so many members of the local business community and our friends and partners in the Ukrainian government here this morning.
This gathering is a reflection on all that has been accomplished and a vote of confidence in Ukraine’s future.
Members of the local business community, you know very well that with challenges come rewards. I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to explore ways to partner with these companies going forward.
We applaud our government partners as they continue down the reform path and refuse to let the practices of the old Ukraine weigh down and halt the momentum of the new Ukraine.
In closing, I’d note again that a thriving, dynamic economy is critical to Ukraine’s stability, prosperity, and independence and to attract in foreign interest and investment.
Let’s work together to create new business opportunities in Ukraine and help both of our nations realize the potential of our commercial ties. I think that’s in the interest of both of our nations.
We look forward to celebrating new commercial agreements in the not-too-distant future and I look forward to raising a glass of champagne to that!
So thank you very much; I wish you really many fruitful discussions both in the public setting as well as the private one.