Dear Honored and Distinguished Guests!
I welcome you at the “Ukraine’s European Vector: Impact on Business” conference hosted in London by the Concorde Capital investment bank.
I thank you for this honourable opportunity to address you. I believe that this conference will broaden your investment horizons in Eastern Europe and will suggest the new opportunities for your business. Those of you, who are familiar with Ukraine, may find a reset button to renew your knowledge about the Ukrainian markets and re-invent the perspectives in light of historic events of the last eight months. The now famous Euro-Maidan protest, where I am proud to have participated, has proven to the world that the Ukrainian people belong to the European family. The Ukrainians showed that they share the same values of democracy, freedom, solidarity and aspire to the good governance, rule of law and justice.
Just a week ago, I engaged in a historic event for my country in completing the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement by signing its free trade part. Now I am responsible for ensuring that Ukraine’s European choice becomes a permanent reality, rather than a brief illusion.
The signing of this Agreement is merely a first step. We have enormous potential in our agriculture and food industries and we hope that the Agreement, and the deregulation that we are bringing to the sector, will serve to unlock it. Other promising sectors are machinery, infrastructure, IT and energy, including shale gas, which need new markets, new opportunities and investments.
Our government is set to fulfill a wide range of political and economic reforms to turn investment in Ukraine into a positive experience with fewer risks. Among these efforts there will be attempts to deal with corruption, deregulation of business, judiciary reform as well as reforms in law enforcement.
We have already taken steps to stabilize our public finances, having secured financial support from the IMF, the EU and the U.S., and further steps are planned to improve the stability and efficiency of the banking system. You will hear more details on this from newly appointed Chairwoman of the Central Bank of Ukraine, Valeria Gontareva, who will address you today.
We are all engaged in serious efforts to put Ukraine among the most interesting and prospective emerging markets in the European region.
Now reforms aren’t something that can be postponed - we have to produce results today. Ukraine has received a chance to modernize the country and bring real reforms to the benefit of our citizens, business and investors, and we simply can’t afford to lose it. And, as President of Ukraine, I am committed to do my best to use this opportunity to its fullest. And I am confident that all the reforms in the pipeline will improve the investment climate in Ukraine, so right now you have a unique opportunity to be the first to get in.
So I encourage you to make the most of this conference, get the answers to all your questions and concerns and establish the relationships that can lead to valuable opportunities in the future. And I welcome you to Ukraine. A new Ukraine that you’ve never seen before.