On 28 April the International Support for Ukraine Conference was held in Kyiv. Senior representatives of international community visited Kyiv to participate in the conference, including officials from the UN, OECD and EU. Heads of Governments from more than 50 countries (including the G7) were in attendance along with representatives from the global investment and business community. The composition of the conference allowed participants to discuss key challenges on the highest level.
Natalie Jaresko, the Minister of Finance, addressed the international community during a panel discussion “Business Climate and Investment Opportunities in Ukraine”. She told the audience about the steps the Government of Ukraine is taking to stabilize the country's macro-economic situation, create the conditions for a return to growth and establish favorable conditions for investors in Ukraine.
According to the Minister of Finance, fully reforming the economy is a crucial step on the path to flourishing and prosperous Ukraine. Specifically, the Minister emphasized that reforms in the fields of taxation, oil & gas regulation, and banking were of utmost importance.
In her speech, Natalie Jaresko stressed that fundamental changes in the legal, administrative and financial sectors are needed for any pre-established reforms to create a business environment free from corruption and fraud. However, she noted that significant progress has already been made.
“We are starting a fresh holistic review of our tax policies to encourage both domestic and foreign businesses to invest in Ukraine again. The goal of our fiscal reform is to broaden the tax base and to ensure that the fiscal burden is shared fairly. This way we will be able to fulfill public fiscal needs and at the same time provide a favorable investment climate and business-friendly tax system,” she explained.
Also, the new electronic VAT system has been introduced in Ukraine to increase transparency and reduce fraud. To improve taxation of the oil & gas industry, a special working committee was created with the goal of preparing and submitting the necessary amendments to Parliament by July 1. “I know the current system has raised concerns among international investors. Our goal is to introduce a new, competitive taxation approach that will be both fiscally sound and investor-friendly and will encourage increasing our energy independence. We are not afraid to learn from our own mistakes" said Jaresko.
Natalie Jaresko said, according to her own experience in the private sector, that the Ukrainian market can be a challenging place for investments, but it is filled with promise and boundless in opportunities for success.
“Until a few months ago I myself was an investor, and I fully understand that the Ukrainian market can be a challenging place for investment. My country is facing a very serious economic situation, and we are not out of the woods yet. But Ukrainian assets are undervalued. Successful investors with a counter-cyclical mindset will know that the best opportunities present themselves in situations like the one we are facing today.” -Natalie Jaresko
Jaresko further explained that the depreciation of hryvnia, Ukraine's currency, has driven Ukrainian exports to new strengths. Three sectors of the economy are particularly benefiting from this situation: agriculture, IT and small manufacturing.
In her speech Jaresko urged participants of the conference to act now and assured them that the Government is doing everything possible to create favorable conditions for investors, who want to work in Ukraine.