Ukraine, World Bank to broaden ties

17:23, 25 March 2008
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WB Vice-President meets with Ukrainian officials

Today Vice Prime Minister for European and International Integration Hryhoriy Nemyrya held a meeting with World Bank Vice-President for Europe and Central Asia Region Shigeo Katsu, according to the government’s press-office.

The sides have discussed issues on bilateral cooperation, in particular, in the energy security, agriculture, power industry, opportunity of simplifying procedures of cooperation between Ukraine and the World Bank and Eurointegration aspirations of Ukraine.

“Government of Ukraine appreciates sincere and open relations between Ukraine and the Bank,” Hryhoriy Nemyrya said.

The World Bank grants aid to Ukraine over 15 years through investments to the priority projects of development and by granting efficient advisory-consultative aid. During this period the Bank has proposed to Ukraine resources to the sum of above 5,3 billion USD (3,77 billion USD of which have been used at the present) that makes about 34% of sum total of the IFO financial resources over this period.

“We are granting this aid to You with pleasure and we are grateful for Your concrete proposals on the priorities of analytic support of the Bank,” Shigeo Katsu stated.

The Vice Prime Minister also told about the Government’s measures aimed at stabilization of the macroeconomic situation in the country and reforms which the new Government of Yulia Tymoshenko intends to carry out.

The Vice Premier emphasized the importance of attracting the World Bank to the process of preparing Ukraine for the creation of a free trade area (fta) between Ukraine and the EU.

“Tymoshenko’s Government considers FTA with EU as one of the important instruments of updating the Ukrainian economy,” Hryhoriy Nemyrya stated. FTA will allow not only increasing commodity turnover with the EU but, first of all, overcoming nontariff restrictions and introducing transparent and comprehensible game rules for business in Ukraine”.

The Vice Prime Minister has proposed three cooperation priorities between the Bank experts and Government, namely, on determining a list of the EU norms and rules obligatory for introduction within the framework of FTA with EU; analysis of experience of other countries concerning conclusion of agreements on free trade and adaptation and introduction of the related EU norms; and sector study of the FTA’s influence on separate economic sectors of Ukraine.

Hryhoriy Nemyrya also made a request to the World Bank to consider an opportunity of coordination of actions and measures of the international donor community on helping Ukraine in preparation for negotiations on free trade area with the EU. Mr. Katsu expressed readiness of the World Bank to grant aid for implementation of these priorities.

The sides have also discussed issues on agriculture in the context of free trade area with the EU. According to Shigeo Katsu, lifting of moratorium on sale of agricultural land is extremely important for the future development of this sector and full use of its potential under conditions of the world food crisis.

The meeting also concerned a scheduled visit of Managing Director of the World Bank Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to Ukraine in spring this year.

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