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Ukraine has been losing jobs, income, taxes and investment for 10 years

The Cabinet of Ministers of the government of Ukraine late Friday afternoon, July 17th, passed the last Cabinet resolution needed for settlement of the long-standing political risk insurance claim by...

The Cabinet of Ministers of the government of Ukraine late Friday afternoon, July 17th, passed the last Cabinet resolution needed for settlement of the long-standing political risk insurance claim by the U.S. Government`s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) which has caused OPIC`s business development and investments programs to be closed for Ukraine for several years.

 

The U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) was informed about the passage of the resolution by Dr. Hryhoriy Nemyria, Vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and International Integration, who has been leading the Ukraine government`s efforts to resolve the long standing OPIC issue on behalf of the Tymoshenko government.  VPM Nemyria was able to get the Ministries of Defense, Finance, and Economy to come to an agreement about a settlement.

 

"The members of USUBC who need to utilize OPIC`s programs in order to invest in Ukraine or expand their investments in Ukraine are very pleased by the action by the Cabinet of Ministers of Friday and most appreciative of the support from PM Yulia Tymoshenko and VPM Dr. Hryhoriy Nemyria," said Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer, who serves as President of USUBC."

 

"Hopefully the action Friday by the Cabinet of Ministers will pave the way so the last details and agreements can be worked out and signed very soon.  Maybe some announcement about the progress to get OPIC open for business in Ukraine can be made during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden`s historic trip to Ukraine this week.  U.S. VP Joe Biden arrives in Ukraine on today and leaves early afternoon on July 22nd to go on to Georgia," Williams said.  It has been reported there are over $500 million in proposed current projects on file at OPIC for Ukraine. 

 

FIRST PROGRESS SINCE APRIL

The government of Ukraine made real progress in April, 2009 on resolving the long-standing claim (which has been going on for ten years) of the U.S. Government`s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). 

 

This major problem continues to cause Ukraine to lose thousands of much needed jobs, tens of millions in income and taxes, during these most difficult economic times.  Hundreds of millions in potential U.S. investments are being held up because OPIC is still closed for Ukraine.

 

PM TYMOSHENKO, VPM NEMYRIA, AMB TAYLOR AND COUNSELOR KLEIN

VPM Hryhoriy Nemyria has been working closely with PM Yulia Tymoshenko, U.S. Ambassador William Taylor (before his tour of duty as Ambassador was completed in late May) and with William Klein, Deputy Counselor for Economics at the U.S. Embassy (before his tour of duty was completed in early July) since January of 2008 to resolve the OPIC issue. 

 

U.S. Ambassador William Taylor and Deputy Counselor for Economics, William Klein, had several key meetings with PM Yulia Tymoshenko and VPM Hryhoriy Nemyria in April and May about the OPIC issue. These meetings produced very positive results and the OPIC issue was moved forward. VPM Nemyria also met personally with USUBC president Williams and William Klein in Kyiv on April 13th about the OPIC matter. 

 

The U.S-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) had a working luncheon meeting with VPM Hryhoriy Nemyria in Washington on April 24th, 2009.  The VPM reported to members of USUBC about a resolution passed by the Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday, April 15, 2009, that would move the OPIC issue closer to resolution.  Nemyria said that a private business entity in Ukraine was appointed on Friday, April 17th to implement the Cabinet of Ministers resolution. 

 

CABINET OF MINISTERS RESOLUTION OF APRIL 15

VPM Hryhoriy Nemyria personally led the effort which resulted in a resolution by Ukraine`s Cabinet of Ministers dated Wednesday, April 15, 2009.  The Defense Ministry and the Economy Ministry were instructed to appoint an institution to provide for the implementation of a memorandum of mutual understanding laying the grounds for the return of Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to Ukraine. The memorandum was signed by the governments of Ukraine and the United States on November 10, 2008.

 

One of the top issues for the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) for the past several years has been that all the outstanding economic and business development programs of the U.S. government`s Overseas Private  Investment Corporation (OPIC) have been closed for Ukraine (http://www.opic.gov). 

The claim came as the result of OPIC paying a political risk insurance claim to a U.S. business that invested in Ukraine in the early 1990`s.

 

Such settlements of claims between government are rather normal in the international community of nations when government backed political risk insurance programs pay out claims. Governments usually settled such claims rather quickly, but this has not happened in the case of Ukraine. 

 

WIN-WIN FOR UKRAINE AND FOR U.S.

Settling the OPIC program is a win-win for Ukraine and the U.S. USUBC urges both governments to keep working together to move this issue to final completion now.

 U.S.-Ukraine Business Council

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