Victor Yushchenko has met with Cargill Europe Executive Director Dave Rogers, who is also a member of Ukraine’s Foreign Investment Consultative Council, according to the President`s press-office.

They spoke about the country’s agricultural market, especially grain exports, prices and VAT rebates, as well as how to improve the investment climate and develop ties between government and business.

“Ukraine must become one of the leading players on the global agricultural market, particularly the grain market,” he said.

The President said the government must find alternative tools to regulate agricultural prices so that producers and traders should be able to sell their products abroad, where prices are considerably higher. He described administrative measures as ineffective, adding that the government did not see “the complex picture of how to manage the grain market” and so failed to liberalize prices.

Mr. Rogers said Cargill Europe, as well as many other companies operating in Ukraine, was worried about government interference. Grain export quotas imposed by the cabinet have a negative impact on producers, processors and traders, he complained.

“We would like to know the rules of the game and be informed of agricultural policies the government is going to carry out,” he said, adding that his company had sent proposals to the cabinet. He said Ukraine had enough grain to satisfy domestic demand.

The President promised to discuss the issue with Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych and expressed hopes the problem would be resolved.

He then asked Tax Administration Head Anatoly Brezvin to pay back USD 18 mln  to Cargill and resolve the VAT rebates issue. He said the problem disrupted our efforts to build effective cooperation with business and attract foreign investment. 

Mr. Rogers said his company planned to develop the local food processing industry.

First Deputy Secretariat Chief of Staff Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Deputy President of the Grain Association Ivan Miroshnichenko attended the meeting. 

Cargill, Incorporated is a privately held, multinational corporation, and is based in the state of Minnesota in the United States. It was founded in 1865, and has grown into the world`s second largest privately held corporation. Its business activities include purchasing, processing, and distributing grain and other agricultural commodities, and the manufacture and sale of livestock feed and ingredients for processed foods and pharmaceuticals. It also operates a large financial services arm, which manages financial risks in the commodity markets for the company.