Ihor Prasolov: “We are cautiously optimistic. I think we will find a solution to the issues we are discussing with IMF”
KYIV, March 04, 2013 — Dragon Capital’s 9th Annual Ukraine Investor Conference held on February 27-28 brought together senior Ukrainian economic and political figures, business leaders as well as representatives of international financial organizations based in the country for discussing urgent political and macroeconomic issues.
Below please find highlights from the opening speech delivered by Economy and Trade Minister Igor Prasolov.
- Mr. Prasolov said the government was “fully aware of the benefits of cooperation with the IMF” and, later during a Q&A session, added he personally was “reasonably optimistic” the sides will reach understanding on the IMF’s outstanding requirements concerning gas tariff hikes, exchange rate flexibility and fiscal deficit and sign a new loan deal. He confirmed an IMF mission would return to Kyiv towards the end of March.
- Mentioning the government’s recent oil and gas exploration tenders won by global majors Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron, Mr. Prasolov said the government would continue to attract foreign investors for unconventional oil and gas exploration while further developing renewable energy production, namely solar and wind power capacity.
- Speaking on the prospects for signing an association and free trade agreement with the EU this year, Mr. Prasolov said it was a priority for the government to meet the EU’s outstanding conditions to make sure the sides can sign the treaty at the EU’s Eastern Partnership summit in November. At the same time, he said the authorities did not want Ukraine’s prospective closer integration with the EU to undermine the country’s relations with Russia and were looking for a satisfactory compromise.
- Mr. Prasolov also highlighted the authorities’ newly drafted reform program for 2013-14 (which a special government meeting approved yesterday). He said the program was broadly aimed at stimulating exports, fostering import substitution and expanding domestic demand through targeted investments, to be financed by the state, private capital and borrowings from IFIs and facilitated by additional measures to improve the business climate.
About Annual Investor Conference
During the nine years of its existence, Dragon Capital’s Investor Conference was a landmark event, which raises topical issues and makes public statements of the Ukrainian government. This format allows the international investment funds and banks that are willing to invest in Ukraine, to get answers to their questions from the top officials.
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