US-Ukraine Trade and Investment Council Met for Seventh Time
The seventh meeting of the United States – Ukraine Trade and Investment Council (TIC) was held in Kyiv, Ukraine, earlier this month. Ukraine’s First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade Stepan Kubiv and Assistant US Trade Representative for Europe and the Middle East L. Daniel Mullaney co-hosted the meeting.
The purpose of the meeting was to deepen the bilateral trade and investment relationship between the countries, according to a joint statement released by Kubiv and Mullaney. “Ukraine continues to take important steps to reform its economy and strengthen its business and investment environment,” the statement said.
Ukraine and the United States signed the United States-Ukraine Trade and Investment Cooperation Agreement (TICA) in 2008, after Ukraine’s accession to the World Trade Organization. The TICA established the TIC as the primary intergovernmental mechanism for discussion of trade and investment relations between the two countries.
The meeting opened with presentations from representatives of the business sector, which emphasized the need for government and businesses to create partnerships based on common objectives. Ukraine also described efforts to expand and diversify its exports.
The delegations also reviewed Ukraine’s efforts to improve the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). “We recognize the importance of adequate IPR protection to stimulate and protect innovation,” the joint statement said.
The US welcomed Ukraine’s efforts to reform its tax system and customs procedures. Modernization of the tax and customs authorities is a crucial sign of Ukraine’s intent to strengthen its business environment, according to the US position.
In the second part of the meeting, the delegations explored steps to eliminate trade barriers between the two countries. “Both delegations stressed the need to continue engagement at the technical expert level to generate a better understanding of Ukraine’s reforms,” the statement said, “and to ensure the development of a regulatory regime consistent with Ukraine’s international obligations.”
The next discussion revolved around Ukraine’s current and future privatization process, as well as Ukraine’s efforts to improve the investment environment in the energy sector. The US urged Ukraine to continue on that path, “noting that improved predictability and transparency in the economy benefited both domestic and foreign businesses.”
Both countries acknowledged the progress made during the discussions and that much work remains. The next TIC meeting will be held in Washington, DC in 2018.