“Open for Business” at the U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum
In regions around the world near or vulnerable to violent conflict, instability can often be exacerbated by a lack of private sector investment. The governments of the United States and Ukraine have been working together to mitigate this risk in the face of recent conflict in the eastern part of that country. This week they hosted the U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum to underscore that Ukraine is Open for Business.
Held at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the forum featured Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, as well as government leaders and private sector business representatives.
“To date, this is the first-ever investment summit between Ukraine and the U.S. American people stand by the Ukrainian people,” said Prime Minister Yatsensuk. “We truly commend the efforts of the U.S. Administration and the White House, the Senate, to support Ukrainian people in our fight for our bright future.”
OPIC Chief of Staff John Morton spoke about U.S. development finance efforts in Ukraine and described the unique financing and insurance tools OPIC can offer U.S. private investors seeking new opportunities in Ukraine. OPIC loans, investment guaranties and political risk insurance are available to support new projects in Ukraine in agriculture, energy, increased business lending and other development-focused growth sectors.
Since the 1990s, OPIC has committed nearly $600 million across these sectors to investors working in Ukraine, and OPIC’s interest to support U.S.-connected private investment continues unabated today, with a robust pipeline of potential new projects. The message from Morton and OPIC representatives in attendance was clear: “OPIC is open for business in Ukraine.”
The most recent OPIC project in Ukraine was a $7.8 million guaranty to expand Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) lending by MegaBank, which is headquartered in Kharkiv in Ukraine’s east and operates branches throughout the country. The OPIC guaranty, part of a continuing partnership with Megabank, will support new loans to SMEs across Ukraine, fostering bottom-up economic growth and increased stability.