Welcome to the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council

By Morgan Williams, SigmaBleyzer
President, U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) Washington, D.C.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

WASHINGTON - U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, William Taylor, met with fifty-five members and guests of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council
(USUBC) at a working luncheon/roundtable on Monday, August 20th, in Washington.

Ambassador Taylor brought some opening remarks and then answered a series of questions regarding business, economic and political issues raised by those at the luncheon.

Ukraine's Ambassador to the United States, Oleh Shamshur, also attending the meeting, brought some remarks and participated in the question and answer/roundtable discussion session.

Issues discussed at the luncheon/roundtable included: Ukraine's accession to the WTO; Decree 31 which sets caps on gas prices; U.S.
OPIC's continued closure for Ukraine; preventing corporate raidership; accelerating VAT tax refunds; repealing grain export restrictions; private land purchases as of January 1, 2008; business corruption; judicial reform; intellectual property rights violations; Millennium Challenge Corporation program for Ukraine; need for a new economic/civil code; creating nuclear waste storage facilities in Ukraine; creating an alternative source of nuclear fuel; lack of energy conservation programs; the current governmental and political climate and the upcoming Parliamentary elections.

The U.S.-Ukraine Business Council announced it has doubled its membership in 2007 and now has forty-five members. The Council expects to have sixty members by the end of the year.

Company and organizations who had representatives at the luncheon
included: Ukrainian-American Environmental Association; Cisco Systems; Vanco Energy Company; Heritage Foundation; Rand Corporation; Bunge North America; Bracewell & Guiliani, LLP; International Monetary Fund; Marathon Oil Corporation; The Coca-Cola Company; Heller & Rosenblatt; Bechtel Corporation; U.S. Civilian Research & Development Foundation; Westinghouse; Emerging Markets Group, Ltd; Open World Leadership, Library of Congress; U.S. Department of State; PBN Company; Russian- Ukrainian Legal Group; International Environmental Trading Group; Boeing Company; Deere & Company; Center for Strategic and International Studies; SASI; U.S.-Ukraine Foundation; Vital Voices Global Partnership; SigmaBleyzer Private Equity Group; Lockheed Martin; Cargill; Global Trade Development and Access International.

Ambassador Taylor returned to Ukraine on Wednesday to be in Kyiv for the 16th Independence Day Celebration on Friday, August 24th.