February 24, 2016

Remarks by Ambassador Pyatt at the Signing Ceremony for the Cargill – MV Cargo Grain Terminal

Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine

AMBASSADOR PYATT:  Dobroho ranku.  Prime Minister, Andreas, Martin, I’d like to begin by offering my warmest congratulations on today’s event and this accomplishment.  Today’s agreement is a vote of confidence in the Ukrainian government, and in particular in those who have led the charge for reform in this cabinet. 

I’d like to in particular congratulate Minister Pivovarsky, Minister Pavlenko, and Minister Jaresko for all the work that today’s signature represents.

As the Prime Minister noted, this Yuzhniy project is exactly the kind of headline investment that we were talking about when the Prime Minister was with Vice President Biden and Secretary of Commerce Pritzker in Washington, D.C. in July. 

This investment of up to $100 million by Cargill will increase Ukraine’s grain handling capacity, will increase the ability of Cargill to facilitate Ukraine’s exports toward markets, and will create hundreds of new jobs.

But I am confident also, and I know that Minister Pivovarsky and Minister Pavlenko will agree, that this should only be the start.  Ukraine is already one of the world’s great agricultural producers, but it should be an agricultural superpower. 

It has more than a quarter of the world’s black soil.  And Ukraine’s agricultural exports, which last year exceeded $14.5 billion, already accounted for 40 percent of your export revenue.  But those numbers can easily be doubled.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past three years visiting agricultural facilities meeting with American agricultural companies.  In fact, one of the very first visits that I did in this country was to Dnipropetrovsk to the Oleina Bunge oilseed processing facility there.  And I think I have a pretty clear idea of what American agricultural companies are now looking for. 

They are looking for a Ukrainian government that demonstrates a clear and unambiguous commitment to the path of reform.  They are looking for a Rada who demonstrates a clear willingness to uphold Ukraine’s commitments to the IMF. 

They are looking for a government and a presidency that demonstrates a clear commitment to continued progress on the rule of law, to include the critical issue of anticorruption reform.

This Ukrainian government has already demonstrated real progress on some of these critical requirements, to include clear and transparent regulatory systems, and a transparent, fair and equally applied system of VAT refunds.

So let me just conclude by saying that I am confident that continued reform and the demonstrated commitment of people like the ministers who are here today will ensure that today’s success story is repeated, and that this goal of developing Ukraine as an agricultural superpower is more within reach today than it ever has been before. 

And again, let me offer my warmest congratulations to my friends and colleagues from Cargill.  I know how hard you have worked to make today possible, and very much look forward to seeing the Yuzhniy Port modernization fully implemented.  Dyakuyu.

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Published by

U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC)
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