Ukraine is interested in active cooperation with the Japanese business, President Viktor Yanukovych said today in Tokyo, while delivering a speech at the Ukrainian-Japanese business forum held at the Japan Business Federation headquarters.
President Yanukovych invited representatives of the Japanese business to intensify cooperation with Ukraine in various areas. "I have high hopes that the interest of Japanese business in Ukraine will be growing steadily," Viktor Yanukovych said, noting that our country is currently through the phase of active economic development.
President Yanukovych reminded that according to the oriental calendar, year 2011 should bring harmony, openness and stability. "I hope these qualities will mark our bilateral relations in the near future," he said.
He stressed that Ukraine is through the process of improving the investment climate and creating attractive conditions for investors. According to Viktor Yanukovych, the basis of national policy in relations with partners now is the principle of fairness.
"We have ambitious plans and we are committed to realizing them," he said, adding that in the medium term Ukraine aims to become one of the twenty most developed countries of the world.
“We believe in our own strength and potential of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people," he said. The first steps have already been made, he said, and they are encouraging.
Viktor Yanukovych reminded that in 2010, the economic growth in our country was about 5%, with the industrial production increase of 10,6%. "We expect an even more rapid GDP growth this year," he said.
He also reminded that last year, international credit ratings of Ukraine have grown a few times and cooperation with the IMF has resumed. "In terms of 2010 results, we have reached all the "beacons" that we had put in our bilateral relations 100%," Viktor Yanukovych said.
Among main principle of economic development of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych called the modernization of national economy and sound fiscal pragmatism. The President stressed that the Government of Ukraine faces "tough but realistic requirements" to reduce tax burden on businesses and permit system. Viktor Yanukovych also stressed that the approved program of economic reforms until 2014 foresees ensuring macroeconomic stability, increasing social standards, improving business climate, and modernization of basic sectors of the economy.
Separately President stressed that Ukraine is interested in signing the Agreement on Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investment with Japan. "We are considering the possibility of signing the Agreement on Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investment with Japan ... I hope that this agreement will be signed as soon as possible," Viktor Yanukovych stressed, reminding that Ukraine has already signed similar documents with 71 countries.
The President noted that Ukraine continues to actively work on improving the investment climate. The Council of Domestic and Foreign Investors has been established and its staff will be approved soon. "Representatives of Japanese business have expressed their interest in working within this mechanism of cooperation between state authorities and entrepreneurs," Viktor Yanukovych said.
President Yanukovych noted that the share of Japanese investment in Ukraine does still remain low and is about 0,3% of the total foreign investment. He said that he understands such a cautious attitude towards Ukraine. "But I have come to tell you that political and economic stability has been present in Ukraine for a year now, and the trend will only continue... I would you to know that Ukraine is and will be a reliable partner. Our principle is reliability and respect for interests of our partners," Viktor Yanukovych said.
He urged Japanese businessmen to forget those times when the word "Ukraine" was synonymous to political turmoil. Today, Viktor Yanukovych said, our state has a strong, democratically elected government, which managed to show in less than one year that has not only the plans to develop the country, but also the strength to realize them.
Speaking about cooperation with Japan, Viktor Yanukovych noted that this year Ukraine is to implement most of the energy saving projects in the framework of funds received from Japan under the Kyoto Protocol. "We are ready to present these projects to Japan – they are being successfully implemented in Ukraine already now," he said, stressing that Ukraine is well aware that successful implementation of these projects is among the priority areas of economic cooperation with Japan, and is very important in terms of strengthening confidence in our country as a reliable investment partner.
Ukraine also is interested in cooperation with the Japanese side on projects to provide it with its own energy resources. "We invite you to join us in the implementation of such projects,” Viktor Yanukovych said, adding that it relates to modernization of Ukrainian thermal power plants, building plants to manufacture solar panels and wind turbines with their further installation on the territory of Ukraine and our neighbors, etc.
Besides, he said, Ukraine is interested in the experience of Japan in building transport infrastructure. He said that this area of cooperation is particularly relevant in the context of our preparation for the finals of Euro 2012.
Yet another promising area of cooperation President Yanukovych called the agriculture.
"Ukraine is open for dialogue with the Japanese business at all levels," Viktor Yanukovych stressed.