Introductory Remarks by Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko at the Meeting with OECD Ambassadors


Paris, 22 April 2015

Dear Secretary-General,

Your Excellencies,

Thank you for this opportunity to speak before you today.

I am delighted that my first visit to the OECD Headquarters coincides with a milestone in relations between Ukraine and the OECD – signing of the Joint Action Plan.

I believe that realization of this Action Plan will assist Ukraine in advancing the reforms process and will help to bring our country to the OECD standards.

Ambassadors, I would like to use this opportunity to thank your governments for their support in strengthening the European and Transatlantic unity as well as for the global solidarity with Ukraine.

I sincerely hope that this unity and solidarity will continue until the territorial integrity and peace in my country are restored.

I would like to specially thank the OECD Council for its Statement of March 12, 2014 with a decision to strengthen the cooperation with Ukraine, as well as to postpone activities related to accession of the Russian Federation to the OECD.

This came across as a very important signal of support to my country, which day to day, for more than a year, fights against the Russian aggression.

Still amid this struggle and immense economic challenges, Ukraine puts a great priority on reforms.

Ukraine’s broad reforms agenda is embedded in Strategy 2020 and largely stems from Ukraine-EU Association Agreement and our Coalition Agreement.

The practical implementation of the reforms was launched right after Ukraine has undergone the full-scale political reset including free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections last year.

Swift coalition and the new government formation in late 2014 demonstrated a solid political unity and democratic commitment that are necessary for comprehensive reforms.

I am grateful for the support of the OECD and its member countries to our reform agenda. I reiterate my country’s commitment to international cooperation and the adoption of best global standards for improving our policies and our people’s lives.

Combating corruption is among our top tasks and we have already produced some concrete deliverables on this track.

On the President's initiative, the Parliament has recently passed five crucial laws that address the corruption problem.

The recently established National Anti-Corruption Bureau was designed according to the best international standards.

The new Director has been appointed by my Decree last week following the transparent gradual selection process out of 176 candidates.

The Bureau is set to work to restore confidence in the Ukrainian public sector and in the country in the eyes of foreign investors.

The constitutional reform is considered as fundamental track to facilitate and encourage other important transformation efforts.

Healthy judiciary system is key for attracting investors. And Ukraine is improving it through recent adoption and implementation of laws in compliance with EU and Council of Europe standards

We significantly updated Tax Code in order to establish effective control over transfer pricing, introduce transparent administration of taxes and easy-to-follow tax rules.

Good governance and the reform of civil service are also well on track. The laws harmonised with the EU standards on civil service, namely the local self-governance drafts are submitted to the Parliament.

The banking sector reform is key to restore trust and viability of the Ukrainian financial system. For this purpose the Parliament supported the reform package that envisages recapitalization and restructuring of the national banking sector.

We significantly improved the system of public procurement based on the principles of transparency, non-discrimination and bidders competition. The introduction of electronic public procurement system is successfully launched.

Decentralization is another key effort to lay down sustainable conditions for eliminating regional disparities, improving conditions for SMEs and providing cluster opportunities.

The Concept of Local Governance Reform and territorial organization of powers in Ukraine were approved to more administration tools to local communities.

We pay one of top priorities to Energy sector reform, and overall energy diversification and energy efficiency policies.

We stand ready to tackle long-standing structural problems such as increasing energy tariffs and unbundling of Naftogaz SOE in line with Energy Community commitments.

In our reforms implementation the Ukrainian government sets for engagement of the world’s best practices, and this is where we want to benefit from the OECD knowledge.

We look forward to involve an expertise, as offered by the OECD Council Statement on March 12 last year, to put in place sustainable mechanisms that will ensure Ukraine’s economic recovery and steady growth.

In the light of our todays tasks we would be grateful if the OECD continues providing its expertise, namely in the fields of:

- governance of the state-owned enterprises;

- tax and financial control policy;

- institutional capacity building and education;

- competition and SME policy;

- improving competitiveness;

We are determined to complete the necessary peer reviews to adhere to the OECD Declaration on International Investments and Multinational Enterprises, as well as to the Anti-Bribery Convention.

Application of these OECD instruments will highly contribute to Ukraine’s investments attractiveness and therefore to prosperity of one of EU’s largest partners.

Your Excellencies,

In my brief introduction I tried to outline our efforts on the most pressing issues of our reform agenda.

As you can see, this agenda falls well in the scope of the Memorandum of Understanding on Strengthening Cooperation between the Government of Ukraine and the OECD, signed in Paris on 7 October 2014, as well as our newly signed Action Plan.

We express our gratitude to the OECD Secretariat for the efforts in search of financial support for implementation of our projects, as well as to Member countries for their financial contribution and active involvement.

I would like to stress that strong, competitive Ukraine will contribute to the European and global economic growth. And I invite the OECD with its knowledge to work on this task together.

And I would like to conclude by expressing a belief in my nation. I am sure there is no alternative to the reforms path. And I know that we will get to a day when the transformed Ukraine will be able to enter the OECD community.