President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė took part in the work of the Ukrainian-Lithuanian Business Forum. The Head of the Ukrainian State informed about the changes, the introduced reforms in Ukraine and the investment prospects for Lithuanian businessmen.
The President reminded that the visa-free regime with the EU had started working for Ukrainians and the Free Trade Area was functioning. According to him, the trade turnover between Ukraine and Lithuania has increased by 45% in the first three quarters. He also stressed that in recent years the commodity nomenclature of trade had expanded considerably.
Petro Poroshenko added that in 2013-2014, 86% of Lithuanian exports to Ukraine had accounted for petroleum products, and this year more than 60% of bilateral trade is attributed to products of food, chemical, woodworking, electrical industries, various products of machine building, agricultural products, etc. "The lion's share is Lithuanian SMEs that we are waiting for. They were the first to come, because they know it's the right time and place to do business," he said.
The Head of State also reminded that Ukraine had risen in the Doing business rating from the 153 to the 76 position over the past 3.5 years, and it is determined to continue progress. He thanked Lithuanian partners for the help and consultations of advisers on the implementation of the best European practices.
The Head of State noted the successful work of Lithuanian enterprises. He gave an example of work on the Ukrainian market of BT Invest, which has built 16 large supermarkets in the Novus network in Ukraine since the beginning of Russian aggression. In addition, the Lithuanian company CJSC Pontem works in Ukraine, which has established a system of high-quality food in schools of Ukraine in the last 2 years.
According to him, there are interesting joint projects in the field of renewable energy, in particular, the Lithuanian company BOD Group contributes to the establishment of the production of photovoltaic panels for solar power plants in Kherson.
"It is important that the Lithuanian business sees the prospects for the development of the Ukrainian economy. Taking this opportunity, I would like to appeal to the representatives of Lithuanian companies in this hall. Today, Ukraine needs your support, determination and courage. The Rubicon was passed - the Association Agreement and the visa-free regime, reforms in Ukraine are the final farewell to the Soviet Union. We will not go back there and the reforms are irreversible. Please, come. We are waiting for you in Ukraine," the President stressed. He praised that the Ukrainian and Lithuanian businesses created an important instrument of cooperation - the Ukrainian-Lithuanian Business Council, which is an effective mechanism for providing support to specific Ukrainian and Lithuanian companies.
The President is hopeful that today's forum will result in new ideas, projects, agreements and investments in Ukraine.