On 23 October, 600 business representatives and entrepreneurs from Germany and Ukraine gathered in Berlin for a high‑ranking business and investment conference. The conference, entitled “Business Partner Ukraine”, was held at the House of German Business in Berlin and was opened by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. In the course of the event it was agreed that Germany would open a German Chamber of Commerce in Kyiv.
The goal of the business summit was to promote German-Ukrainian business relations as a further sign of solidarity with Ukraine and to investigate possibilities for more trade and investment. Other Ukrainian government ministers attended the conference alongside Ukraine’s Prime Minister, including Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.
Agreement to establish a German Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine
One specific outcome of the investor conference was the signing of an agreement on establishing a German Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine. The current Delegate Office of German Industry and Commerce will thus be upgraded to a fully fledged German Chamber of Commerce Abroad. This constitutes a major step towards improving advisory and investment conditions for German enterprises in Ukraine. For the German side the agreement was signed by State Secretaries Ederer from the Federal Foreign Office and Machnig from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The signatory for the Ukrainian side was the Minister of Economic Development and Trade Abromavičius.
“Germany is willing to provide comprehensive support”
In an address to the business summit participants, Andreas Michaelis, Political Director of the Federal Foreign Office, underscored the fact that Ukraine faces challenges of historic proportions, involving the modernisation of state, business and society. He stressed that Germany and the international community were standing firmly alongside Ukraine and were willing to provide comprehensive support. He said that in turn the Ukrainian Government had reiterated its readiness to implement far‑reaching reforms and societal renewal.
“Our ‘pact for a new Ukraine’ is this: comprehensive support in return for energetic reforms, political and economic promotion in return for good governance and decisive efforts to combat corruption,” Michaelis explained, adding that Ukraine had agreed this with the international community at the International Support for Ukraine Conference in April this year. He went on to say that Germany’s support was also provided within this framework.