Lancaster House, London
Ladies and gentlemen, Ukraine is today a nation on the road to transformation.
As recently as 2013 EBRD encountered obstacles and obstructionism at every turn.
We had stopped investing in the public sector and our private sector clients were operating in the most hostile of environments.
Since then the landscape has shifted, radically.
The government has acted decisively.
It has pursued the reforms required to undo years of half measures, missteps and neglect of its economy, governance and business climate.
The foundations have now been laid for sustainable and robust economic growth.
Macroeconomic stability and economic growth have returned.
Both the banking and energy sectors are being reformed at pace.
The situation with public procurement bears no comparison with that previously.
And there is corporate governance reform in Naftogaz which, I trust, will be a model for other state owned enterprises.
Yes, reform is not always linear. It is always tough. But remember the context just a few years ago.
A state, a private sector and the media controlled by those who equated national interest with personal again.
It requires really courageous leadership to reform and modernise against that context. And that is the leadership the President, Prime Minister and his government have provided.
- The EBRD’s role
What has been EBRD’s role as a partner in Ukraine’s road to transformation?
Our commitment to Ukraine is substantial.
We are the largest single investor in the country.
The cumulative figure over 25 years stands at just under €12 billion, but nearly €3 billion in the last 3 years.
Signs of our activity are everywhere in the country and touch many sectors.
Within the last year we have opened new offices in Kharkiv and Odessa, to add to those in Kiev and Lviv.
We are particularly proud of our role in helping to create the Business Ombudsman Council, a vital mechanism by which the private sector can register its complaints about unjust treatment at the hands of the authorities.
And I would also highlight the way we devised the idea and championed the setting up of the Reform Support teams.
They can do a lot to help the civil service with the further implementation of reforms.
- The way forward
Ladies and gentlemen, if Ukraine is to enjoy the economic transition that it is really capable of, the remaining barriers to investment need to be dismantled.
Ukraine needs to consolidate the rule of law and respect for property rights, indeed everything that advances the struggle against corruption.
The achievements so far need to be built on, among them strict bank supervision, discipline in the field of monetary policy, and continued momentum for change at Naftogaz.
And the reforms still to come include much needed changes at state enterprises and state-owned banks.
And, of course, successful privatisations would whet the appetite of investors for more Ukraine action.
And land reform - a big price - could unlock huge amounts of further funding for agribusiness.
Ladies and gentlemen, three years ago I pledged the EBRD’s continued support for the new Ukraine and its people.
Our commitment to Ukraine is not one that is here today, gone tomorrow, I said.
I am more than happy to renew that pledge in front of this audience this morning.
The EBRD and Ukraine’s many other friends will, I am sure, continue to do their utmost to help the country progress towards a better tomorrow.
Thank you very much.