President H.E. Volodymyr Zelenskyy rings bell at NYSE to signify Ukraine is open for business

Advantage Ukraine initiative will drive foreign direct investment

NEW YORK – Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy virtually rang the Opening Bell of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, inviting businesses around the world to invest in the future of Ukraine.

The President’s appearance marked the launch of Advantage Ukraine, an initiative focused on attracting future investment into the country by showcasing the breadth of opportunity across sectors including agriculture, technology, education and the creative industries as well as the tremendous potential offered by the country’s natural resources and educated workforce.

To drive engagement with potential investors, the government of Ukraine has today launched a portal featuring hundreds of growth opportunities and highlighting existing and future incentives to attract foreign direct investment. Ukraine is already a leader in the science and technology sectors and poised to grow, offering a well-educated, English-speaking workforce with in-demand STEM capabilities. Today, Ukraine has more graduates with degrees in technology than any other European country, and has 240,000 citizens employed in the IT sector which is forecast to increase to 450,000 by 2024. Additionally, Ukraine leads among CEE countries in R&D activities and IT outsourcing.

President H.E. Volodymyr Zelenskyy said: “Even as we strive to secure our freedom and deliver relief to our proud people, I am urgently planning a prosperous future for Ukraine. The Advantage Ukraine program asks foreign investors and companies who have the vision and courage to join us, and we will match the world’s best companies with superior growth opportunities. Bold businesses who see the potential in our country will both help to realize the economic potential of Ukraine while benefitting from untapped growth opportunities.”

The $400+bn in investment options featured on span across public private partnerships, privatization and private ventures. A USAID-supported project team of investment bankers and researchers appointed by Ukraine’s Ministry of Economy will work with businesses interested in investing.

Lynn Martin, President of NYSE Group, said: “As the largest exchange globally, we stand for freedom, investor protection and unfettered access to capital. We are pleased to welcome President Zelenskyy virtually to the NYSE bell podium, a symbol of the freedom and opportunity our U.S. capital markets have enabled around the globe. We are honored the President has chosen the NYSE to mark the kickoff of Advantage Ukraine and engage with the world’s business community.”

To create a safe, transparent environment for business engagement, Ukraine is actively pursuing investment guarantees from both the G7 and European Union, reforming the country’s tax system, and establishing a legal framework. The country has already adopted rules and legislations to allow companies to build a transparent corporate structure, attract foreign investment more easily, and use additional mechanisms to protect intangible assets. Favorable conditions will make it possible to establish Ukraine as the most powerful IT hub in Central and Eastern Europe, and to quickly and effectively implement innovative business ideas.

Mark Read, CEO, WPP, said: “With a thriving technology sector and renowned creative industries, Ukraine has the potential to grow into a global center of innovation. At WPP, we are excited by the growth possibilities that Ukraine presents across many of the sectors represented by our client base, and the opportunities for the private sector to play a pivotal role in re-building the country’s economy.”

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said: “I was humbled by the resilience and talent of the Ukrainian startup founders I met while visiting Google’s campus in Warsaw earlier this year. As we continue to help support Ukraine through our platforms and tools — and counter dangerous misinformation online — it’s important that we also support Ukrainian businesses working to sustain and grow their economy. I commend President Zelenskyy on the launch of Advantage Ukraine and the positive vision it lays out for Ukraine’s economic future.” 

Brad Smith, President and Vice Chair, Microsoft Corporation, said: “Ukraine offers tremendous talent and expertise to companies looking to invest in technology. It’s why Microsoft has invested more than $200m over the past five years and why we are excited about the digital transformation Ukraine’s technology sector will deliver.”

Dr. Lori Esposito Murray, President, The Committee for Economic Development, the public policy center of the Conference Board, comprised of chief executive officers and key executives of leading U.S. companies, said: “The Committee for Economic Development (CED), which is committed to the goal of sustaining capitalism, commends the efforts of President Zelensky, the Ukrainian government, and global business leaders to ensure foreign direct investment in Ukraine, as the country strives to unleash its economic talent and rebuild for an independent and prosperous future. CED’s mission since its founding in 1942, has been to help plot a course for prosperity based on the principles of a rules based, free market, economic order and democratic institutions – including leading the establishment of the Marshall Plan, which facilitated the redevelopment of Europe following the devastation of World War II and establishing a stable global financial system with the Bretton Woods Agreement. As Ukraine looks to establish the necessary conditions for investment, the public and private sectors have a critical opportunity to work together to create sustainable economic growth, which we actively support.”

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