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American Chamber of Commerce continues to fight for transparent business in Ukraine and protect investors’ rights

American Chamber of Commerce continues to fight for transparent business in Ukraine and protect investors’ rights

Kyiv, Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Implementing rule of law, securing investment and property rights, and establishing a level playing field are among the 10 Priorities for Ukraine's Post-War Economic Recovery developed by the experts of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine (AmCham Ukraine).

Protection of investors' rights is at the top of AmCham Ukraine's agenda, particularly since the onset of the full-fledged invasion when business continuity, economic security, high-quality job creation, and furthering Ukraine's ongoing resilience is truly a national security priority. This is important now to achieve victory, as well as to set the stage for the biggest economic opportunity since WWII. This will only increase and gain momentum in the months and years ahead thanks to the companies that believe in Ukraine, continue to operate and invest despite Russia's full-scale war.

Since May 2020, AmCham has provided steadfast support for the establishment of the Office for Protection of Investors' Rights, led by Oleksiy Boniuk, within the Office of the Prosecutor General (PGO) of Ukraine, spearheaded by Dmytro Verbytskyi, Deputy Prosecutor General. It is imperative that during this period of reform, investors committed to Ukraine may be assured of the country's commitment to fairness, transparency, a level playing field, and protection of investor rights. Alongside AmCham President Andy Hunder's efforts, AmCham Ukraine leadership – Chair of AmCham Ukraine Board of Directors, Lenna Koszarny, AmCham Vice President Tetyana Prokopchuk, and AmCham members met with representatives of the Prosecutor General's Office to review the results achieved since the launch of joint work and identify key priorities for 2024 regarding the protection of investors’ rights.

The key metrics since the beginning of AmCham's cooperation with the Office for the Protection of Investors’ Rights within the PGO are the following:

  • AmCham has brought forward 57 cases from its members – 37 cases regarding pressure on business and 20 cases where businesses have suffered and seek justice;
  • As of today, safeguarding of investors' rights has been established in 31 cases, and in 16 cases, significant progress made representing the maximum extent of support that may be provided, including cases that have been referred to the relevant court or escalated to an appropriate responsible agency. This totals to 47 of 57 cases or 82% of cases referred where the situation has been fully addressed or eased substantially;
  • Of the 31 cases, 24 cases relate to pressure on business and 7 cases are where companies have suffered;
  • Of the 16 cases that have received maximum support and are now moved to a court or relevant agency, 6 cases relate to pressure on business, while 10 cases were companies that have suffered.

"We are determined to take concrete steps and actions so that business in Ukraine works at full capacity, contributes to Ukraine's ongoing resilience and development, and provides resources for the country's brave defenders to continue their heroic defense of Ukraine. We are ready to continue to provide a fair, transparent and professional platform to address cases raised by companies committed to openness, transparency, and rule of law, in the format of constructive discussion and evaluation of underlying facts," stated Dmytro Verbytskyi, Deputy Prosecutor General.

"Ukraine continues on its path of transformation in rule of law, fairness, transparency, and level playing field, ascending twelve places in the 2023 edition of Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index - one of the best achievements globally. In addition, in March 2023, for the first time since modern-day Ukraine's independence in 1991, the country was removed from the list of states where structural changes are taking place that destroy anti-corruption or those where the state of anti-corruption is deemed «globally unsatisfactory» by The Council of Europe Anti-Corruption Body, the Group of States against Corruption (GRECO). Throughout this crucial process of reform, it is imperative that the country's law-abiding top taxpayers – many of whom are among our 600+ members who have invested over $50 billion in Ukraine – have a platform to turn to in instances where they believe protection of their rights as investors is at issue. We appreciate the cooperation with Mr. Verbytskyi, Mr. Boniuk, and their teams, and the strong results achieved", said Lenna Koszarny, Chair, AmCham Ukraine Board of Directors.

"After the Department for Investment Protection of the Office of the Prosecutor General began to lead the pre-trial investigation in the criminal case regarding the ACP complaint, there has been a marked improvement in the prospect of bringing to criminal responsibility the beneficial owners of GNT, who illegally dissipated $200 million of assets from the group that borrowed $100 million from US creditors. This department is key to demonstrating Ukraine's ability to protect investors' rights", commented John Patton, Managing Director of London Office, Argentem Creek Partners.

A notable and very successful example of the cooperation of AmCham's member companies and experts with the Prosecutor General's Office is the joint work to reduce the scope, nature, and extent of businesses operating in the shadow economy. Specifically, success has been achieved in the field of prevention and the fight against the falsification of medicines in Ukraine. Since 2019 and until today, the Prosecutor General's Office, in cooperation with the AmCham, has been effectively coordinating the efforts of pre-trial investigation agencies aimed at identifying, investigating, and submitting to the court case materials related to the sale to patients in Ukraine and abroad of falsified oncological, antiviral drugs, drugs for the treatment of rare diseases. At this time, the materials of 2 massive pre-trial investigations have been submitted to the court, according to which those accused of falsification face life imprisonment. Currently, pre-trial investigation is underway in 4 other cases.

AmCham Ukraine values strong cooperation and ongoing dialogue with the PGO and the Office for the Protection of Investors' Rights and is in the process of expanding this dialogue to other enforcement agencies in Ukraine.

According to the AmCham survey, investors see business expansion as Ukraine's greatest post-war investment opportunity, but security and rule of law are key.

About the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine:

The American Chamber of Commerce is Ukraine's leading international business association that has been serving 600+ members in Ukraine since 1992, delivering the shared voice of best-in-class US, international, and Ukrainian companies, who invested over $50 billion in Ukraine and remain committed to the country.

Contact person: Olga Turkevych, AmCham Ukraine Communications Coordinator, oturkevych@chamber.ua.

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