Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, WNISEF and EDGE Sign Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding to Increase Export Capacities of Ukrainian Companies

KYIV, UKRAINE — December 12, 2016

Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine (MEDT), Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF) and Agriteam Canada Expert Deployment for Governance and Economic Growth Project (EDGE) signed the Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding to provide mutual assistance and join efforts to implement export promotion initiatives.

The purpose of the Memorandum is to consolidate efforts in increasing the Ukrainian exportcapacities by supporting the activity of the Export Promotion Office (EPO) within MEDT. The exportchallenges faced by Ukrainian companies reflect a combination of corporate resource constraints,environmental differences and foreign market entry and operating difficulties. Therefore, it isimportant for the government to assist companies to develop export activities. Western NISEnterprise Fund and the EDGE will provide consultations and financial support to export companies,coordination to designated initiatives in export promotion, as well as selected services to exporters.

Stepan Kubiv, First Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine,mentioned: “The signing of the Memorandum is an actual example of joint work, joint innovativereforms and modernization of the Ukrainian economy. The functioning of the Export Promotion Officeis the continuation of the promised reforms by the Government of Ukraine, which would beimpossible without technical assistance of WNISEF and EDGE, as well as ongoing work of the Ministryteam, that in a short time was able to show transformative results, and continues to work towardsthe development of Ukrainian export”.

A Steering Committee to ensure effective functioning of the Export Promotion Office will beestablished for better coordination and prompt resolution of operating issues of EPO.

Jaroslawa Johnson, President and CEO of Western NIS Enterprise Fund, said: “We believe thatsigning of this Memorandum today will help to coordinate our efforts in providing support toUkrainian exporters. SMEs have traditionally operated closely within the local economy or withintraditional export markets, and although firms now aspire to expand their businesses through exportsto new markets, many companies find this very challenging. We aim to provide valuable support sothat Ukrainian exporters attend numerous trade fairs, exhibitions and conferences in new markets toimprove their firm’s marketing intelligence and enhance their relationship with foreign distributors,among other activities”.

In 2015, Western NIS Enterprise Fund in cooperation with the Foundation for Support of Reforms inUkraine established an Export Promotion Office to increase export, assist Ukrainian companies inaccessing new markets, expand presence on existing markets, and promote Ukrainian products andbrands. Since its inception, the EPO has organized and took part in business forums and trademissions to USA, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, France, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Lithuania with over 2,200 people engaged; provided support to over 100 companies in 18 trade promotion events;has over 3500 active exporters in its database; engaged over 300 business into the government-tobusinessExport Promotion Council meetings; played a major role to help Ukraine improve and raiseits image as a welcoming potential business partner.The EPO is aimed to help the MEDT in development and implementation of export promotion policyand strengthening of strategic collaboration between private and public enterprises.

Tawnia Sanford Ammar, EDGE Project Field Director, said: “The EDGE project is supporting criticalreforms across the Ukrainian government. We have been working very closely with MEDT for over 2years, that has been consistently a leader of reforms. With Western NIS Enterprise Fund, wecollaborate on many initiatives, and already for over a year on export promotion, among others.Based on our previous experience we expect us to move forward as productively as we can to helpUkrainian exporters access new markets and improve Ukraine’s image abroad”.