February 22, 2006 - As it was announced on Friday, February 17, 2006 by Ukrainian mass media, and acknowledged by U.S. Commerce Deputy Secretary David Sampson in the Monday 20th release, Ukraine is now a market economy. Mr. Sampson made the announcement while in Kiev after his meeting with the Ukrainian government to discuss U.S.-Ukraine bilateral trade and investment relations. The status is recognized to be market one starting from February 1, 2006.

The decision was expected to be announced on January 23, 2006, but due to appointing a new U.S. Commerce Deputy Secretary the term was prolonged.

"I congratulate all Ukrainians for making positive changes and achieving market economy status. This determination reflects the impressive economic developments that have occurred in Ukraine over the past several years," said Sampson. "Today's announcement underscores our commitment to expanding our bilateral economic relationship that will lead our two countries to peace, prosperity and stronger commercial ties."

The conclusive details of this decision were discussed between President Bush and President Yushchenko on April 4, 2005 in Washington, D.C. while they both recognized the importance of Ukraine's integration into the world economy and WTO, and promoting investment and trade between the USA and Ukraine.

"We are committed to working together to achieve Ukraine's accession to the World Trade Organization," Sampson said. "As a member of WTO, Ukraine would become partners in an ever-expanding group of nations that favor democratic and free-market economic values. This would open up potentially vast opportunities for local businesses, and would attract major industrial players."

"We are making steady progress on our commercial agenda-to improve the business climate, expand market access and strengthen protection of intellectual property rights," he concluded.

It has become possible for Ukraine to be recognized as market economy due to mutual efforts of government of Ukraine, leading primary metals establishments of Ukraine as well as law offices. The Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, the Ministry of Industrial Policy of Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Trade Representative Office of Ukraine in Washington, D.C. have provided their comprehensive support for the market status conclusion.

Yet, this would have been extremely difficult if not supported by companies in Ukraine because government of Ukraine did not possess enough resources to allocate for lawyers, which is absolutely necessary for adopting a decision in such issues.

Such a support was initiated by Ukrainian Association of Iron and Steel Ventures (UkrAPchermet) which summoned the leading companies in Ukraine to sponsor this task. The legal backing was provided by the leading companies in merchant law Magistr & Partners, the law company, on Ukraine part and Wilmer Hale, the law company, on the USA part.

The driving impulse for the decision to be made was rendered by the Ukraine delegation visit in early December 2005. The delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Economy of Ukraine Valeriy Piatnitsky, and consisted of representatives of the leading metal works of Ukraine. When in Washington, D.C. the delegates met with congressmen, representatives of the White House, and US Department of Commerce. This visit aim was informing the US government authorities of the attitude of private businesses in Ukraine as well as clarification of the progress of the activities that the US Department of Commerce undertakes to recognize Ukraine as market economy.

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