Ukraine urges Russian business to invest

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KIEV, June 21 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine plans to create favorable conditions for foreign investments and urges Russian business to invest energetically in its economy, Anatoly Kinakh, Ukraine's first deputy prime minister, said today in Kiev.

The deputy premier was attending the first investment forum Ukraine-Russia 2005, which opened today. The participants in the forum, which RIA Novosti is supporting as an information sponsor, will discuss how to establish a favorable investment climate in Ukraine, including through incentives in the sphere of taxation, crediting and regulatory policy.

According to Kinakh, Ukraine and Russia have enormous potential for cooperation in the energy sphere, particularly in the nuclear power industry and hydrocarbon production, as well as in the aircraft and space industries.

In order to improve the investment climate, Ukraine must review about 1,500 legal documents regulating business and economic activity in the country. "Some of these documents were adopted immediately after World War II," he said.

Urging foreign business to invest proactively in the Ukrainian economy, Kinakh said it did not matter to Ukraine where the investment came from.

Ukraine is pinning great hopes on Russian investment. The country has received about $9 billion in direct investment since it gained independence in 1991. This is the lowest indicator in the Commonwealth of Independent States and western Europe. Kinakh said the share of Russian investment was only $511 million. "It does not reflect our potential, and the forum aims to change this situation," he said.

When commenting on Russian businessmen's fears about investing in Ukraine after recent comments about a possible revision of the Krivorozhstal steel mill's privatization, Kinakh said Ukraine would never revise the ownership of enterprises without a court ruling.

In turn, Viktor Chernomyrdin, Russia's ambassador in Ukraine, said the Ukrainian economy was "an attractive agent for long-term capital investment on the part of the Russian business," particularly in such sectors as manufacturing, engineering, the high-tech industry and the retail trade.

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