American Chamber of Commerce
The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine began operations in Ukraine in 1992.
At that time the U.S. Ambassador, Roman Popadyuk, called the founding meeting which then led to creating what is now the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine (“Chamber”). The main purpose of the Chamber, at that time, was to gather the international business community and provide them with a networking and informational platform. As the internationally oriented business community grew in size and its needs expanded the American Chamber of Commerce responded by adding value added benefits and services to the portfolio.
Mr. Ihor Figlus was the first Executive Director of the Chamber and Mr. Bohdan Kupych first President. (Mr. I. Nicholas Labenskyj was the Chambers first Treasurer).
In 1998 Mr. Jorge Zukoski took over as the leader of the American Chamber of Commerce. At that point of time the Chamber united around 150 companies with mostly American investments. In 1998 Ukraine’s economy was negatively impacted by the Russian ruble crisis but despite the downturn remained an attractive investment destination and more and more strategic and institutional investors entered the market as the economy started to recover. During this time the Chamber expanded their reach by accepting companies into the Membership that were not only of American parentage building a strong reputation as an umbrella organization representing the interests of the international business community operating in Ukraine while at the same time helping to establish a culture of western style lobbying.
Where are we now?
The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine (“Chamber”) is among the most active and effective non-government, non-profit business organizations operating in Ukraine. The Chamber is an apolitical organization and does not endorse or align with any single political party or personality but instead strives to work across party lines for the benefit of the internationally oriented business community and ultimately the Ukrainian economy. One of the Chamber’s principal activities is to represent the foreign investment community as well as to facilitate the entrance of potential new investors into this market.
The Chamber advocates on behalf of the Membership not only to the Ukrainian government, but also to all other governments, which are economic partners of Ukraine, on matters of trade, commerce, and economic reform. The Member organizations of the Chamber represent capital from over 50 nations across the globe including Europe, North America, Asia, Russia and Ukraine and are the largest strategic and institutional investors operating in Ukraine who have committed a majority of the foreign direct investment into this market and directly employ hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians providing them with exposure to international best practices and the opportunity to develop into real leading managers. Chamber Member companies bring international expertise and business knowledge to Ukraine are among the largest taxpayers in Ukraine and strive to be good corporate citizens.
Advocacy and Lobbying
The Chamber is an active and engaged Member of the Investors Council under the Prime Minister of Ukraine, the Foreign Investment Advisory Council under the President of Ukraine as well as participant of the Working Groups under both organizations. Also, the Chamber continues to serve as a proactive Member of a wide variety of Public Councils, Expert Groups within the Ukrainian Ministries, the State Committees and Committees of the Ukrainian Parliament.
Among the value-added Chamber Membership benefits offered to Member companies and affiliated diplomatic missions and donor community include but are not limited to:
- effective and proactive Advocacy and Lobbying Activities;
- access and involvement in Chamber Committees and Working Groups;
- value-added contacts and stratified business Networking;
- informative publications; wide variety of socially oriented and family focused events and activities;
- streamlined Express Business Visa Services;
- a money saving Member 2 Member Discount Program;
- continuously expanding Gourmet Club, etc.
Since 1992 the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine has enjoyed a stable and successful history of close cooperation with the United States embassy in Ukraine as well as various governmental agencies in Washington D.C. The Chamber was pleased to support and host the first visit of a U.S. Secretary of Commerce to independent Ukraine in June of 2008. During the visit, Secretary Carlos Gutierrez met with the Chamber Board of Directors and Membership further highlighting the commitment of Washington D.C. to the business community operating in Ukraine.
The Chamber also has strong links in Brussels working closely with colleagues at the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU as well as relevant departments and individuals within the European Commission working to positively influence EU policy that impacts Ukraine.
American Chamber of Commerce represents socially responsible business
Corporate Social Responsibly remains one of the key priorities of the Chamber.The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine lent a helping hand in response to the flooding in Western Ukraine in August 2008 that killed many and displaced even more Ukrainians by reaching out to the Chamber Membership to solicit funds and donations of desperately needed goods and services. The Chamber established a Disaster Relief Fund and all money donated into that fund were disbursed under the guidance and recommendations of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine through the International Red Cross Society.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine's Mission
- Unite leading organizations in Ukraine, irrespective of national origin, around common principles.
- Provide an effective platform for networking, information sharing and achieving common goals.
- Advocate for a business environment governed by the fair and transparent application of the rule of law to enable private enterprises to flourish.
- Provide access to information, resources, contacts and business support services to facilitate new investment.
- The leading voice of the internationally oriented business community in Ukraine, which provides superior value and does not compromise in our values of providing excellence to our Members and external stakeholders.
- A respected, influential and sought-after interlocutor to Ukrainian authorities, diplomatic and donor communities on business, investment, and economic issues.
- An indispensable partner of the business community, providing assistance to new investors and innovative value added benefits to Members as well as maintaining an effective forum for networking and sharing information.
- Increasing Ukraine’s Competitiveness
- EURO 2012 as an important stimulus for large scale investment and infrastructure development
- Energy independence utilizing internal resources as well as stimulating energy efficiency