No Turning Back on Free Market Reforms – Ukraine President

Ukraine is committed to building a modern, entrepreneurial economy of small and medium sized businesses and will never return to a Soviet-style command economy, President Petro Poroshenko said in Davos last week.

The official statement concluded a busy week at Ukraine House Davos, where Ukraine’s private sector showcased the vibrancy of the country’s business environment with panel discussions, cultural events and networking with the world’s business elite.

We will stick to the course of the reform, and I as president will do my best to make this progress irreversible. We want to build a healthy, Western-style economy, based on small and medium enterprises. We don’t want to go back to a Soviet-style economy.

Petro Poroshenko
President of Ukraine

During the week, Ukraine House Davos hosted a closed-door meeting of the National Investment Council of Ukraine led by the President with global CEOs representing over $1 trillion in capital. At this meeting, foreign investors endorsed the government’s reform program and committed to further investments in Ukraine, with investment deals worth over $370 million announced.

EBRD and Norway’s NBT signed a 350 million Euro financing memorandum with NBT announcing plans to invest US$1.5 billion over five years to create 1,000 MW capacity in wind farms in southern Ukraine.

This was followed by Horizon Capital announcing their new $200 million equity fund for Ukraine backed by blue-chip investors, which reached their hard cap, far in excess of the $150 million target.

This sends a strong signal to the market that Ukraine is an attractive investment destination.

Lenna Koszarny
Founding partner and CEO of Horizon Capital

Stakeholders declared Ukraine House Davos an unprecedented success, with more than 1,500 visitors on some days and an estimated total number of visitors in excess of 9,000, much greater than 5,000 visitors last year.

We hope what we are doing will open the eyes of other private investors to Ukraine.

Joar Viken
CEO of the Oslo-based renewable energy company

Ukraine is leaving the oligarchic, post-Soviet economic space, and is playing by world rules.

Roman Waschuk
Canada’s Ambassador to Ukraine

It is important that one of the panelists was Michael Collins, Chief Executive Officer at Invest Europe (former - EVCA) which is an umbrella organization for VC & PE funds and national private capital associations from all over the world. At the panel “Emerging Markets: Faster Growth or Fasten your Seatbelts?” the importance of the region was stressed.

Thus, Mr Collins highlighted several key points which are hard to dispute:

  • The Ukrainian market is too big to ignore it.
  • Investment attractiveness of Ukraine is growing every time: openness and readiness to develop encourage investors to enter the market.
  • Successful stories and case studies make out the best advertising for investors.
One of the big steps done in EU for empowering the region’s position (especially in comparison to USA) was the establishment of Pan-European Fund-of-funds. The framework of the fund of several billions aimed at providing capital to VC funds on the matching basis was worked out with the active support of Invest Europe. For Ukraine, we at UVCA see the establishment of Fund-of-fund as an essential instrument for the VC market in order to transition to the new stage. During the Q&A, I have invited Michael Collins to share the experience and help inspire our state authorities to further support this necessary step.

Olga Afanasyeva
Executive Director of UVCA

UkraineInvest, the government’s investment promotion agency, hosted a series of panels to discuss global business issues, moderated by UkraineInvest Chairman Daniel Bilak.

The panel “Making the Planet Great Again, Charging Ahead with Renewable Energy”, sponsored by TIU Canada, addressed the energy transition and the dramatic increase in investment in green power.

The “Whose Identity is it Anyway: Privacy in the Digital Age”, sponsored by the IT Association of Ukraine, addressed the ethics involved in the use of personal data by governments and corporates worldwide.

In the panel “Brains and Grains: Driving the 21st Century Global Economy”, sponsored by UFuture Investment Group, panellists analysed the factors driving economic growth including technology, entrepreneurship and creative industries.

The UkraineInvest day ended with a fireside chat with Vitaliy Klitschko, Mayor of Kyiv, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Co-Founder of Klitschko Foundation, and his brother Volodymyr Klitschko, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion and Co-Founder of Klitschko Foundation.

I am the bodyguard for every investor. For anyone who wants to invest in our home town, I am responsible to make great conditions to make a business and investments are safe because they have Klitschko bodyguards.

Vitaliy Klitschko
Mayor of Kyiv, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Co-Founder of Klitschko Foundation

Ukraine House Davos also played host to a fashion show by designer Yuliya Magdych, followed by a party sponsored by super-premium vodka brand Zirkova featuring artist Alina Pash and Lviv ethno-jazz band Shockolad.

Boho Beautiful, the global yoga sensation who has Ukrainian roots, gave an hour-long wellness class on Friday morning.

It’s a huge thing for Ukraine because we have representation of the international scale and the world gets to know more about Ukraine.

Daria Shapovalova
Leader in Ukraine’s fashion business and Founder of More Dash

About Ukraine House Davos

Ukraine House Davos is powered by co-organizers Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA), Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), Victor Pinchuk Foundation and Horizon Capital. Ukraine House Davos is proud of its all-female, five-member Organizing Committee of volunteers Svitlana Grytsenko (Victor Pinchuk Foundation), Jaroslawa Johnson (WNISEF), Lenna Koszarny (Horizon Capital), Olga Afanasyeva (UVCA) and Alexa Chopivsky (Ukraine House Davos).

In addition to the generous support of its Co-Organizers and Gold Sponsor Temerty Foundation, Panel Sponsors of Ukraine House Davos include BHFF, Business 100, EBS, Effective Investments LLC, First Generation Capital, Hillmont Partners, ICU, IT Ukraine Association, TA Ventures, TIU Canada and UFUTURE Investment Group.

Ukraine House Davos is supported by UkraineInvest, National Investment Council, Ukrainian World Congress, Aspen Institute, Aspen Institute Kyiv and the Atlantic Council.

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