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We are now witnessing the rapid development of trends that emerged before the global COVID-19 pandemic. The global crisis did not destroy them, but forced them to move faster. Which of them will Ukrainians have to live with? What advantages will Ukraine find for its further development? What will those who have resources need to invest in? Which niches will be the most promising? Who and how should you work with? 

All participants of the Ukrainian Economic Renaissance Forum sought answers to these questions, including representatives of international donor organizations, investment banks, embassies, Ukrainian and international chambers of commerce, financiers, investors, economists, entrepreneurs, managers and business owners, public figures, well-known representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora.

The Renaissance Forum was organized by the Ukrainian Cooperative Federation, which is holding its second investment forum in 2020. The first event took place in March this year on the island of Tenerife (Spain).

The organizers of these two forums aimed to start constructive discussions and exchange of experiences that will lead to further economic development and lead to real change in society. 

The Lviv Business School of the Ukrainian Catholic University, one of the leaders in business education in Ukraine, which is an example of a successful startup and attracting foreign investment, became a partner in the organization of the Ukrainian Economic Renaissance Forum. 

The forum began with welcoming speeches by Borys Hudziak, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the UGCC, the President of the Ukrainian Catholic University, and with congratulations from the initiator of the forum, the President of the Ukrainian Cooperative Federation Mykhailo Korylkevych, and the President of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce Hennadii Chyzhykov. 

Is it possible to invest in Ukraine during the war? 

This topic was discussed by the participants of the panel discussion “Ukrainian economy in the global context. Ukraine – North America. Partnership prospects and economic context”. Participants in the discussion were Roman Vashchuk, Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine (2014-2019), Emma Turos, Executive Director of the Canadian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, Andrii Hunder, the President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, Khrystyna Havrylyshyn, co-founder of the Havrylyshyn Family Foundation, member of the Lundin Foundation Supervisory Board (Vancouver).

The discussion was moderated by Vasyl Myroshnychenko, partner of CFC Big Ideas, co-founder of the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center.
During the discussion of Canadian-Ukrainian trade relations, it was noted that many export items closed to Ukrainian producers in the EU have the opportunity to sell to Canada. These are honey, juice and food concentrates, etc.

However, from the point of view of economy, the greatest enemy of Ukraine is itself, - Roman Vashchuk made that disappointing conclusions. "The constant desire to cheat, abandon someone is a huge moral burden that burdens the business..." - he said. 

It is difficult to disagree with these words. We all remember that over the past five years, Ukraine has received humanitarian, financial, political, and military support from Canada… And already in 2020, Ukraine did not vote for Canada in the election of non-permanent members of the UN Security Council. Canada just did not have exactly one, "Ukrainian" vote to get into the Security Council, and this vote came as a shock to all supporters of Ukrainian-Canadian cooperation.

Andy Hunder pointed out that in recent years, foreign aid to Ukraine has been largely aimed at building a transparent and effective corporate governance system in large Ukrainian state-owned enterprises. Unfortunately, stated the President of the American Chamber of Commerce, now there is a tendency to move away from the already implemented and recognized in world practice management principles.

Where to look for markets and resources for small and medium business cooperation?

An interesting panel discussion took place during the Forum with the participation of entrepreneur, co-founder of Sammy Icon, Morza, Clan-P, One Factory, 5000 Miles, Oboi and Octogin brands Oleksiy Malytsky; UNDP project coordinator, marketing and financial management specialist in small business Vladlen Sysun; the Head of the platform "Warm city", the initiator and the head of the project "Promprylad. Renovation" Yurii Fyliuk.

Vladlen Sysun has thoroughly analyzed the role and opportunities of small and medium-sized business associations for business development and investment. In particular, he noted that only the equality of members of the business association, not formal, but the real interest of the members of the association in achieving a common result, leads to the success of small and medium enterprises.

Taras Komarenko, founder and Head of Smart People, spoke about the Ukrainian Furniture Association, which has provided significant business growth to its members, in particular, with the support of UNDP programs.

What are the effective tools of Ukraine's partnership with EU countries? 

This issue was discussed at the English-language webinar "Ukraine – EU: Partnership Instruments", which was attended by the Secretary General of the World Wind Energy Association Stefan Gsanger, the Vice President of the Committee of the Association "Ukraine – EU" Viola von Cramon, the Member of Parliament, the Prime Minister of Lithuania (1999 - 2000, 2008 - 2012) Andrews Kubilius, the expert on spatial development and strategic change of the Association of European Border Regions (AEPR) Catheriona Mullan, the President of Watch Energy Group Hans-Josef Fell.

The discussion was moderated by Yaryna Boychuk, CEO of Lviv Business School (LvBS), and Maksym Shvets, Project Development Director of the Family Dairy Investments.

What investments in Ukraine have been successful?

The panel discussion "Successful investments in Ukraine" brought together people from different areas of business, who in their own experience told about successful investment projects.

These are: Mykola Kmit (“Mukko” Company, Supervisory Board Chairman), Maksym Shvets (Project Development Director of the Family Dairy Investments), Vadym Zadorozhnyi (Active-Sistema, Founder and Managing Partner), Oleksii Kovalenko (Epicur, Founder and Owner, OpenMind Group Managing Partner), Lisa Herman and Masha Lanko (co-founders of The Naked Room Gallery).

Each of the participants of the panel discussion told about their successfully implemented investment projects.

Of great interest was the presentation of the impact investment project "Family Dairy Investments", which started this year. The mission of the project is the economic development of villages and united communities, increasing the network of family dairy farms to five thousand and achieving Ukraine’s status as a world leader in the dairy industry.

An investor (and anyone interested can do so) can invest from $100 in this project. And with an investment of more than $1,000, you can choose a family farm to invest in and get detailed information about how the money works and multiplies. 

Reforms in Ukraine – the foundation for investment

On June 26, the Forum hosted a webinar "Reforms in Ukraine – the foundation for investment". Its participants were: Olha Mahaletska, the Head of the Office of the National Investment Council, Mykhailo Vynnytskyi, the Lecturer at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and Lviv Business School, Taras Vysotskyi, the Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine on Agricultural Policy.
The webinar was moderated by Volodymyr Fedoryn, the Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Ukraine magazine, and Serhii Hemberg, Deputy Head of the Rivne Regional State Administration.

During the discussion, the government's concept of "investment nannies" was discussed, which, according to Olha Mahaletska, has not become a very positive meme, but can be effective. Mykhailo Vynnytskyi's remark that Ukraine has extremely comfortable and preferential tax legislation was appropriate: pay 5% of income – and work legally. Obviously, the system of taxation of natural persons of entrepreneurs of the third group was meant… In fact, it is so. However, a large layer of fiscal problems related to VAT, as well as various permitting procedures, the single tax system does not solve… 

Music, Wine, Cooperation – from Oleh Skrypka,
alternative energy – from Ruslana 

The Renaissance Forum included webinars dedicated to credit unions and the introduction of the world experience of the cooperative movement in Ukraine, impact investments in community development and a webinar on the occasion of Ukraine's presentation at the 18th European Week of Regions and Cities.

The latter, in particular, was attended by Ruslana Lyzhychko, who presented herself as an ambassador of alternative energy. She presented to the audience of the Forum a video work for the song "We are the Wind", which has already collected more than 300,000 views on YouTube. The Ukrainian star actively promotes alternative energy sources, participates in various world events on this topic.
All days the Ukrainian Economic Renaissance Forum was accompanied by Oleh Skrypka: the famous musician organized several creative sessions "Music... Wine... Cooperation". The point is that Oleh Skrypka is not only a musician, but also a winemaker, he has his own vineyards in Transcarpathia and produces author's wine in cooperation with the winery "Chateau Chizay".

The Renaissance Forum is over. What's next?

1. During the Forum, an express competition of investment projects was held, the winner of which was invited to negotiate investment by representatives of Canadian business.

2. There were interesting and useful for participants all of the discussions, generation of ideas and just acquaintances, which can later grow into mutually beneficial cooperation.

3. During the event, the basic principles of the concept of Ukraine's representation at the European Week of Regions and Cities, which will take place in October 2020 in Brussels, were formulated.

The speakers and participants of the Forum unanimously recognized the event as useful and promising. So the organizers have already begun preparations for the second International Investment Forum InvestForum UA, which is scheduled for May 7-9, 2021 in Tenerife (Spain, Canary Islands). 

Contacts and more detailed information:
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