On November 14, World Bank Group and UkraineInvest jointly held a forum entitled "Ukraine: Innovations and Opportunities" with the participation of World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, who visits Ukraine for the first time, and First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine/ Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv.
The goal of the innovation forum was to demonstrate the high potential of innovations and opportunities that modern Ukraine can offer and the necessity of the joint work in order to build a safe and stable future.
While delivering the speech, the First Vice Prime Minister noted that over a period of 25 years the World Bank had allocated financial assistance to the tune of USD 12 billion aimed at developing priority sectors and spheres of the economy, supporting reforms and balancing the budget.
"Over the past 3 years, we have managed to stabilize the country and transform from crisis to economic growth, from the survival policy to the strategic development policy. After a terrible recession, macroeconomic stability and GDP growth are maintained at 2-3% that has restored faith in Ukraine. But we won’t stop in our drive for 5-7% growth, creating high-skilled jobs, until every Ukrainian feels the positive impact. Innovations are needed both in production and public administration in order to meet the challenges of the global economy. The country needs a major overhaul", Stepan Kubiv stressed.
According to him, Ukraine needs to develop a ‘closed-loop’ system for supporting innovation and investment, moreover instruments for promoting such a system already exist. This is Ukraine Investment Promotion Office (UkraineInvest). It should be mentioned that the draft state budget encapsulates funding worth UAH 50 million for the support of UkraineInvest.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, while giving a speech, stressed that the World Bank is looking for ways to increase financial support for reforms that are currently being delivered in Ukraine.
World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim remarked, "Ukraine is at a critical moment in history. The World Bank is looking for ways to invest more in the people of Ukraine. Now is the best time for landmark change."
In particular, Jim Yong Kim accentuated among important sectors to reform aimed to leverage investment are health care, land sector and the fight against corruption. According to the President of the World Bank Group, increasing transparency and opening up the land market will increase investment in Ukraine, thereby the arrival of investors in this sector will positively affect productivity. And this means additional revenues from rent, it will provide an opportunity to fill the budget and find funding to be directed to other sectors, in particular, for healthcare.
UkraineInvest Director Daniel Bilak stated that Ukraine has a huge innovative capacity, and that in 2017 Ukraine improved 6 places to garner a spot in the Top 50 countries in the Global Innovation Index. “To promote investment we focus on Ukraine’s innovation and opportunities, using our ‘4+1’ sector strategy, highlighting the biggest drivers of the Ukrainian economy: agribusiness, energy and energy efficiency, manufacturing, infrastructure, and the innovative technology that feeds all 4 sectors,” told Daniel Bilak.
Daria Loseva (Myhelix), Artem Belenkov (Smart Farming), Mykyta Fastovets (ExpoPlatform) and Olha Khilobok (Nimses) contributed to the discussion, relating how the IT and innovative technology breakthrough and advances of the last 5 years has energized Ukrainian startups.
On the sidelines of the events, young Ukrainian entrepreneurs had a chance to show off their innovation at special stands. Companies included Smart Farming, MyHelix, Open World System, Sincere Tech, ArtKB, Ajax Systems, HELi, Solar Gaps, and others.
At the event, UkraineInvest also demonstrated a new investment promotion video «Ukraine Now: Innovation and Opportunity» produced by UkraineInvest and InFeatures production studio with the support of WesternNIS.