The results of 2023 and priorities for 2024, joint work of the Ukrainian and British governments to stimulate business in Ukraine, accelerating investment, reducing risks in cooperation with international financial organisations, opportunities for women in business and other issues were discussed by First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yuliia Svyrydenko and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Ukraine Martin Harris during a meeting on 31 January.
The Ukrainian side outlined its plans for the current year, which included work under the Ukraine Facility Plan, the 11 Critical Issues Plan developed jointly with the United States, and the Ministry of Economy’s strategic projects for 2024. In particular, the Government has focused on addressing priority areas such as the confiscation of russian assets, export expansion, energy capacity expansion, the return of Ukrainians, the defence industry, budget revenues and investments.
“The Ukrainian economy must become strong and self-sufficient, so the Government is focusing on accelerating investment, expanding business support programmes, including in cooperation with international partners, and reducing war risks for businesses. We also look forward to expanding our cooperation with the BII and UKEF. British businesses can make a significant contribution to the reconstruction of Ukraine, and we look forward to implementing pilot projects in priority areas,” said Yuliia Svyrydenko.
The parties discussed the importance of jointly developing investment promotion infrastructure development programmes and building the capacity of the investment promotion agency in cooperation with the London Stock Exchange and TheCityUK, as well as grant programmes for small and medium-sized businesses. In particular, the parties discussed the development of feasibility studies for investment projects for UK investors.
The parties also noted the joint work on the Ukraine Business Compact, an initiative to attract private investment in Ukraine, which was launched at the London URC and brought together more than 600 British and global companies to support Ukraine. Implementation is currently underway with the FCDO in collaboration with the Tony Blair Institute and business advisory working groups. Ukraine is ready to agree on the concept with the British side.
“We are working to ensure that Ukraine becomes part of the global production chains of British companies. We aim to introduce blended finance programmes for leading industrial projects in cooperation with British financial institutions and development agencies such as BII, UKEF, GGF,” said Yuliia Svyrydenko.
The parties also discussed the issue of women’s economic empowerment in Ukraine. Ukraine has recently adopted the Strategy for Reducing the Gender Pay Gap and the Government has already started implementing it. In addition, steps to implement the state gender policy include scaling up employment programmes to increase women’s economic activity. The Ukrainian side called on its British colleagues to co-finance the eRobota grant programmes, in particular the Vlasna Sprava (Own Business) component for starting or expanding a business, 55% of the winners of which in 2023 were women.