Driving Donbas towards an export oriented, SME-friendly economy

Jun 1, 2016

UNDP international business conference presents latest developments and opportunities in Ukrainian foreign trade and national markets to SMEs in Donbas.

26-27 May - Kramatorsk - The international business conference organized by the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) in Ukraine brought together leading politicians, businessmen and economists, as well as representatives from international organizations, trade associations and local authorities, including the Head of State Administration of the Donetsk region, Pavlo Zhebrivsky, and the Head of State Administration of the Lugansk region, Yuriy Harbuz, around the theme: “Shaping the New Economy of Donbas: export-oriented and SME-friendly”,

Discussions with small and medium enterprises included Ukraine foreign trade’s potential, the impact of the conflict on exports, experiences of Eastern European integration in the EU market and the emerging trading opportunities.

“Reviving institutions and rebuilding economic ecosystems are among the first priorities after fighting ends and recovery begins. A vibrant Small and Medium Enterprises sector can play a key role in this process, creating jobs, boosting local economies and helping people affected by the conflict to get their feet on the ground and  start a new life”, – said Blerta Cela, UNDP Ukraine Deputy Director.

As part of the conference, participants visited the local businesses supported by UNDP in Ukraine. Site visits included the Association of Ceramics Manufacturers of Sloviansk, the Landscape Design Center in Aleksandrovka, the heavy machinery factory “Kramtechcentr” and English language school FRIENDS in Kramatorsk:

"I was very inspired by the landscape center. It was beautiful. Such micro businesses, flexible and closer to their market, are the foundation of a healthy economy. They have difficult access to credit lines, but it can be a blessing in disguise. We are here to help participants think in terms of possibilities, how to turn disadvantages into advantages. This conference provides information, inspiration, energy and networking to equip entrepreneurs to develop their full potential; it is about business and nothing else,”  said Pavlo Sheremeta, former Minister of Economy of Ukraine (2014) about the conference.

“From my point of view, such conferences are extremely important for SMEs to learn about the status and prospects of the Ukrainian market, and reap benefits from their membership to trade associations. We are trying to raise entrepreneurs awareness, and the goal is to motivate them to think about expanding their business," explained Ievgeniia Luganovska, representative of European Business Association and speaker at the conference.

Information Reference: The project "Economic and social recovery of Donbass" is implemented by the UNDP, thanks to the financing of the Governments of Japan, Sweden, Switzerland Czech Republic and Poland, in partnership with the Government of Ukraine, regional and local authorities. 




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