EBA celebrates 20th anniversary
Yesterday, more than 800 guests gathered for the main event of the year at the European Business Association – Annual General Meeting. This year, the Association is celebrating its 20th anniversary, so the event was special. The meeting was attended by the country’s top officials, representatives of member companies, government agencies, embassies, international organizations, and the media.
We were pleased to welcome Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksii Honcharuk at our event, who has congratulated the Association and assured that the Government is a reliable partner for the business community, ready to do everything to change the business climate and living conditions in the country for the better. The Prime Minister invited a representative from the business community to become a regular participant during the meetings of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and the first meeting was already held with the participation of Anna Derevyanko, EBA Executive Director.
Dmitry Razumkov, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, said that 86 new laws have already been adopted by the newly formed Verkhovna Rada, most of which facilitate business climate and build processes that should bring doing business conditions in Ukraine closer to the best international standards. Mr. Razumkov assured personally and on behalf of the deputies that the fruitful collaboration between Parliament and business will continue to change the economy together, create jobs and implement the positive changes that the country expects.
In his speech, Tomas Fiala, EBA President and CEO of Dragon Capital, said that despite some pauses in investor activity at the beginning of the year caused by the double election, it is currently being renewed. The Association intends to continue constructive cooperation with the President, Government, and Parliament to boost Ukraine’s development, as this is our common goal.
According to the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, Matti Maasikas, Ukraine has an enormous potential to increase trade and deepen its relations with the EU. Ukraine needs to use its geographical advantage and all opportunities of the FTA to increase exports to EU countries. EU Ambassador also assured that Ukraine can count on the support of the EU regarding reforms and European integration.
Yesterday we had a great opportunity to look back to highlight our accomplishments over the last 20 years – to remember how it started, how the Association grew and strengthened its influence, to recall the most striking moments and defining events, to thank everyone who made their contribution to the development of the Association. At the same time, we had the opportunity to think about what we can do today to create the best conditions for business development and in 20 years’ time to make Ukraine the best place to do business and live.
This was discussed in two discussion panels with the participation of the state authorities and business.
“Leveraging the Present” discussion panel united government representatives to discuss what the state authorities are doing now to accelerate the pace of reform. The main task of the authorities is to maintain macroeconomic stability and speed up economic growth. To achieve this, the Government plans to introduce long-term budget planning, complete tax and customs reforms, carry out large-scale infrastructure modernization work and implement concession and privatization mechanisms, promote Ukrainian exports and develop the labour market. Also, the top priorities are combating smuggling, fiscalisation, the revival of Ukrainian exports, development of the labor market, etc.
The discussion was attended by the Minister of Finance of Ukraine Oksana Markarova, the Minister of Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine Tymofiy Milovanov, the Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Vladyslav Kryklii, the Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine Yakiv Smolii, the Head of the Customs Service of Ukraine Maxim Nefyodov, the Head of the Tax Service of Ukraine Serhii Verlanov, the Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine Yulia Sokolovskaya and the Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Yulia Kovaliv.
Within the “Anticipating the Future” discussion panel, business representatives met on the scene, with whom we tried to look 20 years ahead and dream of what the future and the entrepreneurs of future would be – how to react to change and build an innovative business. We thank the speakers for exciting conversation and insights – Tiberiu Dima, BASF, Alessandro Zanelli, Nestle, Andriy Kobolev, Naftogaz of Ukraine, Vira Platonova, Visa, Yuriy Antanyuk, EPAM, Valentin Fretchka, RE-leaf, Valeriy Yakovenko, Drone.ua.
The highlight of the evening was the announcement of a new EBA Board members. According to the election results, Tomas Fiala, Dragon Capital, Dmitry Sholomko, Google Ukraine, Nina Dombrovska, Henkel Ukraine, Oleksandr Pysaruk, Raiffeisen Bank Aval, Tiberiu Dima, BASF, Dmitro Gryshchenko, Danone, Vasyl Bovdilov, Unilever Ukraine has become new EBA Board members. As leaders of EBA activities, they will appreciate the support of the acting Board members to determine the Association’s development strategy for 2020.
For twenty years, the European Business Association has been accompanied by success. Much of the credit for what we have achieved goes to our member companies, the Association’s professional team, government agencies, partners and friends. We are sincerely grateful to all who take an active part in the life of the Association and contribute to the development of our powerful business community. Together we are a strength. So, together we will continue to change our country and its business conditions for the better.