Ukraine House is a multi-format venue which ran alongside the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Meeting on January 22-26 in Davos, Switzerland, for the first time in the WEF’s 48-year history.
During the briefing, the UHOC expressed gratitude to the specific companies and private donors who supported the first-ever Ukraine House in Davos, and called on the Ukrainian business community to continue to contribute to the development of this effective vehicle for promoting Ukraine’s business potential to international investors, tech leaders and top officials.
The speakers of the event included Alexa Chopivsky, Executive Director, UHOC, Andrey Kolodyuk, UVCA Chairman, Olga Afanasyeva UVCA Executive Director, Jaroslawa Johnson, WNISEF President & CEO, Svitlana Grytsenko, Victor Pinchuk Foundation and Lenna Koszarny Horizon Capital Founding Partner & CEO, UVCA Board Member.
Most speakers noted that Ukraine House’s slogan “Creativity. Innovation. Opportunity” was fully reflected in the week’s intensive program. Over five days, Ukraine House hosted ten global panel discussions focused on tech, innovation, and values-based business, highlighting Ukraine’s cutting-edge role in each. Ukraine House hosted four special events with top-level keynote speeches, drawing standing room-only crowds. Featured speakers included the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko; Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze; Mayor of Kyiv and former Heavyweight Boxing Champion Vitaliy Klitschko; President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Sir Suma Chakrabarti; and former Heavyweight Boxing Champion and co-Founder of Klitschko Foundation, Volodymyr Klitschko.
Minister of Finance of Ukraine Olexandr Danylyuk, Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Volodymyr Omelyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin, and multiple Members of Parliament of Ukraine took part in Ukraine House’s special events.
“By appearing in Davos in the format of a week–long Ukraine House, with an intense program of discussion panels on globally important topics highlighting world-renowned speakers, the Ukrainian business community has sent a very straightforward message to top global leaders – Ukraine is ready to do business, and in some sectors of the global economy even lead the way”, said Alexa Chopivsky, Executive Director of Ukraine House Davos, noting the novelty of the emergence of Ukraine House and the importance of this institution for our country.
Sharing his impressions of the work of the Ukraine House, Andrey Kolodyuk (UVCA) said: “Ukraine House made a significant contribution towards strengthening the image of Ukraine as a modern and advanced emerging economy, a trusted tech partner for global companies.” Mr Kolodyuk also noted that blockchain and cryptocurrencies were the most popular topics both at Ukraine House Davos and in WEF’s general program. “Given this interest, UVCA is planning to organize separate tours to Ukraine for international experts and professionals in these spheres,” he added.
Speaking about the prospect of further attracting investment to Ukraine, Olga Afanasyeva remarked – “Building on this year’s success, in 2019 Ukraine House Davos will continue its mission of promoting Ukraine’s business and investment opportunities.” Ms Afanasyeva added that UVCA has already invited leading global investors and entrepreneurs to the Ukraine Discovery Tour, to be organized jointly with WEF Global Shapers for the fourth time in order to showcase the rich opportunities of doing business in Ukraine.
Underlining the significance of creating Ukrainian House Davos Svitlana Grytsenko (Victor Pinchuk Foundation) said: “The Victor Pinchuk Foundation has been organizing the Ukrainian events at Davos for 14 years. We are happy that this year besides our traditional Ukrainian Breakfast in Davos we together with other partners have created this major new project – Ukraine House Davos – to promote Ukraine and demonstrate its potential to global leaders from business, politics and civil society who visited Davos at the occasion of World Economic Forum. We presented Ukraine and its diversity: its investments and tech opportunities, a new generation of young leaders, Ukrainian contemporary art by Anna Zvyagintseva, etc”.
Evaluating the results and impact of Ukraine House Davos, Jaroslawa Johnson, President and CEO of WNISEF noted: “I have been asked why Western NIS Enterprise Fund has agreed to become a partner of the event. And the answer is very simple. We would like Ukraine to have a higher profile in Davos and to be globally recognized. What’s the best way to do so, but by having Ukraine House on the main street in Davos? Passing by on the way to the Congress Center, people saw the lively discussions and networking in our venue. This encouraged them to understand more about Ukraine. I believe that our week in Davos was highly successful”.
Commenting (via email) on the importance of Ukraine House Davos from the standpoint of the country’s IT sector, UHOC member Marina Vyshegorodskikh (Ciklum/IT Ukraine Association) said: “Ukraine House demonstrated that the Ukrainian IT industry is a leader in Europe… Ukraine has a strong educational background and technical tradition. The proven success of the country’s technology services companies and the emergence of innovation parks and start-up accelerators, as well as data science, blockchain technology, cryptocurrency communities and expertise hubs, coupled with rising agritech services capabilities and activity in civic tech, mean that Ukraine is on the right track to becoming a true technology hub.”
Lenna Koszarny, Founding Partner and CEO of Horizon Capital and UVCA Board Member commented: “Ukraine is known for “brains, hands and grains” and this year we truly showcased our “brains” – the talented new generation of visionary entrepreneurs who are typically 25-40 years old and are business heroes in their own right. We are truly excited to provide them with an innovative and modern platform from which they could interact in Davos with global investors, leaders and top officials from Europe and the U.S., as well as from Middle East, India and Asia. It was an honor and a pleasure for me to introduce the keynote speeches by Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine and Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) during the investor event and highlight Ukraine’s 76 point gain in just over 5 years in the World Bank’s Doing Business Survey as well as the surge to #50 on the Global Innovation Index, exceeding the ranking of emerging markets such as India, Argentina and Brazil. Together with Alexa Chopivsky, Director, Ukraine House, it was my pleasure to award one of three exclusive Ukraine House awards to EBRD as Ukraine’s largest investor with over 12 billion Euros committed to date. We also enjoyed our collaboration with Yulia Kovaliv, Head of the National Investment Council as well as Daniel Bilak, Director, UkraineInvest and look forward to working with Ukraine’s investment agencies in the future. I am thrilled that Ukraine House was a success this year and truly hope that we will have significant interest from businesses and NGOs in supporting this worthwhile initiative in the future!”
During the press briefing, Ukraine House Organizing Committee made public its Ukraine House Davos in Figures infographic. Among the interesting facts highlighted, the infographic shows that during the Davos week, Ukraine House was operational for 82.5 hours. More than 1,000 people registered to attend discussion panels and special events at Ukraine House, and more than 5,000 people actually visited the venue in the course of five days. Ukraine House event livestreams (on YouTube and Facebook) totaled 12 hours and 40 minutes. Speakers from 11 countries participated in Ukraine House panels. The organizers’ proactive digital campaign resulted in Ukraine House events gathering 30,592 views on Facebook, with 6,047 Facebook page visits during January 22-26 alone.