Tuesday 31 January 2023
In a bid to strengthen trade ties and help drive Ukraine’s economic recovery, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has signed a landmark agreement with the Ukrainian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The new agreement aims to build the economic relationships that will help London and the UK play a major role in driving the eventual and all-important reconstruction of Ukraine.
The new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between LCCI and the Ukrainian Chambers of Commerce agrees that both Chambers will establish a joint business council as an essential tool to engender bilateral business activities and support for the benefit of both the countries.
Richard Burge, the Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, travelled to Ukraine with Andrew Marsden, Sheriff of the City of London, Tom Sleigh, Chairman of the Barbican Centre and Igor Bartkiv, the London Chamber’s Ukraine Project Support Officer.
Commenting on the visit, Richard Burge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said:
“I was impressed by the resilience and determination of the people in Ukraine to keep pushing, adapting and carrying on and I am in no doubt of the importance of making Ukraine’s access to the London’s deep capital markets a top priority. London and Ukraine share innovative tech sectors and impressive financial services and the conditions for connections to flourish are critical to kickstarting Ukraine’s economic recovery. London and all other global cities must continue to commit to involving themselves with the incredible businesses of Ukraine as much as possible.”
The delegation spent time in Kyiv and Lviv to meet with Ukrainian ministers, senior officials, city leaders, Chambers of Commerce and local businesses. The objective of the meetings was to look at opportunities to strengthen the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), business-to-business partnerships and joint ventures as well as easing trade between the two countries.
Representing London, the pre-eminent global city for business, the delegation emphasised the collective support that London’s business community wishes to extend to Ukraine and its people, and importantly to finalise new agreements to boost business-to-business and people-to-people cooperation and lay the groundwork for a future of shared British-Ukrainian prosperity.
At the Ukraine Reconstruction Conference in June in London, LCCI will be exploring what London’s business community can do to drive the country’s economic recovery.
The Deputy Minister of Economy and Trade Representative of Ukraine, Taras Kachka, said that Ukraine is interested in attracting British businesses to early recovery projects. Kachka also stressed the significance of holding a meeting of the Trade Committee between Ukraine and the UK in the first half of 2023.
Gennadiy Chizhikov, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ukraine (UCCI), said:
“It was great to meet with the leaders of the London Chamber and City of London. Working with the businesses in London, which generates 20% of the United Kingdom's GDP, and the London Chamber is extremely important for Ukrainian businesses circles. I am grateful to the British delegation for their courage to visit us and I would like to express our gratitude for supporting Ukraine and believing in its future. London has experience in helping business communities thrive in such an impressive global financial centre, and we can learn so much from this. Ukraine and the United Kingdom are advancing bilateral trade together. We are interested in British investors' involvement in the reconstruction projects of Ukraine and as a Chamber we will provide all necessary assistance for the improvement and rapprochement between our businesses”
Sherriff of the City of London, Andrew Marsden, said:
“It was an honour to visit Lviv and Kyiv, Ukraine, with the London Chamber delegation and witness first-hand the continued resilience of Ukraine. An emotive trip with the focus on how we can rebuild Ukraine together by accelerating the attraction of financing for the reconstruction of Ukrainian communities and investments to the cities and regions. It was inspiring to see the innovative business response of the Ukrainians. Together with the LCCI, the City of London Corporation will continue to do all it can to support Ukraine and stand up to Russian aggression.”
Richard Burge was accompanied on the trip by Igor Bartkiv, Ukraine Project Support Officer at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Igor was the first vice president of the Ivano-Frankivsk Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Western Ukraine and an active member of the Ukrainian chamber community. After Russia's brutal invasion began, Igor and his family had to move to the UK under the Homes for Ukrainians scheme and he joined the LCCI team shortly after. Igor said:
"I was fortunate to have travelled alongside experienced business leaders who are determined to help support and facilitate the reconstruction of Ukraine. After an intense schedule of meetings with business and government leaders, I came away with many new insights and ideas for how British and Ukrainian businesses and entrepreneurs might find new ways to collaborate. The positive impact of support from nations like the UK cannot be overstated, and every Ukrainian feels immense gratitude for it."
LCCI and the City of London Corporation are fully committed to building stronger partnerships with Ukrainian businesses and the Ukrainian government to lay the foundations for greater trade, investment, skills-sharing, and support – all key for Ukraine's future success.
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