Delegates from Ukraine and the UK gathered for an historic business event in Liverpool to identify trade and collaboration opportunities between the two nations.
The Liverpool-Ukraine Business Summit was the first time that businesses from both countries have met face-to-face since 2018, and the first-ever bilateral meeting to have taken place in the UK outside London. It was held in recognition of the city’s role as host of Eurovision later this year.
Representatives from 17 different Ukraine businesses travelled to Liverpool for the event at the Hilton Hotel, where they were joined by business and government delegates from the Liverpool City Region and across the UK for a series of presentations, panel discussion and networking lunch.
The summit was jointly organised by the Liverpool, London and Ukrainian Chambers of Commerce, the Department for Business and Trade and the Ukraine Recovery Conference. The Department of Business and Trade estimates the total cost of reconstruction in Ukraine will be more than $411 billion and it has produced a guide to help UK businesses better understand how they can become involved in the recovery and rebuild plan.
During the event, it was also announced that Liverpool Chamber has become an equal partner in a new Business Council established by London and Ukrainian Chambers of Commerce. The group comprises senior business figures from both countries and aims to strengthen the business base of Ukraine to underpin a strong, liberal and democratic nation in the future.
Hennadii Boldyr, member of the Presidium Ukraine Chamber, said:
“Ukraine and the rest of the world are dealing with new realities, but we have survived and we have not been left alone in the face of an enemy. The support of the UK remains crucial in that effort.
“Our delegation comprises entrepreneurs who have managed to save their businesses, keep hold of their production equipment and teams and continued to keep their promises to customers. They are now exploring new markets for growth across different sectors and we are all delighted to be here in Liverpool.”
Chairing the event, Paul Cherpeau, chief executive of Liverpool Chamber, said:
“We are proud and honoured to host this event in Liverpool on behalf of our Ukrainian friends around the world. The business summit is a unique opportunity for businesses from the UK and Ukraine to stand together and discuss a variety of investment and supply chain opportunities, both now and in a post-war Ukraine. We are united in spirit and united in business.
James Watkins, head of policy and public impact at London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:
“The UK and Ukraine share strong economic and cultural ties that present magnificent opportunities for both the countries to collaborate in areas of entrepreneurship. This is especially true for partnership between British fintech businesses and Ukrainian blockchain businesses.
“This is an important event, both symbolically and practically, and it is inspiring to see so many businesses finding new ways of moving forward together. I am delighted that Liverpool, London and Ukrainian business communities have come together ahead of an iconic occasion such as the Eurovision contest. Both the Liverpool and London Chambers are committed to supporting Ukraine and can and will be the bridge between Ukraine and the global economy going forward.”
Ukraine Minister-Counsellor Denys Demchenko said:
“We are privileged to be here in Liverpool and to work with UK businesses to find new partnerships in very difficult times. Our goal is to create a prosperous and self-reliant European nation and the UK is very well positioned to play a leading role in supporting that process and accelerate future Ukrainian prosperity.”
For more information on Liverpool’s hosting of Eurovision 2023 click HERE.