Takeaways from the 2nd DiasporaAid webinar
On August 20, the second webinar under the “DiasporaAid: Opportunities for Diaspora and Migrant Engagement to Advance Ukraine’s Economic Development” series, organized by the Economic Prosperity and Investment Committee (EPIC) of the Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) in partnership with UkraineInvest, IOM Ukraine, and Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce (CUCC), took place. A total of five webinars exploring various dimensions and areas of engagement of the Ukrainian diaspora and migrant community are foreseen under the series.
The second webinar titled “Role of Migrants and diaspora in strengthening SMEs and local development in Ukraine” was moderated by IOM Migration and Development Officer, IOM Ukraine, Kateryna Ardanyan. The webinar focused on two main aspects. First, it explored ways in which the Ukrainian diaspora and migrant community can contribute to the development of SMEs in Ukraine by shining a spotlight on successful projects that have been launched and implemented in Ukraine, and also sharing international good practices. Second, it engaged international speakers who showcased their experiences in how diaspora and migrant communities may contribute to local socio-economic development of their countries of origin through the transfer of skills, knowledge and experience.
Opening remarks were delivered by a number of speakers, including, Vasyl Bondar; Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister/Trade Envoy of Ukraine, Ministry of Economy of Ukraine; Natalia Nemyliwska, Director, Economic Prosperity and Investment Committee, UWC; Elizabeth Warn, Deputy Chief of Mission, IOM Ukraine; and Oksana Tkachuk, Acting Head of the Investment Advisory Department, UkraineInvest.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vasyl Bodnar poignantly noted the fact that diaspora expertise is as important as financial support noting that, “Now we are switching to various other projects, which could increasingly engage Ukrainian communities abroad to work for the common benefit and good”.
Following this, Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister/Trade Envoy of Ukraine, Ministry of Economy of Ukraine expressed that, “The attraction of investment is not only about the interest of large-scale investors, it shall also focus on enhancing the regulatory environment for SMEs to work more comfortably”.
Oksana Tkachuk, Acting Head of the Investment Advisory Department of UkraineInvest noted the role UkraineInvest can play vis-a-vis the diaspora by pointing out that, “Diaspora activities can become a platform to support the entry of Ukrainian businesses into international markets of their residence and increase the competitiveness of Ukrainian goods. UkraineInvest supports and provides consultancy services for all investors and diaspora representatives to establish SMEs in Ukraine.”
Natalia Nemyliwska, Director, Economic Prosperity and Investment Committee, UWC, noted that from the point of view of Ukraine’s diaspora, “There’s great potential and interest on the part of the Ukrainian diaspora and migrant community to play a greater role in Ukraine’s transformation process. Supporting SME development in Ukraine through direct investment and contributing to local level development by harnessing the skills, experience and knowledge of our communities can have a tremendous impact, given an enabling environment is created and stakeholders act in greater concert”.
From the perspective of the IOM, an organization with substantial diaspora engagement expertise, Elizabeth Warn, Deputy Chief of Mission, IOM Ukraine, underlined that, “Strong and resourceful diaspora networks, Government’s interest to enable diaspora and migrants’ participation in Ukraine’s socioeconomic development, emerging technological innovations, high share of creative, active and mobile population are the important elements that can be leveraged for success of the initiatives on diaspora and migrant engagement in Ukraine”.
The next webinar will continue the meaningful discussion on how to harness the potential of the Ukrainian diaspora and migrant community to further Ukraine’s economic development by focusing on the opportunities Ukraine may tap into as a result of the evolving post-Covid economy and beyond. The UWC will be hosting this event in cooperation with its partners. More details are to come