The Norwegian-Ukrainian Business Forum

(All photos: Alyona Storm)

The Norwegian-Ukrainian Business Forum (NUBF) took place at BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo on the 18th of October 2016. The Business Forum was organized by Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce (NUCC) and its partners BI Norwegian Business School and the Ukrainian Embassy in Oslo. The overall theme were the political reform process in Ukraine, including the economic situation and the development in investment and business climate in Ukraine in addition to fruitful conversations between business delegates from Norway and Ukraine.

The conference took place in connection with the official visit to Norway of the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Together with the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, president Poroshenko visited the conference. Poroshenko stated that the Norwegian welfare state is a role model for Ukraine, and that he is proud of the high number of Ukrainians working in the Norwegian IT sector.

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Words of greeting by Ms Laxmi Akkaraju, Chairperson of NUCC.

«This is promising steps towards European integration. I hope our two countries both complementary and mutually can reinforce each others economies», the President said during his speech. Prime Minister Erna Solberg on her side pointed out the importance of trade to flourish, «both in and between our countries». She was also thanking NUCC for involving young people in Ukraine and Norway, because «their mindset will shape the future».

The conference was opened by Lars Jacob Hiim, State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, and Yuliia Kovaliv, First Deputy Minister in the Ukrainian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. You can find videos from the opening here and here.

Among the other speakers were Jerome Vacher (Resident Representative in Ukraine, International Monetary Fund), Roman Vakulchuk (Senior Researcher at Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen (Associate Professor at BI Norwegian Business School), Sevki Acuner (European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, Director Ukraine), Tomas Fiala (CEO of Dragon Capital), Magnus Rysted (CEO at Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), and Arne Jakobsen (CEO at Aice Hydro AS).

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Speech by Alina Sviderska, Partner at EasyBusiness.

Besides the lectures, a Cooperation Agreement between Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine and Nord University, Bodø, Norway was signed by Mr Bjørn Olsen, Rector of Nord University and Vice-Rector Mr Petro Bekh of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. The agreement entails that the two universities will establish a joint master’s program in public finance.

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On the agenda was also a moderated conversation – «Business opportunities, barriers and how to unlock Ukraine’s potential», led by moderator Mr Brian Bonner, Chief Editor of Kyiv Post. In the panel were Ms Olga Trofimtseva, Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, Mr Arne Mjøs, founder and CEO at Itera, Ms Anna Derevyanko, Executive Director in European Business Association (EBA), Mr Egil Magne Haugstad, CEO at Pelagia and Mr Tor Bukkvoll, Senior Research Fellow at FFI (Norwegian Defence Research Establishment).

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During the panel discussion Arne Mjøs stated that there are Western interests in investing in Ukraine, but that there of course is difficult to invest in a country at war.

«I am happy to work with Ukraine. The IT skills are higher there than in Norway. We are talking about peace in Europe, and if I and Itera could contribute to that, I will be pleased», said Mjøs.

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«Education and Research Cooperation Norway and Ukraine for stimulating business and societal development» by Ms Yana Kozachenko, Director for Development, International Foundation for Social Adaptation (IFSA).

In addition, NUBF included parallel sessions on the topics Trade, Energy and Innovation & Digitalization: «Norwegian-Ukrainian trade and business opportunities, and its challenges», moderated by Christen Mordal, Vice Chairperson of Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, «Investment opportunities and technology transfer – benefits from Ukrainian-Norwegian bilateral cooperation» moderated by Petter Nore, Chief Analyst for Energy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and «How to innovate together? – Success stories from Ukraine and Norway», moderated by Christian Ursin-Holm, Senior Adviser Innoco AS.

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The Business Forum ended with Seafood Reception and mingling at BI’s top floor. Around 300 delegates from Norway and Ukraine joined the Business Forum.

NUCC wants to thank all participants, speakers, its partners, sponsors and co-organizers for their contribution to the NUBF.

You can visit NUCCs Facebook page for more pictures from the conference.

  • October 31, 2016

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