Norwegian-Ukrainian Business Forum 2016

  • Oslo, Norway
  • 18.10.2016
  • 09:00

NUCC is pleased to present the NUBF 2016 – Norwegian Ukrainian Business Forum – to be held on October 18th, in the venue of BI Norwegian Business School in Nydalen. The Business Forum is organized in connection with the official visit to Norway of the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, the first official visit from a Ukrainian incumbent head of state. We plan with the participation of both the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

Two years after the Maidan revolution economic growth is picking up and Ukraine is looking towards Europe. New businesses are emerging and Ukraine is about to establish itself as one of Europe’s leading IT and outsourcing destinations and has a growing start up scene. The NUBF is an opportunity to learn about the possibilities Ukraine has to offer and an arena for Ukrainian and Norwegian businesses to meet and discuss.

At the conference you will be updated on the political reform process, the economic situation and the development in investment and business climate in Ukraine. You will get insights to the risks and opportunities of doing business in Ukraine and get first hand experiences from businesses who have managed to utilize the potential of one of Europe’s largest markets. There will also be ample time to share experiences and get connected with other businesses from Norway and Ukraine. If you have questions regarding how to do business in and between Norway and Ukraine, or interested in applying for funding, you can book meetings with funding agencies and businesses with long experience from Ukraine and Norway.

We are delighted to have distinguished speakers representing the Ukrainian and Norwegian governments, instrumental international financial organisations and private businesses. You will also meet people from the Ukrainian civil society and business sector who are driving the transformation of the Ukrainian economy.

Program NUBF 2016


Registration 8:00 – 9:00

Registration - please bring photo ID

Plenary session I: Update on political reform and business climate in Ukraine 9:00 – 10:45

Welcome by Laxmi Akkaraju, Chairperson of Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Inge Jan Henjesand, President of BI Norwegian Business School

Opening remarks by Lars Jacob Hiim, State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries

Opening remarks by Yuliia Kovaliv, First Deputy Minister in the Ukrainian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade

Signing of Cooperation Agreement between Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine and Nord University, Bodø, Norway.

  • Signatures from Rector Bjørn Olsen for Nord University and Vice-Rector Petro Bekh for Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

IMF's assessment of the reform process and economic outlook - Jerome Vacher, International Monetary Fund, Resident Representative in Ukraine

Reforming Ukrainian business regulations – Alina Sviderska, Partner at Easy Busines

Development in business climate and corruption – Roman Vakulchuk, Senior Researcher at Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)

Doing business in Ukraine: How can companies address corruption challenges? - Caroline Dale Ditlev-Simonsen, Associate Professor at BI Norwegian Business School

Coffee Break & Networking

Plenary session II: Economic situation and business opportunities in Ukraine 11:00 – 12:15

Macro-economic development and investment opportunities – Sevki Acuner,  European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, Director Ukraine

Private equity opportunities in Ukraine – Tomas Fiala, CEO of Dragon Capital

Moderated conversation: Business opportunities, barriers and how to unlock Ukraine’s potential
Moderator: Brian Bonner, Chief Editor Kyiv Post

  • Arne Mjøs, founder and CEO at Itera
  • Anna Derevyanko, Executive Director in European Business Association (EBA)
  • Tor Bukkvoll, Senior Research Fellow at FFI (Norwegian Defence Research Establishment)
  • Egil Magne Haugstad, CEO at Pelagia
  • Olga Trofimtseva, Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine
Lunch 12:15 – 13:00
Parallel sessions 13:00 – 14:30

Norwegian-Ukrainian trade and business opportunities, and its challenges

Moderator: Christen Mordal, Vice Chairperson of Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce

Suggested topics and speakers:

  • Introduction to Ukrainian business, and opportunities provided by current free trade agreements – Anna Derevyanko, European Business Association (EBA)
  • Food imports from Ukraine. Why Ukraine? - Olga Trofimtseva, Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine
  • Norwegian seafood in Ukraine – Egil Magne Haugstad, CEO at Pelagia
  • High quality, low cost - Why Norwegian businesses should look to Ukraine - Kjartan Pedersen, Project Manager at Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce
  • How credit guarantees can help facilitate increased engagement and investments - Erica Blakstad,  CEO at GIEK Credit Insurance
  • Securing your investment – Yuliya Chernykh,  PhD research fellow UiO, Chartered Arbitrator

Investment opportunities and technology transfer – benefits from Ukrainian Norwegain bilateral cooperation Moderator: Petter Nore, Chief Analyst for Energy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Suggested topics and speakers:

  • Introduction to the Ukrainian energy sector and its investment opportunities – Ihor Nasalyk, Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine
  • European Energy systems in Digital and Ecological Transition - Atle Midttun, Professor at BI Norwegian Business School
  • What technologies does Ukraine needs to modernize its oil and gas production? –  Ms Olena Pavlenko, President DixiGroup
  • How Norwegian technology and expertise can support the Ukrainian energy independence and development - Mr Petter Mathisen, Vice President of AGR Software
  • Ukraine is getting greener: Introduction to small-scale hydropower sector in Ukraine – Ms Alina Sviderska, partner at EasyBusiness
  • Potential for Norwegian-Ukrainian technological cooperation, Mr Daniel Fjærtoft, partner at Sigra group
  • How can credit guarantees help facilitating increased engagement and investments? Mr Sevki Acuner, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Securing your investments, Mr Ketil E. Bøe, partner at Wikborg|Rein

How to innovate together? – Success stories from Ukraine and Norway 

Moderator: Innoco, Christian Ursin-Holm


  • Need of increased cooperation to get a more innovative Ukraine – Ms Yulya Poroshenko, Partner of Innovation Cluster at VDNH, Consultant at McKinsey & Company
  • Best practices in Digital Solutions in Norway and Ukraine including case study of a successful current cooperation- Yuliia Sokolovska, Deputy Head of Business Development EVRY Ukraine (Infopulse) and Karen DeSilva, leading design thinking processes in EVRY Financial Services
  • Education and Research Cooperation Norway and Ukraine for stimulating business and societal development, Ms Olga Iermolenko, PhD research fellow at Nord University, Bodø and Ms Yana Kozachenko, Director for Development, International Foundation for Social Adaptation (IFSA)
  • How to succeed with innovation? – Christian Ursin-Holm, Innoco

Interactive workshop with representatives from Ukrainian and Norwegian authorities, organizations and technology suppliers.

The workshop groups will be led by the presenters as well as Mr. Dmitri Podoliev, Co-Founder & Chairman at Seed Forum Ukraine as well as Co-Founder & CEO at iHUB and Mr. Artem Petrenko, Director Business Development at Sigma Software.

Coffee Break.

Plenary session III - The road ahead 15:00 – 16:00

What lies ahead for bilateral cooperation between Norway and Ukraine?


  • Introductory remarks by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg
  • Introductory remarks by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko

Conversation between the President and the Prime Minister:

Conversation between President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Erna Solberg

Moderated by Halvor Tjønn, independent journalist, author and lecturer

Presentation of sucessful Norwegian-Ukrainian business cooperation

Multilateral investments in Ukraine - Magnus Rysted, CEO at Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO)

Investment in small-scale hydro power in Ukraine - Arne Jakobsen, CEO at Aice Hydro AS and Alina Sviderska, Partner at EasyBusiness

Closing remarks by Laxmi Akkaraju, Chairperson of Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce

Matchmaking, networking and Norwegian seafood reception 16:00 – 18:00
  •  Workshops and possibility to book meetings with funding agencies and investors (via NUBF-app)
  • Business2Business matchmaking (via NUBF-App)

Mingling, including area with promotion possibilities (stands and more) for partners and sponsors. Contact NUCC if your business is interested in increased visibility.

Among speakers

Petro Poroshenko
President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine

Erna Solberg
Prime Minister of Norway

Prime Minister of Norway

Laxmi Akkaraju
Senior Vice President at EVRY

Laxmi Akkaraju is Senior Vice President at EVRY. She is responsible for EVRY's Global Delivery Program and the overall strategy for EVRY's global delivery centers in India, Ukraine and Latvia. She has also served as Country Manager for EVRY in Bangalore, India.


Previously she has worked for Intel (USA), Spirent (USA), and Holte Consulting (Norway). She is a graduate of The University of Colorado in Boulder, CO USA and holds a Master degree as Civil Engineer.


Laxmi is also Chairman on the Board of Directors of NUCC (Norwegian Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce).

Jerome Vacher
IMF Resident Representative in Ukraine

Mr Jerome Vacher, a French national, has been a Fund economist since 2002, and the IMF Resident Representative in Ukraine since May 2013. His previous assignment was on Spain, as Senior Desk Economist (2010-2013).


Mr Jérôme Vacher’s previous country experience in the European Department includes assignments on Lithuania (2009-10) and Belarus (2003-04). He has also worked in the Monetary and Capital Markets Department for 5 years, covering financial sector issues, notably in South Africa and the UAE. Before joining the Fund, Mr Jérôme Vacher was a Public Finance Economist in charge of emerging markets at Dexia Credit Local in France (1998-2001), and a Financial Attaché at the French Embassy in Poland (1997-1998). He graduated from the Kiel Institute for World Economics in Germany, Université Paris Panthéon Sorbonne and Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.

Sevki Acuner
EBRD Director in Ukraine

Sevki Acuner was appointed EBRD Director in Ukraine on 3 April 2013.  He previously held the position of EBRD Deputy Country Director for Turkey.


During his 18-year career at the EBRD, Mr. Acuner held senior management positions in the Credit Risk and Agribusiness departments before being appointed to Turkey in 2009. He started his new assignment on 1 June 2013.


Prior to joining the EBRD, Sevki Acuner worked at the Central Bank of Turkey, the Bank of Montreal and the Royal Bank of Canada in various countries in North America and Europe.


Mr. Acuner is a Turkish national and holds a BSc in Management from Bosporus University, Istanbul, and an MBA from Concordia University, Montreal, Canada.

Alina Sviderska
Partner at EasyBusiness

Alina Sviderska is a Ukrainian lawyer, partner at the non-governmental organisation “EasyBusiness”, president of the Cambridge Society of Ukraine and member of the board at the Professional Government Initiative (organisation uniting people in Ukraine with strong international education and experience).


Alina finished her LLB degree at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy in Ukraine after which she pursued her LLM at the University of Cambridge with the full Open Society Foundation scholarship. After her studies Alina passed internship in the Liberty NGO in London working with the British Parliament on the human rights legislation. Further she worked as a corporate lawyer for the international law firm Clifford Chance where they represented major international clients who entered Ukrainian market. During the Dignity Revolution in 2014 Alina joined the team of the Ministry of Economy working on the deregulation reform and became advisor to the Minister of Economy. While working on the deregulation initiatives Alina also joined the EasyBusiness NGO where she is currently working as a Partner and focuses on the oil and gas, energy issues, as well as fundraising and general legal advise.

Roman Vakulchuk
Senior research fellow at NUPI

Roman Vakulchuk is a senior research fellow at NUPI. He holds a PhD degree in economics obtained from Jacobs University Bremen, Germany. His main geographical specialization is Kazakhstan, other countries of Central Asia and Ukraine and he publishes on economic transition and integration, climate change, trade, infrastructure and transport, business climate and business culture, as well as state capitalism in emerging markets.


Vakulchuk has work experience as a project leader and expert within research projects organized by among others the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the MFA and the Research Council of Norway. Roman also worked at the oil company Shell in Germany. He speaks English, Russian, Ukrainian, German and French.

Brian Bonner
Chief editor of the Kyiv Post

Brian Bonner became chief editor of the Kyiv Post on June 9, 2008. He also held the job in 1999, three years after first arriving in Ukraine to teach journalism. Bonner spent most of his career with the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota, where he covered international, national and local news during more than 20 years as a staff writer and assigning editor. Besides Ukraine, he has also reported from Russia, Belgium, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Laos. In 2007-2008, he served as associate director of international communications at the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids in Washington, D.C. He also served as an election expert on six observation missions with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan between 1999 and 2013.

Tomas Fiala
Chief Executive Officer of Dragon Capital

In 2000, Tomas initiated the founding of Dragon Capital. Since its foundation, Tomas has been the Chief Executive Officer of Dragon Capital, building the company into the leading investment bank in Ukraine and a trusted financial adviser for international investors. In 2010-2015, Tomas has served as elected President of the European Business Association (EBA), a leading organization for foreign businesses in Ukraine.

Anna Derevyanko
Executive Director European Business Assosiation
Yuliya Chernykh
PhD fellow and lecturer of the University of Oslo

Yuliya Chernykh is a PhD fellow and lecturer of the University of Oslo. Yuliya has extensive experience as an arbitrator, expert and counsel in international arbitration proceedings under a number of European and Asian arbitration rules. She is a Chartered Arbitrator and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Admitted to Ukrainian bar.


European Business Association

With about nine hundred members, the European Business Association (EBA) is the largest and most powerful membership association in Ukraine focused on the promotion, implementation and advancement of best European business practices in Ukraine.


Established in 1999, the EBA provides a forum in which members can discuss and find solutions to common problems affecting business in Ukraine.


We work to make Ukraine a better place for business.

BI Norwegian Business School

BI Norwegian Business School is an independent, not-for-profit foundation and the main provider of research based knowledge on business and management disciplines in Norway.

Norwegian Ministry Of Foreign Affairs
Ukrainian Embassy Oslo

Ukrainian Embassy Oslo

Ukraine International Chamber Of Commerce

Ukrainian National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC Ukraine)  is authorized by the World Business Organization to represent modern trends in conducting  business nationally and to assist  in promoting  international cooperation.


International Chamber of Commerce, ICC (headquarter in Paris) – an influential global organization, that has unrivalled authority in making rules and standards that govern the conduct of business across borders.


International Chamber of Commerce is represented in 127 countries and has 93 National Committees.


Preferences ICC Ukraine — a partnership with ICC Ukraine to promote international trade, planning new markets, find partners and investment.

Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI) is a non-government non-profit self-governing organization incorporating on a voluntary basis legal entities and Ukrainian citizens registered as entrepreneurs as well as their associations. Nearly 10,000 enterprises and companies of different forms of property are now members of the UCCI.


The main chamber objective is primarily creating favorable conditions for the entrepreneurial activity, assisting all-round development of scientific, technological and trade relations between Ukrainian economic operators and their foreign partners, representing economic concerns of the chamber members in Ukraine and overseas.


The UCCI has its representatives in 11 countries, maintains partnership relations on an agreement basis with chambers of commerce and other partner organizations in about 90 countries.

DigiLean AS

The app used under the NUBF 2016 is developed by Digilean AS, Brandbu - Norway. Digilean AS creates apps to your specifications and deliver a high quality product on time. Contact Digilean AS today and get a competitive quote for your next App!

Che IT Group

Che IT Group is an IT partner of Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and provides web development, technical support and graphic design services.


The company mainly specializes in custom WordPress development and eCommerce technologies, such as WooCommerce, OpenCart, etc..


Through NUCC's match-making program Che IT Group got connected and signed MoU (Memorandum of understanding) with several Norwegian companies.

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