This week, Hugues Mingarelli, EU Ambassador to Ukraine, arrived in Kharkiv to take part in the 10th International Economic Forum “Innovation. Investments. Kharkiv Initiatives!” which is being carried out on September 29-30. During his visit, he participated in a series of events and had several meetings with Kharkiv authorities, students and businesses.
This has been the third visit of Mr. Mingarelli to the Kharkiv region and the second this year. The Ambassador held a meeting with Head of Kharkiv Regional State Administration Yulia Svitlychna, head of the regional council Serhii Chernov and Kharkiv businessmen. He also took part in EU Career Day in the Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economics.
During the meeting, the governor informed about a number of regional achievements. According to her account, regional economic and business activity has steadily grown. Kharkiv enterprises have increased export to the EU countries by 40 percent since 2016. This year, Kharkiv has become more connected with the world due to launching new 10 nonstop flights.
Mr. Mingarelli marked the positive dynamic of the region’s export and industry development. He also suggested the governor meet with representatives of the European Investment Bank in Kyiv to discuss the region’s requirements in the field of healthcare in order to work together in this matter.
Summing up, Svitlychna recounted the priorities in cooperation with the EU, including projects that support business and internally displaced persons, medical rehabilitation of combatants who took part in the war in Donbas and educational programs.
Hugues Mingarelli also had a meeting with the head of the regional council Serhii Chernov. According to the Ambassador, the EU is going to allocate €50 million to support internally displaced persons and €100 million to implement energy-saving measures.
“The EU is ready to discuss the ideas for supporting small and medium-sized businesses. For just this purpose, the EU established a business center in Kharkiv about a year ago. It provides advisory and training assistance, facilitates access to credit resources. We have initiated the Week of Small and Medium-Sized Business in Kharkiv. As a part of the event, a number of activities will take place in the city. In particular, on October 5, businessmen will be able to find out how it is best to enter the European market,” Mr. Mingarelli pointed out.
Mr. Mingarelli also explained how Kharkivites will be able to gain an advantage from the creation of an energy efficiency fund. As a result, they will be able to reduce energy costs.
The EU also created a new program to allocate €100 million into decentralization reform. “It is extremely important that local and regional authorities contribute to the formation of new amalgamated territorial communities,” the Ambassador stated. In response, Serhii Chernov informed Mr. Mingarelli that Peer-to-Peer new educational project to train sector managers and to improve the skills of local officials will be implemented.
Hugues Mingarelli also took part in the opening of EU Career Day at the University of Economics. Throughout the year, the project has been held in various Ukrainian cities and its final stage took place in Kharkiv.
As a part of EU Career Day, the exhibition of opportunities where businessmen, enterprises, organizations, international institutions, programs and foundations were able to present currently opened positions for young people in European companies, continuing education programs and internships abroad, as well as courses to study European languages.
Addressing students, Mr. Mingarelli stressed the determination to bring Ukraine as close to EU as possible. He praised the Ukrainian efforts to modernize the economy, enforce civil society and conduct needed reforms in hard circumstances of ongoing conflict with Russia.
EU Ambassador to Ukraine participated in business-lunch in Kharkiv office of the European Business Association. In an informal setting, the Ambassador was informed about the business situation in Kharkiv. It was also discussed what issues arise with the implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU. The EU representatives pledged their support to the local entrepreneurs’ work.
On September 29-30, Hugues Mingarelli together with Ukraine’s leadership, diplomats and ambassadors took part in the 10th International Economic Forum. During the plenary meeting, global economy topic and the winning strategy for Ukraine, which is being transformed responding to global trends, were discussed.
Text: Natalia Ivanova
Photo: Kharkiv Regional State Administration, Ihor Balaka