NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy practically rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, inviting companies around the world to invest in Ukraine’s future.
The President’s appearance marked the launch of Advantage Ukraine, an initiative focused on attracting future investment to the country by highlighting the breadth of opportunities in sectors such as agriculture, technology, education and the creative industries, as well as the tremendous potential of natural Resources of the country shows resources and well-trained workers.
To encourage interaction with potential investors, the Government of Ukraine today launched www.advantageukraine.com with hundreds of growth opportunities and highlighted existing and future incentives to attract foreign direct investment. Already a leader in science and technology, Ukraine is poised to grow, offering a well-educated, English-speaking workforce with in-demand STEM skills. Today, Ukraine has more graduates with a degree in technology than any other European country and employs 240,000 citizens in the IT sector, which is expected to increase to 450,000 by 2024. In addition, among the CEE countries, Ukraine is a leader in R&D activities and IT outsourcing.
President HE Volodymyr Zelenskyy said: “Even as we strive to secure our freedom and bring relief to our proud people, I urgently plan a prosperous future for Ukraine. The Advantage Ukraine program invites foreign investors and companies with vision and courage to join us, and we will bring together the best companies in the world with excellent growth opportunities. Bold companies that recognize the potential in our country will help unlock Ukraine’s economic potential while capitalizing on untapped growth opportunities.”
Over $400 billion in investment options featured on AdvantageUkraine.com include public-private partnerships, privatizations and private ventures. A project team of investment bankers and researchers, appointed by Ukraine’s Ministry of Economy and supported by USAID, will work with companies interested in investing.
Lynn Martin, NYSE Group President, said: “As the largest stock exchange in the world, we stand for freedom, investor protection and unrestricted access to capital. We are pleased to virtually welcome President Zelenskyy to the podium of the NYSE bell, a symbol of the freedom and opportunities that our US capital markets have enabled around the world. We are honored that the President has chosen the NYSE to mark the launch of Advantage Ukraine and to connect with the global business community.”
In order to create a safe, transparent environment for doing business, Ukraine is actively seeking investment guarantees from both the G7 and the European Union, reforming the country’s tax system and creating a legal framework. The country has already enacted rules and laws that allow companies to establish a transparent corporate structure, attract foreign investment more easily, and use additional mechanisms to protect intangible assets. Favorable framework conditions make it possible to establish Ukraine as the most powerful IT hub in Central and Eastern Europe and to implement innovative business ideas quickly and effectively.
Mark Read, CEO of WPP said: “With a thriving technology sector and a renowned creative economy, Ukraine has the potential to become a global innovation hub. At WPP, we are excited about the growth opportunities that Ukraine offers across many sectors of our client base and the opportunities for the private sector to play a vital role in rebuilding the country’s economy.”
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, said: “I was struck by the resilience and talent of the Ukrainian startup founders I met when I visited the Google campus in Warsaw earlier this year. As we continue to support Ukraine through our platforms and tools – and counteract dangerous misinformation online – it’s important that we also support Ukrainian companies working to sustain and grow their economy. I congratulate President Zelenskyy on the launch of Advantage Ukraine and the positive vision for the economic future of Ukraine.”
Brad Smith, President and Vice Chairman of Microsoft Corporation said: “Ukraine offers tremendous talent and expertise to companies looking to invest in technology. That’s why Microsoft has invested more than $200 million in the last five years and we’re excited about the digital transformation that will bring Ukraine’s tech sector.”
dr Lori Esposito Murray, President of the Committee on Economic Development, the Conference Board’s public policy center composed of chief executive officers and key executives from leading US companies, said: “Committed to the goal of preserving capitalism, the Committee on Economic Development (CED) commends the efforts of President Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian government and global business leaders to ensure foreign direct investment in Ukraine as the country strives to grow its economy to unleash talent and rebuild for an independent and prosperous future. Since its inception in 1942, the CED’s mission has been to find a path to prosperity based on the principles of a rules-based, free market, economic order and democratic institutions – including leading the establishment of the Marshall Plan, which envisioned the redevelopment of Europe eased after the devastation of World War II and the creation of a stable global financial system with the Bretton Woods Agreement. As Ukraine seeks to create the necessary conditions for investment, the public and private sectors have a critical opportunity to work together to create sustainable economic growth, which we actively support.”