Nowadays, implementation of innovations and using high technology can significantly contribute to reaching new goals of Ukraine’s national economic development. Achieving these goals will enable Ukrainians to build a new country with absolutely new formation – the country which can get back its high-quality specialists (especially in IT and R&D sector), develop relevant conditions to attract new investors, bring additional funds in the economy, and thus boost indicators of its main export oriented industries.

All these can be achieved by joint efforts of the Ukrainian business community interested in sustainable business activity, government focusing its efforts on harmonization of the current legislative basis and ensuring needed economic reforms in a timely manner, as well as potential investors taking a final decision on whether get involved in entering the market.

All these stakeholders should be actively involved in innovations and high-tech projects to be implemented in Ukraine via expert and / or financial support.

With open eyes on this burning question, the Chamber has initiated several ambitious initiatives aimed at helping the Government of Ukraine to increase industrial production and exports, and thereby tax revenue to the State, namely:

  1. Creation of an Aerospace Valley from Kharkiv to Dnipropetrovsk aimed at leveraging Ukraine’s world-class aircraft and space state agencies into the creation of 100,000 jobs and a thriving $10 billion a year commercial aerospace industry by 2020.
  2. Launch of Brain Basket Foundation in cooperation with Ciklum and IT Ukraine, which is an initiative aimed at developing Ukraine’s $2 billion IT Industry into Europe’s IT powerhouse generating $10 billion in annual revenue and creating 100,000 jobs by 2020;
  3. A mass privatization initiative aimed at unlocking the value of Ukraine’s state-owned enterprises in energy, electricity, port infrastructure, heavy industry, and other sectors through acquisition by multinational corporations; and
  4. A public private partnership (PPP) initiative aimed at facilitating the socioeconomic development of Ukraine’s 18 port cities, and building the 21st century infrastructure needed for Ukraine to realize her economic potential.

All these initiatives are related to specific key audience and aimed at achieving a concrete goal – to transform Ukraine into one of the G20 active participants.

The creation of the Aerospace Valley can mark the first step and significantly increase foreign direct investment in Ukraine’s aerospace industry and as a result Ukraine will take the leading positions among 9 countries that manufacture civil aircraft in the world and one of only 7 countries which regularly make space launches.

The main market players have already expressed their interest in this project and this fact shows us the high level of investor expectations. With this in mind, we have just held the Forum entitled “Ukraine’s Aerospace Industry: Vital to Economic Modernization” – one of the modern discussion platform aimed at helping Ukraine’s world-class aircraft and space state agencies achieve their rightful place in the global commercial aerospace industry.

Even in this really difficult (from political and economic standpoint) time we got the support of not only foreign, but also national companies. They showed their readiness to participate in the Forum and thus find new contacts, solutions and opportunities for the industrial development. I would now like to address those companies who haven’t yet got involved: hurry up and support our initiative as your company can be one the main aerospace players locally or even internationally.

As of now, we see an increasing convergence of diverse technologies and aerospace. For instance, one individual, Elon Musk, co-founded e-commerce company PayPal, electric vehicle developer Tesla, and space transport services company SpaceX. In addition, Sierra Nevada Corporation, the developer of the Dream Chaser® orbital crew vehicle, is also involved in the development of microsatellites, energy, telemedicine, and nanotechnology. Nowhere does convergence have more potential to be realized than in Ukraine.

Starting off our second initiative – Brain Basket Foundation – we have demonstrated to foreign investors’ the position of our large-scale companies operating in Ukraine and their willingness to achieve the main goal – “100.000 more programmers by 2020”. With this initiative we want to show all Ukrainians all over the world, especially to those who emigrated years ago, that in the nearest future Ukraine has a great chance to offer them the same conditions for personal and professional development. In this way we can migrate Ukraine to the IT powerhouse of Europe, or even call it the “Brain Basket of Europe”.

If all efforts are taken, it is possible to train additional 100.000 software developers before 2020, these will all get a job in the International software industry and would generate $10 billion in export revenues. For larger investors it means that by 2024, in 10 years from now it will be possible to see this industry become the biggest exporter in Ukraine, with 20 billion $ in revenue Ukraine will in fact be an IT country. So, let’s invest now and receive the benefits in a couple of years.

And the last initiative to be implemented is the development of public private partnership (PPP) movement in Ukraine. The Chamber has already put the milestone in this field – in partnership with the USAID Public Private Partnership Development Program (P3DP) we have created the Public-Private Partnerships & Infrastructure Expert Center (Center). The Center supports the efforts of key stakeholders to create an enabling environment and concentrate technical expertise necessary to foster infrastructure and PPP development in Ukraine. This is also a good opportunity for business, with the assistance of our experts, to find the best way for their investments which will bring them additional profit and infrastructure development for Ukraine in general.

So, let’s join our efforts and build a new country with the best governance system for business operations, highest investment attractiveness for the further economic development and widest possibilities for Ukrainians – current and those who will return back.

Bernard Casey contributed this comment to Ukraine Digital News as the first of a series of industry insights published in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine (ACC).