Ladies and gentleman,
It’s my pleasure and honor to address you on the occasion of the International Innovation and Technology conference - Israeli Ukrainian Innovation EXPO 2018.
First of all, I would like to greet all the participants of this event. We cordially welcome the Ukrainian governmental delegation headed by the Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Mr. Mykhailo Titarchuk. It’s also honor to have with us today real “gurus” of Israeli hi-tech - Mr.Yossi Vardi and Yigal Erlich and other prominent figures of Israel innovations.
Of course, we must pay tribute to the organizers of this remarkable event – the whole team of Israeli-Ukrainian Alliance and especially Mrs. Anna Zharova.
I’m pleased to note the dynamic development of the entire complex of Ukrainian-Israeli relations. Ukraine attaches special importance to the development of cooperation with the State of Israel, our important partner and reliable friend. Geographically, Ukraine and Israel are not neighbors. However, political, economic, cultural, human interests know no distances.
Over the period of 26 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, an active and regular political dialogue on the presidential and inter-governmental levels as well as an intensive inter-parliamentary cooperation has been established. In such a short historical time, we managed to achieve impressive performance:
- we continue active political dialogue at bilateral and international levels;
- our trade and economic relations provide bilateral trade up to 1 billion US dollars annually;
- our humanitarian and cultural ties are successfully developing;
- we maintain fruitful inter-ethnic dialogue.
We consider that the significant impetus to bilateral relations in recent years was achieved due to the established personal relationships at the highest level, the active inter-parliamentary cooperation, the meetings of the joint intergovernmental economic commission, renewal of the legal basis of bilateral relations and intensive exchange of visits at various levels.
The significant coincidence of interests on the international scene, mutual support and, what is the most important – mutual trust and openness, give both sides the firm basis for the confidence in reliable future of the relations between Ukraine and Israel.
Israel is an important and promising trade and economic partner of Ukraine in the Eastern Mediterranean region and in the Middle East. I am pleased to mentioned, that last year we managed to overcome of the negative trends in our trade and services turnover, which reached almost 1 billion US Dollars.
The implementation of the Free Trade Regime between the two countries, negotiations on which are now on the home stretch, will contribute substantially to the development of bilateral economic relations. We hope to reach the final approval of the text of this Agreement in coming weeks. This Agreement will mark the elimination of last barriers on the way of free flows of goods, services and capitals.
However, the new realities of the modern world dictate us the necessity to look in the future and to develop our relations in the new spheres. That is primary the development of our cooperation in hi-tech and IT sphere. That is exactly what we are gathered for today.
Nowadays, Israel is one of the leading country as to scientific and technological potential and practical achievements in high technology. This country rightly received the name of start-up nation. Many Israeli companies, among them yours, have a good track record of supporting business ideas, start-ups, insertion of venture capital in the latest scientific and technological developments. We would be glad to implement this experience in Ukraine.
On the other hand, the President of Ukraine Mr. Petro Poroshenko in his last address to Ukrainian Parliament has emphasized that IT sphere is one of the key for the economy of Ukraine. 13 Ukrainian IT companies became TOP-100 of the best outsourcing companies in the world. Exports of IT services amounted to 3% of our Ukrainian GDP. There are more than 100 thousand IT specialists In Ukraine. Ukrainian IT market is developing at a rapid pace. In the last year it marked 18% grow. We have ambitions that this year it will be more than 20%.
We are ready to actively cooperate with key world producers, large venture funds because our state is a place where the new ideas are born.
The perspectives of the investments in Ukrainian economy and, in hi-tech sphere, in particular, will be covered during this event by my colleagues – the representatives of Ukrainian Government. I would like to draw your attention to the following.
Now, a new generation of Ukrainians grows - active, educated, free and creative. They are ready to build their country on new principles and approaches. They would like to live in modern, highly technological world together with other advanced countries. Take advantage of this. Support their aspirations with your knowledge, skills, and, of course, the capital. Believe me, your efforts will be justified. Let us connect your knowledge, business skills, of course, capital with our capabilities, with our desire to build a new, free and highly developed Ukraine.
Let's look to the future. Don’t be afraid to invest your capitals not only in buildings, land, goods - invest in Ukrainians. And this will bring you even more benefits.
Israeli businessmen have always been known worldwide for their ability to accurately determine the time and place for the development of new business, and often to take the risk and challenge. It seems to me that now Ukraine is the right place for this. Do not hesitate. Do it.
I would like to wish sincerely to all of you fruitful work at this forum and success in all yours undertakings.
Thank you for the attention.