Opening remarks at the “Invest & Trade in Ukraine ’16” conference
September 21, 2016, Tel-Aviv.
Dear Sirs and Madams,
It’s my pleasure and honor to address you on the occasion of the “Invest & Trade in Ukraine ’16” conference.
Let me express confidence that this event will serve for the future strengthening of Ukrainian-Israeli mutually beneficial relations, especially in the sphere of health care and medicine.
Among partners of Ukraine the special place is taken by our good friend in the Middle East – the State of Israel. There should be no doubts that Israel remains our very important international partner, both politically and economically.
We have very long history of relations between Ukrainian and Jewish nations traced back to the ancient times. But, the history of modern diplomatic relations and cooperation between our states is only 25 years.
This December we will mark the 25th anniversary of the establishing of diplomatic relations between our countries.
During these 25 years of Ukrainian independence and diplomatic relations between the two countries an active and regular political dialogue on the actual bilateral and international issues has been established; mutually beneficial trade and economic ties and cooperation in culture, education and science have been developed.
In political sphere we appreciate the reliability and transparency of our Israeli partners who repeatedly gave us the necessary support both bilaterally and multilaterally.
Last December the President of Ukraine Mr. Petro Poroshenko paid a state visit to the State of Israel. Both sides have worked out the new agenda for further cooperation. In one week time we are waiting for the President of Israel Mr. Reuven Rivlin with his state visit to Kyiv. He will also take part in official ceremony of commemoration a tragic event in the history of Ukrainian and Jewish peoples – 75th anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy. A delegation of the Members of the Knesset, representatives of state institutions and NGOs will also take part in this ceremony.
On 5-6th October in Kyiv will be held the 9th session of the Joint Ukrainian-Israeli Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation.
In November this year we will meet the Speaker of the Knesset with his official visit to Ukraine.
In addition, both sides are now considering the issue of an official visit of the Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman to Jerusalem in December this year, together with the trade mission of Ukrainian businessmen.
In my opinion this list of forthcoming events in our relations vividly demonstrates the intensity of our dialogue.
In economic sphere its worth to mention that Israel is one of the basic and advanced trading partners of Ukraine among the countries of the Middle East, traditionally occupying the first position in the region. Despite all the difficulties, the level of bilateral trade between Ukraine and Israel has not suffered lot and now is about 1 billion of US dollars. But, we consider that the potential of our economic relations is much higher. It can be further intensified by signing the free trade agreement, negotiations on which are now in active stage.
The political dialog is becoming more intensive, economic ties are strengthening, cultural cooperation is deepening and, human relations are turning out to be more friendly and trustful.
And of course, the enumeration of the spheres of our relations will not be full without mentioning of the cooperation in the area of health care and medicine.
The basic document for the development of cooperation between Ukraine and Israel in the medical field is the Agreement between the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the State of Israel on cooperation in the field of health and medical sciences signed 12 .09.1995. Based on this document Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the Ministry of Health of the State of Israel organize seminars and training for Ukrainian doctors in Israel. Over the past years, the number of Israeli citizens who are studying in Ukrainian medical universities increases.
We highly appreciate the assistance in the area of health care provided by Israel to Ukraine through the Centre for International Cooperation of Israeli Foreign Ministry (MASHAV). In 2012, in Vinnitsa the modern medical diagnostic center opened with participation of MASHAV. It’s worth to mention that this center was created under the auspice of Poroshenko Fund, which donated 400.000 US dollars to this project. The contract for the center was signed by then Mayor of Vinnitsa and today’s Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman. The center is equipped with modern X-ray, computed tomography, ultrasound and endoscopy, CT and testing for mammography etc.
Now, in the conditions of direct Russian military aggression in the western part of Ukraine we are very interested in implementation in Ukraine of exceptional Israeli knowledge and experience in such specific areas of medicine as post-traumatic stress disorder, rehabilitation of the military. On governmental level we are working the issue of establishing, in cooperation with the Israeli side of a separate center of prosthetics, primarily for those affected on the territory of the antiterrorist operation. In this context, it would be very important to introduce a project for the center in which Israeli experts will train Ukrainian health professionals and provide them with professional support during direct patient care. In the center it is also planned to introduce a helpline for psychological first aid, for instance, for the ATO participants. Israel is willing to provide such a facility with technological solutions, and its staff – with special knowledge and training.
We are also interested in exchanging experience with Israeli side regarding reformation of health care system, in particular based on public health insurance, which guarantees to all inhabitants of the country the right to receive medical care through hospital insurance funds.
Israel has long been a popular medical tourism destination among Ukrainians. In February 2007, Israeli healthcare services became available inside Ukraine itself, with the opening of the LISOD Israeli Oncology Hospital in the Kyiv region. This healthcare facility brings together leading experts from Israel and Ukrainian doctors to offer international quality cancer treatment without leaving the country. It is a good example how Ukraine and Israel can cooperate in the sphere of health care and medicine.
We do appreciate and support the initiative of A7 Conferences to organize “Invest & Trade in Ukraine ’16” conference. The event will cover all aspects of development of the Ukrainian medical institutions and will allow to learn the unique experience of the medical Institutions of Israel, acquire successful practices, and get in contact and to establish relations with Israeli side for the sake of successful partnership and common projects.
I would like to wish to all of your fruitful work at this conference and success in all yours undertakings.
Thank you for attention.