Ramping up Ukraine’s exports to support economic development and early recovery

Special “foresight” event organized to anticipate obstacles and chart the way forward

January 30, 2023

Photo: Andrii Krepkykh / UNDP in Ukraine

Kyiv, 30 January 2023 – More than 70 representatives of the Ukrainian Government and Parliament, regional authorities, large business membership organizations, enterprises, and leading export promotion experts attended a strategy session last week to accelerate the recovery and development of Ukrainian exports and international trade.  The event, organized by UNDP with the support of the Federal Republic of Germany, sought to chart the way forward for Ukraine’s recovery and focused on ways to diversify the economy into more innovative and knowledge-intensive areas.

Participants examined how various factors such as societal changes, technological advances, economic conditions, infrastructure limitations, environmental concerns, political developments, ethical considerations, and demographic shifts may impact the future development of Ukrainian exports.  Taking into account each scenario, they developed a comprehensive assessment of potential opportunities and challenges facing Ukraine's export industry in the coming years and started to create a roadmap of necessary changes. 

Jaco Cilliers, Interim UNDP Resident Representative to Ukraine, said UNDP and the Government of Germany are working closely with Ukrainian authorities to create an enabling environment for increased international cooperation and trade by strengthening the capacities of governance bodies, and Ukrainian enterprises. “There is an urgent need to develop and expand exports as a source of income for manufacturers, particularly in light of falling demand in the domestic market,” he said. “Increasing exports of Ukrainian products will help to reduce unemployment and be a key driver for economic growth and stability.”

Armin Hofmann, Programme Director of “Utilisation and implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine in the field of trade,” said the event’s main purpose was to look ahead and analyze the perspective of Ukraine in international trade and export. “Together with UNDP, the GIZ team is committed to supporting the Government of Ukraine to address the current challenges and to increase the success of the Ukrainian economy at the global markets through the adoption of relevant policies and their implementation.”

Taras Kachka, Deputy Minister of Economy and Trade Representative of Ukraine, said export growth is the major goal of postwar economic development. “Ukraine has enormous potential for growth in the traditional areas of ‘grains and brains,’ namely agriculture and IT, but also in various industries such as chemicals, machinery, and transport equipment,” he said. “The government's aim is to remove all barriers and to leverage the growing interest in Ukraine that is being inspired by the resilience of our people.”

The next step is to conduct an online survey of a wider range of stakeholders, including representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises, non-governmental organizations, and think tanks. This survey will gather additional input and perspectives on the scenarios developed at the event, and help to refine and develop the ideas and recommendations for the future development of the Ukrainian export strategy.

Background: The event was organized under the auspices of two projects funded by the German Government and implemented by the German federal company “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH” in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine: 1) “Utilisation and implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine in the field of trade,” and 2) “Support to inclusive economic development in Ukraine by linking export strategy with regional development and SDGs.”

Media enquiries: Yuliia Samus, UNDP Ukraine Head of Communications; e-mail: yuliia.samus@undp.org