Connecting Sweden and Ukraine
On April the 6th Kyiv welcomed representatives of Sweden and Ukraine businesses as well as State officials of both countries at the IT-Connection event, aimed at linking the Swedish IT sector with its Ukrainian counterparts. The conference was organized by Business Sweden and Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine, and supported by Sigma Software, Ericsson, and Beetroot.
Ukrainian IT industry is one of the most promising sectors, due to strong scientific legacy and growing pool of qualified and motivated human resources. Furthermore, Ukraine is a close, competent, innovative, and reliable partner for Swedish businesses.
IT-Connection event was called to highlight the Ukrainian IT industry development, growing the interest for investing from the Swedish businesses. The participants shared experience in implementing the innovative approaches and tools in their daily work. The event welcomed Ukrainian startups in different areas, including energy, healthcare, cyber security, and many more. These young entrepreneurs, side by side with the big and stable companies, became the living evidence that Ukraine is not another outsourcing destination, but a creative, innovative, smart, and mature IT country.
The event started with opening remarks from the Ambassador of Sweden in Ukraine, Mr. Andreas von Beckerath, who referred that last year the trade volume between the two countries increased by 20 percent: “However, it`s not even close to the real potential. Among the Ukrainian economy sectors, IT is the most promising. It has been said a lot about it. I`m convinced, we must stop talking and start acting. That is why this event was organized: to open the doors to Ukrainian market for Swedish businesses, to illustrate the successful Swedish business in Ukraine on the examples of the event partners.”
The Ambassador thanked all the event partners. Sigma, Ericsson, and Beetroot are very different, but have something in common — they represent the successful Swedish businesses in Ukraine. “Ericsson is one of the oldest companies, as they are presented in Ukraine for over 100 years. Beetroot is a great example of mid-size business. With over 600 people in the team, Sigma Software is the biggest Swedish employer in Ukraine. I`m also very happy, that Sigma puts Kharkiv on the map. Having the head office there, the company makes sure the full potential of Kharkiv region is unleashed.”
The following word took Oscar Stenström, Swedish State Secretary for Economic Development and Innovations. He mentioned Ukraine as the stable partner for Sweden: “The Swedish-Ukrainian relations are strong, but they can be closer. My work and my task are to develop trade and cooperation between our countries. We are currently considering on investing in Ukraine`s R&D and education, e-services development, primarily e-government, and startups. Ukrainian IT industry is not about outsourcing anymore, it`s about inventing and creating things.”
Dmytro Shymkiv, Deputy Head of Presidential Administration of Ukraine, added that Ukrainians are used to be successful startupers and innovators: “The first gas lamp and the first helicopter were invented in Ukraine, not mentioning the outstanding achievement in space engineering, electronics, and many more. The startup community is very energetic in Ukraine. At the same time, the IT industry shows a stable growth by 30 percent a year. The sector is booming, and the government is committed to help it by convincing foreign businesses to invest in Ukraine, by active PR of the industry on international forums and conferences.”
The event continued with the panel discussions. The first was dedicated to Sweden as a leading IT innovative nation and welcomed Carl Vikingsson, CEO at Sigma Technology, as one of the speakers. Among other things he said that Sigma has been cooperating with Ukraine for 10 years already: “After years of working together, we are very proud of Ukraine. Its people are always eager to try new things, learn new technologies, and implement new innovative approaches. Our main goal as the company is to translate these innovations into Customers` daily business, make it useful. As Innovation is nothing when it is not connected to the Client`s needs.”
Valery Krasovsky, CEO at Sigma Software, was among the panelists of Swedish-Ukrainian cooperation Success stories discussion:
“When we started a company in 2002, we were a startup too. Fourteen years later the team of six enthusiasts has grown to 600 people, providing best-quality solutions to the Customers worldwide. Among our Clients are world-known brands, for which we offer wide range of IT consulting services. It`s not just coding, it`s building comprehensive and innovative solutions. A decade ago our company became a part of Sigma Group. We have chosen Sweden as a strategic partner, as we liked Swedish mentality and their custom to make common decisions. I believe, through such events we can enhance the cooperation and attract more attention to Ukraine from Swedish business community.”
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