Sweden-Ukraine Business Forum: Our Two Countries should Grow Together
On June 15, the Embassy of Sweden in Ukraine held the 6th Sweden-Ukraine Business Forum in Kyiv. Every year, this Forum becomes the biggest Swedish-Ukrainian business event supported by the Swedish business community in Ukraine.
The event guests and participants were Margot Wallström, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Linas Linkevičius, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Stepan Kubiv, First Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, Pavlo Kovtoniuk, Deputy Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine, other state officials, and business representatives.
This year, the Forum was held under the slogan “Sweden-Ukraine: Growing Together” representing the aim of bringing the two countries even closer together and promote them as mutual destinations for business and investments. The Forum discussed the pace of implemented reforms and business environment in Ukraine, prospect sectors of Ukrainian economy and Swedish solutions for Ukrainian market. Another part of the forum was dedicated to discovering Sweden as a free and open market with wide opportunities for Ukrainian producers to export.
During panel discussions, the participants have discussed strengths and weaknesses of Ukraine, the measures taken to create favorable business climate and fight against corruption, the reforms implemented, and other steps to attract investors to the country. “The approval of visa-free travel should also positively affect commerce and business between our two countries,” noted Margot Wallström, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden.
Possible value of Swedish solutions and Swedish experience for Ukraine was discussed at one of the discussion panels addressing various areas, including e-health, e-governance, energy consuming, agriculture, etc. IT solutions that help modernize and improve operation of both public and private sectors became the topic of the speech of Valery Krasovsky, CEO at Sigma Software:
“Sweden was among the first European countries to start implementing electronic services. At the same time, companies like ours develops smart solutions, which automate operation of government institutions, healthcare organizations, educational establishments and are successfully applied in many European countries. We are ready to use this experience to create systems that would facilitate progress of Ukraine.”
Much attention was given to the question of healthcare reformation. Pavlo Kovtoniuk, Deputy Minister of Healthcare of Ukraine:
“Reform of the healthcare system is one of the key structural reforms planned for the coming years. A good example for us is Sweden, where life expectancy is 10 years more than in Ukraine. The standard of life is also much higher in this country, which results in fewer sicknesses in population, so people work more efficiently contributing to the economy progress. These two factors and intensification of Primary Care form the basis of the reform, just like the transition from the budgetary economy to the market economy, which must push healthcare to a totally new level.”
The latter can be also promoted by automation of operation of clinics and other facilities:
“Our partners, Cambio Healthcare Systems, have presented at the Forum their system, which was successfully implemented in dozens of European clinics,” adds Valery Krasovsky, “This system provides all the functionality to handle an integrated patient process from primary visit to release, improving patient safety, clinical efficacy, and healthcare efficiency by saving time and resources. Ukrainian clinics could benefit greatly from a system like that. We are ready and want to help make our public sector more efficient and people-oriented. We just need political will for that.”