“From the third world to the first world:” Economic reforms takes center stage at Kiev gathering

Economists, reformers, public figures and businessmen are gathering in Kyiv (Kiev) this week to discuss potential models and tools for a much-needed Ukrainian “economic leap.” The First Kyiv International Economic Forum (KIEF) is set to take place on Thursday at the Hilton Kyiv Hotel in partnership with Ukraine Digital News.

The organizers and speakers will focus on bringing together authorities, experts and business to discuss economic policy, priority sectors and “growth points” of the new economy, including the high-tech sectors.

The discussion will be joined by successful reformers from other countries, business leaders and prominent economic experts. The event has set a goal of outlining structural economic reforms and uniting like-minded people in their efforts to implement those reforms.

According to forum organizers, Ukraine is capable of raising its status on the global economic map, “from the third world to the first world.”

“Today, our country desperately needs radical and systemic economic reforms. What should they be like? What shall we focus our efforts on in the nearest future? What instruments did other countries use? All these questions will be discussed at KIEF. We have invited leading economists who have successfully realized reforms in their own countries,” said the Head of KIEF Organizational Committee and President of BIONIC Hill Innovation Park Victor Galasyuk.

The organizers aim at creating an expert-level discussion platform devoted to structural economic reforms and getting the ideas elaborated at KIEF across to the Ukrainian authorities, political leaders, the expert community and the general public.

“In 1989, the Ukrainian economy ranked 13th worldwide, todays it ranks 39th. Nobody had a strategic plan or vision. We expect that the forum will help formulate a strategy for the rapid economic growth of Ukraine. This will help Ukraine regain its first-world country status, which it used to have”, said the President of Kyiv School of Economics George Logush.

More than 30 high-profile speakers have confirmed their participation at the forum, among them:

  • Grzegorz Witold Kołodko, a key architect of Polish economic reforms, Polish ex-Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance, Director of TIGER – Transformation, Integration and Globalization Economic Research;
  • Erik Reinert, an influential Norwegian economist, a professor at Tallinn Technical University, the author of a well-known bestseller “How rich countries got rich… And why poor countries stay poor”. He worked as a consultant to 49 countries on the matters of economic reforms, sound ratio of government intervention, protectionism and strategic industrial investments;
  • Dmitry Shymkiv, Deputy Head of Presidential Administration of Ukraine responsible for administrative, social and economic reforms. Director of Microsoft Ukraine in 2009-2014;
  • Serhiy Kvit, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine. Ex-Head of Media Reform Center. Founder of Kyiv-Mohyla School of Journalism. President of National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy 2007-2014;
  • Bernard Casey, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine (AmCham), a professional with 20 years of experience in the field of strategic and tactical planning at start-ups and state departments dealing with entrepreneurship development;
  • Daphne Koller, Professor at Stanford University, Co-Founder of Coursera, the biggest educational on-line portal in the world;
  • Gerhard Pfeifer, President of Bosch Group in the CIS;
  • Yukhan Parts, Prime Minister of Estonia from 2003 to 2005 (while joining the EU and NATO). Held a position of Minister for Economy and Communications from 2007 to 2014. Responsible for construction and housing, energy, information society, transportation, tourism, foreign trade, direct foreign investments, economic development, etc.

KIEF will also cover in detail the following topics during its six panel discussions:

  • High Technologies: Ukraine in the High-Tech Race
  • Agriculture: Extracting or Processing Industry?
  • Machine engineering: Burden or Wings?
  • Points of growth: Winning Strategy in Global Competition
  • Financing of development projects
  • Education: A revolution for Country and Business
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