18:44 29.01.2018

New Frontiers in Global Trade, Values-based Business and Impact Investments: Highlights of Day 4 from Ukraine House Davos

6 min read

Davos, 29 January 2018. The final working day of the first-ever Ukraine House in Davos was dominated by discussions of business seen through the social prism. In line with the main theme of this year’s World Economic Forum - Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World - the speakers of Ukraine House Davos shared their views on how the global business community can develop models for cooperation that are based not on narrow interests, but are driven by considerations of responsibility and sustained positive change.

At the centre of the first panel of the day  - From Policy to Success Stories: Expanding Frontiers in Global Trade - was the issue of good government trade policy and its power to facilitate trade and investment opportunities. The panel featured insights from Ailish Campbell, Chief Trade Commissioner of Canada and Assistant Deputy Minister, International Business Development, Daniel Bilak, Chief Investment Adviser to the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Director of UkraineInvest and Dan McCann, President, Kodisoft.

Speaking of the recent progress in trade relations between Canada and Ukraine,  Ailish Campbell said: “The Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement took several years to negotiate but had huge bipartisan support across all political parties in Canada and, of course, a huge champion for the Agreement was Chrystia Freeland, the ex-Minister of International Trade, now the Minister of Foreign Affairs. And what’s been really exciting was to see a 30% increase of Canada-Ukraine bilateral trade between 2015 and 2016, and not just an increase in trade, but also to see the diversification in those products, to see an increasing number of technology products, manufacturing goods, and also high-value services trade”.

Commenting on the challenges facing the system of international trade today, Daniel Bilak noted: “The world is probably undergoing the single greatest period of technological change since the 19th century. This is creating all sorts of socio-economic tensions and prongs we see through populism, people feel they have not benefited from globalization… Disruptive technologies are making things more efficient but it means now we are going to have to find work for all these people. And trade is becoming again, and always has been, in the center of this kind of dynamic”.

From left to right: Olena Prykhodko, Ian Charles Stewart, Kadie Ward, Rainer Schorr, Christa Markwalder

Titled Values-Based Business in a Fractured World, the second event of the day featured a discussion of how present-day business, civic, and political leaders are developing new values–based systems of management and cooperation in Ukraine and in other countries.

During a vibrant and engaging discussion, Honourable Christa Markwalder, Member of Swiss Parliament, Ian Charles Stewart, Co-Founder of WiReD Magazine, Rainer Schorr, Managing Director of Global Connect Consulting AG and Olena Prykhodko, President, JCI Monaco shared their views on the importance of promoting values-based business worldwide.

“Even though the quality of life in Switzerland is pretty high, we are still facing a basic challenge being a country with different languages, different religions and different backgrounds. We had to create an inclusive political system and that’s why the four major political parties are represented in our government and with the so-called “direct democracy”, with regular referenda, every citizen has a possibility to be actively involved in concrete political issues”, said Christa Markwalder. “This basic engagement helps people to feel not left behind – a phenomenon we have seen in many European countries”, she added.

Pondering the impact of technology on cohesion in modern society Ian Charles Stewart noted: “There are issues about technology which we do not talk about too much. The fact that we can now filter what we read and read only what we want to read, and listen only to who we want to listen to, and never have to expose our views to the challenge of dialogue with the people who do not agree, means that you get polarization in politics”.

During the event Alexa Chopivsky, Executive Director, Ukraine House Davos, presented the daughter of Dr. Bohdan Havrylyshyn, who was a Canadian, Swiss and Ukrainian economist and thinker, a founder of the European Management Forum (which later became the annual World Economic Forum in Davos) with the Ukraine House Award for lifelong contribution to the promotion and development of Ukraine.

Opening the panel, Kadie Ward made an emotional statement: “Ukraine House Davos is a very special place for us (Bohdan Havrylyshyn Foundation) to bring the ideas that Dr. Havrylyshyn has started nearly towards the end of his life... His message was ‘What can Ukraine bring to the world?’ And we can bring a new way of doing things, because there were a lot of transitions and challenges, businesses are still growing, civil society is still growing and there is an opportunity for the society to flourish… Ukraine can lead in another way, not just in technology, but also in civil society and social structures, new economic models that will change and really benefit global markets”.

The Rise of Civic Tech and Impact Investing, the concluding panel of Ukraine House campaign in Davos (sponsored by SocialBoost), was dedicated to the models of synergy between governments, startups and impact investors and featured an insightful exchange of views between Jean-Baptiste Soufron, Former General Secretary of the French National Digital Council, Alisée de Tonnac, CEO & Co-founder, Seedstars World, Chidiogo Akunyili, Founder of the Movement ‘She ROARS’ and Denis Gursky, Founder, SocialBoost. Andrew Chakhoyan, Founder and CEO, Strategic Narrative Consulting, moderated the event.

“We are very proud of Ukraine as a society, showing the example in Eastern Europe on how government and private investors can work together to have sustainable and positive results”,- stated Denis Gursky.

"Technology is not neutral. Digital technologies are the best way to transform societies and bring a better distribution of wealth and progress among people. But we must watch them with constant care. It’s a small price to pay», summed up the discussion Jean-Baptiste Soufron.

About Ukraine House Davos
Ukraine House Davos is a multi-format venue organized by Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA) in partnership with Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF) and Victor Pinchuk Foundation. Ukraine House will run January 22-26, 2018 under the theme Ukraine: Creativity, Innovation, Opportunity in Davos, Switzerland.
Ukraine House’s Gold Sponsor is Ciklum and Silver Sponsor is IT Ukraine Association.
All discussion panels will be streamed live on Ukraine House Davos Facebook page and YouTube channel.
For media inquiries contact Yuriy Sak at [email protected] or on +380 95 618 156