“A Winning Ukraine”: Kyiv International Economic Forum-2022

This year’s annual business gathering KIEF was held under martial law and was dedicated to the topic “A winning Ukraine.” The forum brought together more than 700 participants – representatives of government, businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, and international partners to discuss effective strategies for the economic recovery of Ukraine and how the world will change after Ukraine’s victory.

Well-known international speakers, imcluding Professor of Political Science at Stanford University Michael McFaul, Managing Partner of FutureMap Parag Khanna, Chairman of HEAD International GmbH Johan Eliasch, Chairman of the Supervisory Board and member of the Corporate Governance, Remuneration and Nomination Committee of PrivatBank Sharon Iski and others joined the event online.

Key discussion panels

  • Post-War Reconstruction of Ukraine
  • How Will the World Change After Ukraine’s Victory?
  • 28 vs 50 Millions. Struggle For the Human Capital
  • Lessons For Business From the War in Ukraine
  • MetaUkraine: How Ukraine Changes the Digital World
  • Company Transformation During the War
  • Financing For Ukraine Recovery Program
  • A Winning Economy. KIEF Insights

We stay in Ukraine and will create jobs for smart people here, Aleksandr Konotopskyi, CEO at Ajax Systems.

Survey results: Ukrainian business during the war

At the beginning of the panel “Lessons For Business From the War in Ukraine”, founder and director of Gradus Research and Corestone Group Yevheniia Blyzniuk presented the results of the recent survey on Ukrainian business during the war at the Kyiv International Economic Forum.


  • Only 14% of businesses declared to have the same or a higher level of income.
  • The key priorities were staff retention (because teams do business) and sales markets (they are not ready to give up Ukrainian market).
  • A third of businesses have undergone industry transformation.
  • A quarter have relocated or are preparing to do so.
  • The main directions of relocation are the safer western regions of Ukraine.
  • Outside Ukraine, the main directions of relocation and opening of new businesses are EU countries (the leaders are Poland and Germany).
  • Relocation is considered an opportunity rather than a threat for Ukraine — after all, it is the construction of a global network and a potential asset for our country.
  • 90% of businesses believe that Ukrainian entrepreneurs are able to successfully compete on EU markets.
  • The end of the war is expected by the end of 2023 (and therefore — crisis scenarios are laid for this period).
  • They see the fight against corruption and tax reform as the basis for Ukraine’s further success.

61% of companies believe that the war will serve as a springboard for Ukraine for further fast development and growth.

Lessons For Business From the War in Ukraine

Moderated by Olga Rudneva, CEO of Superhumans Center, Ukrainian business people discussed how they overcame the wartime challenges, priorities of the management in times of uncertainty, and projects which helped Ukraine during nine months of a full-scale invasion of russia.

  • Oleg Gorokhovskyi, banker and co-founder of Monobank: “Over 10 MNL donations via “Banka” solution.”
  • Alexander Komarov, President of Kyivstar : “We provide services for all users all over Ukraine. Today in Kherson it’s free (and will be 1-3 months and more according to the situation). Cooperation with international telecom partners (vendors summit).”
  • Andrey Zdesenko, owner and CEO of Biosphere Corporation: “We provided a wide range of communications: over 100 publications in EU business media about the projects  “Support Ukrainians.”
  • Natalia Yaromenko, owner of Beauty Tech group of companies, founder of Lamel professional make-up brand:

From local company we became international, scaling globally during this 9 months in 20 countries.

MetaUkraine: How Ukraine Changes the Digital World

During the panel, moderated by independent member of Kyivstar Supervisory Board Dmytro Shymkiv, well-known Ukrainian tech representatives shared their wartime experience, the pillars of innovation industry resilience, new frontiers for development & growth, and what are the next big thing for tech in Ukraine and globally.

Mykhailo Fedorov, Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Digital Transformation in Ukraine: 

  • Unique projects by Ukrainians during wartime: Delta system, special modification of drones.
  • Ukrainian tech specialists’ skills adoption into military tech projects.
  • Cybersecurity is a new black for global world; it’s the export-oriented sphere where national professionals with exclusive high-level expertise.
  • New products and services provide by Ukrainian business.
  • State/government is today the accelerator, which became absolutely agile in military tech sphere.

Two approaches: govtech & militarytech. Metaverse project is also on the agenda.”

Taras Kytsmey, Co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of SoftServe:

  • 300K tech specialists from Ukraine serve the world globally.
  • The pillars of resilience: global markets, digital processes – “metaverse, beta version”.
  • Risks: security of data, safety of people/team, internet and electricity – we manage all of this.
  • 250 people from the company serve in Army. In general 3%.
  • Conquering the Latin America markets. We export Ukrainian culture globally.
  • 15 specialists in the company work in quantum computing. We enter emerging markets.

13% growth in $ during 9 months of 2022.

Aleksandr Konotopskyi, CEO at Ajax Systems: 

  • We stay in Ukraine and will create jobs for smart people here.
  • New markets are the diversification of risks for business.
  • I’m top fan of Diia City and I think it’s the best tax system in the world.

30% growth of the company during wartime.

Olga Ustinova, CEO, Vodafone Ukraine:

  • 1000 stations were recovered. It’s the underway process.
  • Based on the experience, connection recovers during 1-1,5 hours.
  • New challenges are blackouts.

Unique projects: launched during a week the national roaming, and international roaming abroad.

Yuriy Batkhin, Vice President for Market and Business Development, Mastercard Ukraine and Moldova:  

Fintech demonstrates unprecedented resilience. We was preparing previously, so the industry passed stress and crash tests.

  • Quick and effective solutions – payments, transactions.
  • Interchange/commission was canceled in the beginning of invasion.
  • Boosting cashless economy: during 3 days was launched the project of exchange of cash and online payments in stores.”

During the Kyiv International Economic Forum, UAH 1 million was raised to support the Superhumans Center, a specialized clinic for prosthetics and reconstructive surgery to improve the quality of life of our heroes.

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