The USAID LEV Program held the Final Conference
On Tuesday - Wednesday, October 10-11, 2017, the Conference entitled “Developing Small and Medium Business – Building the Future” brought together more than 250 participants to discuss the business climate for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) based on the results achieved by the USAID LEV Program since its beginning in December 2014.
The distinguished guests of this two-day event included Viktor Halasiuk, Chairman of the VRU Committee on Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship, Ksenia Lyapina, Head of the State Regulatory Service, Gennadiy Chyzhykov, President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ukraine, Roman Shpek, Head of the Board of the Independent Association of Banks of Ukraine, Algirdas Šemeta, Business Ombudsman, and Vasyl Kuybida, President of the National Academy for Public Administration under the President of Ukraine. The participants warmly greeted Ms. Susan Kosinski Fritz, Director of the USAID Regional Mission to Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, who delivered welcoming remarks and stressed the importance of SMEs development as a driver of the economic growth and prosperity in Ukraine.
The conference brought together the USAID LEV partners, particularly representatives of the national, regional and local government, business associations and leading think tanks from Kyiv and regions. The discussions were enriched by the presentation of the results of the Annual Business Climate Assessment (ABCA) 2016/2017, which, highlighted the differences in business climate across Ukrainian regions, first signs of the business climate improvement and identified the most pressing barriers for SMEs. During the three plenary sessions, the participants discussed the USAID LEV achievements and remaining challenges in the regulatory environment for SMEs, new opportunities for SMEs development at the regional level, as well as the SMEs export promotion via removing internal barriers. The conference also included the lively discussions on the local business associations (BAі) development based on the 13 presentations by the USAID LEV partner BAs and the winners of Roadmap completion. As part of the conference, there was the official closing ceremony of the joint training program "Comprehensive Approach to Exporting" by the USAID LEV and the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry conducted for SMEs in five pilot regions of the USAID LEV.