Future of strategic partnership discussed during the XIX International Forum "Polish-Ukrainian Business Days" - EUCON legal Group

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Future of strategic partnership discussed during the XIX International Forum “Polish-Ukrainian Business Days”

The XIX International Forum “Polish-Ukrainian Business Days” took place in Warsaw on 25 April 2024, where representatives of the Polish and Ukrainian business community discussed opportunities and ways to strengthen lasting partnerships aimed at the economic development of both countries.

This year, in addition to trade and economic cooperation, the forum focused on the development of bilateral relations in the defence and security sectors.

Traditionally, the event was opened by Yaroslav Romanchuk, Chairman of the Board of the Association of Ukrainian Business in Poland, Managing Partner of EUCON Legal Group and Ireneusz Derek, Co-Chairman of the Council of the Association of Ukrainian Business in Poland, Member of the National Investment Council to the President of Ukraine, who were also moderators of the first panel discussion.

In their welcome speech, the moderators noted that cooperation in the defence sector is growing and it is time for business to actively discuss and engage in this cooperation. They pointed out that the industry is very important and forward-looking for the economic development of both countries.

During the first panel discussion, participants discussed the future of trade and economic cooperation between Poland and Ukraine through the prism of geopolitical challenges in the world, the situation on the border and growing defence spending.

Mr Paweł Zalewski, Secretary of State at the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Poland, noted in his speech that it is extremely important for Poland not only to ensure the security of its own country, but also to support the security of its neighbours. He also informed about Poland’s active efforts to create favourable conditions for business development in the defence sector. “Our goal is to create the right climate for business development in the defence sector. Currently, the government is actively working to facilitate conditions for investment in defence,” the speaker pointed out.

Paweł Zalewski also noted that Poland is currently a logistics and training centre for Ukraine, as well as a major provider of military equipment. We also have ambitions to become a defence industry centre for Ukraine.

Anna Gvozdiar, Deputy Minister of Industry for Strategic industrial areas of Ukraine, noted in her speech that modern Ukraine is actively developing its own defence industry and establishing partnerships with other countries.

She said that there are great opportunities for Polish business in this industry, including not only production, but also modernisation, repair and innovation.

“Our Ministry actively cooperates with governments as well as private companies. We receive many requests from foreign companies. In addition, we regularly organise defence forums both in Ukraine and abroad. For example, we are planning to hold such a forum in Poland on 8 May. During these events, we establish contacts with foreign manufacturers and involve representatives of Ukrainian companies, either governmental or private. These forums become a platform for establishing lasting contacts and cooperation between Ukrainian and Polish companies,” – Gvozdiar said.

Ignacy Niemczycki, Undersecretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Development and Technology, emphasised the importance of Ukraine as an economic partner for Poland, in particular pointing out that Ukraine is seventh in Polish exports and twenty-second in imports. “When it comes to Ukraine’s accession to the European Union, we must do everything to make the process beneficial for both Ukrainian and Polish entrepreneurs. We need to develop concrete tools and actions to do this,” – added the speaker.

Jacek Bartmiński, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of State Assets of the Republic of Poland, drew attention to the importance of cooperation between Ukraine and Poland in the context of Ukraine’s accession to the European Union. He pointed out that the success of the country’s development depends on the availability of capital and the effective use of human resources.

Mr Bartmiński was also impressed by the organisation and efficiency of Ukrposhta, which is performing very well despite military condition. He discussed the potential opportunities for Polish companies in Ukraine, even in the context of the military conflict, mentioning examples of successful Polish companies such as Kredobank and Polimex, which are still operating in the country. At the same time, he stressed that the Polish experience in the development of strategic enterprises and corporate governance can serve as an example for Ukraine.

Ruslan Perun, Head of the Economic Department of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Poland, noted the close cooperation between the Ukrainian and Polish sides during this difficult time for Ukraine. He said that special attention has been paid to significant efforts to speed up the issuance of permits for goods that are extremely important and relevant for Ukraine, especially in the current period.  “Ensuring the speedy issuance of permits and efficient transport logistics is a key aspect in saving the lives of our militaries who are bravely fighting for our freedom” the speaker stressed.

In addition to this, he talked about progress in resolving the issues at the border. “We are actively working on a draft of an agreement between Ukraine and Poland. Both sides have agreed on the text, which has already been finalised and sent by the Polish side to the European Commission. We expect this agreement to be signed soon,” – Mr Perun said.

Szymon Waszczyn, Chairman of the Board of the International Association of Polish Entrepreneurs in Ukraine, talked about his experience of running business on the Ukrainian market.

He noted that he has been working in the Ukrainian market for 21 years and heads a company specialising in the production of building materials. “Companies that want to enter into the Ukrainian market should understand that it should be more than just making money. They need to have a mission. My dream is a free and independent Ukraine and I am ready to sacrifice a few years of my life to make this dream come true and to ensure the security of my country Poland,” – Mr Szymon added.

Among the challenges and threats to doing business in the Ukrainian market in the current environment, he mentioned: the front line, high migration (both internal and external), mobilisation, conflict between economy and defence, and logistics (border blockade).

Mykhailo Khariy, Director of the Centre for Transformation of Ukraine, presented details of the Transformation of Ukraine project, which he worked on with an international team of top experts.  In his speech, he shared the key aspects of developing a concept that combined the knowledge and experience of the Polish transformation, geopolitical analysis and the current situation of Ukraine.

” The combination of efforts of foreign politicians and experts together with Ukrainian specialists will be a key element in the success of the project and will provide the opportunity for the systematic transformation of the country, will be a step towards creating a prosperous and stable future for Ukraine,” – Mykhailo Khariy said.

“How will dual-use goods and the development of joint ventures in the military-industrial sector change the structure of trade-economic relations and the defence and security strategies of our countries?” – this was the topic of the second panel discussion.

The panel moderators were Yaroslav Romanchuk, Chairman of the Board of the Association of Ukrainian Business in Poland, Managing Partner of EUCON Legal Group and Ireneusz Derek, Co-Chairman of the Council of the Association of Ukrainian Business in Poland, Member of the National Investment Council to the President of Ukraine.

Marcin Kubicza, Director of Strategic Projects, Ministry of State Assets of the Republic of Poland, emphasised the importance of support and cooperation between Ukraine and Poland in the defence sector, pointing out that this cooperation is an important part of the answer to current security challenges.

Krzysztof Szyszkowski, Head of the Department of Armament Projects of the Polish Armament Group S.A., noted that from the beginning of the military conflict in Ukraine, his company not only looked for benefits for its business, but also had a mission to support Ukraine. The ongoing negotiations with Ukroboronprom showed the possibilities for cooperation, and the signing of a contract for the production of ammunition during President Zelensky’s recent visit to Poland was a concrete achievement.

“We see a trend towards dual-use goods, which opens up new opportunities for development. In order to make the most of this potential, we need to introduce new forms of cooperation, in particular the establishment of joint ventures with Polish-Ukrainian capital,” – Szyszkowski said.

Mykhailo Shevchenko, acting deputy general director for development of Ukroboronprom, noted that in 2023 the company began to actively engage foreign companies to develop their products and production. He highlighted an example of successful cooperation – the creation of a joint venture with Rheinmetall.

Mykhailo Shevchenko pointed out that the establishment of joint ventures is only one type of cooperation, adding that other forms of cooperation can be considered, such as investment agreements, joint operating agreements and joint production agreements. Regarding the exchange of experience, the speaker noted that they were particularly interested in the experience of the transition of the Polish Armed Forces from Soviet to Western armaments.

Andrii Deshchytsia, Co-Chairman of the Council of the Association of Ukrainian Business in Poland. Ambassador of Ukraine to Poland (2015-2022), stressed that he believes that cooperation between Ukraine and Poland in the defence sector is most promising in areas such as drone production, ammunition and repair work. “We need quick decisions and mutual trust. We need to be aware that delays in certain decisions and permits can play a decisive role on the battlefield,” – said the speaker.

Vadym Melnyk, CEO of DRONEHUB GROUP, focused in his speech on the need to ensure effective communication between government organisations and businesses, as well as the need to deregulate the market to support the development of startups.

Vadym Melnyk also noted that Poland can help Ukraine to effectively create and structure businesses, and that Ukrainian companies have unique capabilities and experience in developing services. This cooperation, in his opinion, has potential for future development in the defence sector.

Robert Fintak, Chairman of the Board of the Polish Chamber of Unmanned Systems, shared his views on the development of unmanned technologies and cooperation in this field between Poland and Ukraine. He noted that there has been a significant evolution in the field of unmanned systems in recent years, pointing out recent advances in the development of technologies that have become important on the battlefield.

He stressed the need to simplify the certification of these products, especially when it is critical from a safety perspective.

Valeriy Borovyk, General Director of First Contact LLC. Commander of the White Eagle special strike drone unit, said that since 2014 their company has been producing different types of drones used in Ukraine to perform various combat missions.

He stressed that it is important for Polish companies specialising in defence to have a frontline presence in Ukraine, as this is key to their success.

Valeriy Borovyk also invited Polish companies operating in the defence sector to actively cooperate and noted that their company is ready to help the Polish government improve procedures for the fast delivery of equipment from Poland to Ukraine.

“We are ready to contribute to your success not only by improving your equipment, but also by jointly developing production. With our experience you will become more competitive. We invite all interested parties to cooperate and jointly develop innovative and effective solutions in the defence sector,” – Borovykk said.


The final session of the forum focused on the prospects and challenges of finance, financial instruments and commercial risk insurance in the defence sector.

While opening the panel discussion, moderator Andrii Romanchuk, lawyer, Senior Partner of EUCON Legal Group, pointed out the importance and timeliness of this topic given the current realities.

Luiza Bednarowska-Kopyść, Director of the Product Development Department at KUKE, talked about the tools provided by KUKE for entrepreneurs in the area of trade and investment. She emphasised that the KUKE is a recognised leader in the insurance and guarantee market. In her speech, Ms. Luiza pointed to the KUKE’s innovative approach to insuring and guaranteeing investment projects, which helps to reduce risk and ensure business stability.

Ms Bednarowska-Kopyść also drew attention to the growth of exports to Ukraine and invited all interested parties to cooperate, stressing the importance of partnership and mutually beneficial cooperation.

Karol Kubica, Director of the Foreign Trade Office in Kyiv of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH), talked about the Agency’s goals and mission. He pointed out that the PAIH office in Kyiv was reopened last year, adding that its key objective is to support Polish companies operating in Ukraine. Mr Karol added that PAIH provides free services such as partner search, contractor verification, market intelligence and others. Together with the Ministry of Development and Technology, there are plans to open offices in other Ukrainian cities, including Lviv. “Ukraine has become a priority for PAIH and our activities are directed at supporting the Polish economy and business,” the speaker said.

Serhii Savchuk, Director of the Department of Methodology of Regulation of Non-Banking Financial Institutions of the National Bank of Ukraine, noted that the NBU is finalising the draft law on the war risk insurance system. “At the first stage, compulsory war risk insurance will cover issues related to export and import of goods, as well as construction and mortgage facilities. Other items will be able to be insured optionally. In the next stages, the list will be expanded to include critical infrastructure facilities,” – Savchuk said.

Paweł Huras, Expert in the Innovation Development Department, Polish Development Fund, pointed out that the Fund is currently focusing on the development of several areas of activity. One is significant investments that do not find funding on the private market, particularly in the defence and dual-use goods sector. The second area is medium-sized investments made through venture capital funds that invest in new technologies and start-ups.

“Our fund is interested in innovation and development of technologies that can be used in defence and security. We are also considering investments not only in weapons, but also in systems for energy security, logistics security, airspace monitoring and the development of artificial intelligence.  To this end, we are actively working with Ukrainian and Polish start-ups and technology companies,” – Mr Huras said.

In his speech, Oleksandr Melnychenko, acting executive director of UkraineInvest, talked about Ukraine’s current investment opportunities, highlighting attention to the need for reconstruction of housing construction and infrastructure.

He presented a complex guide for potential investors who are ready to invest more than €12 million, the speaker included the requirements for investment projects, forms of support, the amount of support and the steps for applying for state support. Mr Melnychenko noted that for investors who want to invest less than €12 million, UkraineInvest provides advisory assistance and support.

Yaroslav Khariy, CEO of BFS LLC (Best Financial Solutions), co-founder of RADIOBIRD Ltd, noted the need to develop programmes supporting commercial instruments, especially in the context of financing dual-use projects. Mr Yaroslav stressed the importance of government subsidies and close cooperation with governments involved in the process. Among the challenges and risks for business, he mentioned risks related to final payments, deliveries to Ukrainian companies with current contracts and other difficulties, including those related to the financial system.

Jerzy Kwieciński, Vice President of the Management Board of PEKAO S.A., showed optimism regarding future cooperation, pointing out that Ukrainian-Polish cooperation is growing, especially in the context of exports, which have increased significantly over the past two years.

“We are optimistic about the prospects for cooperation with Ukraine. For the country’s successful reconstruction, significant financial resources are needed, amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars. Our company feels responsible and is ready to actively participate in this process. For its part, Ukraine needs to continue implementing economic reforms and modernisation to attract investment,” – Mr Kwieciński said.










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