19 Лют 2024

The Kyiv Investment Forum 2023 in the Heart of Europe Drums up
the International Support for Kyiv’s Recovery

The 8th Kyiv Investment Forum, with the theme "Brussels Platform: Sustainable Revival of Greater Kyiv," continued its influential role in driving discussions and actions for the sustainable revival of Ukraine's capital. Organized by the Department of Economy and Investments of the City of Kyiv and hosted by Philippe Close, Mayor of Brussels, and Vitalii Klitschko, Mayor of Kyiv, this year's forum was built on the foundation laid by the Brussels Declaration, a landmark initiative from the 2022 forum. For the second consecutive year, the city of Brussels hosted the Kyiv Investment Forum due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, bringing together over 350 participants from across the globe, including more than 27 ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps, 10 city representatives.

The audience attended by more than 500 participants featured heads and representatives of European municipalities, ambassadors and members of diplomatic missions, prominent European policymakers, leaders of major businesses and financial organizations. Additionally, 2 000 participants joined the forum via livestream, extending its reach and impact.

This year’s event was opened by Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission who addressed the forum participants with a video message. “The city of Kyiv is leading the effort to build a better future for Ukraine. I have seen firsthand how the city is reimagining itself, as a dynamic, green, and inclusive capital. Kyiv can also be an example for other Ukrainian cities, as well as for cities in the EU. We can learn so much from each other, and help one another. Including through the “mayor’s platform”, which this forum brought to life last year”, stressed the president of the European Commission.

A focal point of the forum was the signing of a memorandum on bilateral cooperation between Brussels and Kyiv, marking a strengthened partnership dedicated to supporting Kyiv's reconstruction. This agreement highlights the broader commitment to Ukraine’s support by European entities, further demonstrated by the signing of the Cooperation Agreement between the Kyiv Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the BESI-Brussels Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor of Brussels Philippe Close, emphasizing the importance of this alliance, stated, "To dear Vitalii Klitschko and the resilient people of Ukraine, Brussels stands as a steadfast ally. In 2023, the promise echoes: 'As long as it takes.' Across Europe, cities unite in solidarity, reinforcing the bonds that make our shared European destiny unbreakable. Kyiv Investment Forum isn't just about Kyiv's future; it's a collective reflection on the future of Ukraine and the shared destiny of European nations."

A significant highlight of this year's event was the expansion of the Brussels Declaration, a mayors' platform for city-to-city cooperation. The declaration was extended to include three additional municipalities – Barcelona, Tirana, and Metropolia Grand Paris, demonstrating a growing solidarity and commitment to mutual support, crisis cooperation, and socio-economic development.

Vitalii Klitschko, Mayor of Kyiv expressed profound gratitude for support, highlighting the strategic importance of the partnership with Brussels : “International support is very important for the reconstruction and restoration of the Ukrainian capital and the implementation of important projects here. At last year’s Forum in Brussels, mayors and representatives of 15 European cities agreed to join forces to help rebuild Greater Kyiv. And they created the Brussels Platform, which launched active processes in important projects for Kyiv: the creation of a modern rehabilitation center for the military, the arrangement of a laboratory for the production of innovative biomedical products, the renewal of the rolling stock of city transport, and social support projects. We cooperate with European municipalities that communicate with local businesses and look for opportunities to implement priority projects for us”.

The Forum also witnessed a new cooperation agreement between the European Investment Bank and the Kyiv City Council, an initiative underscoring the commitment to modernize Kyiv’s urban public transport system. This agreement includes consulting services and preparatory work and is bolstered by a €480,000 technical assistance grant from the EIB’s Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance Trust Fund (EPTATF). Its goal is to invest in the renewal and renovation of rolling stock of Kyiv metro, a critical step towards modernization. This move is instrumental in reducing the city's reliance on Russian-made metro carriages and spare parts, contributing significantly to the resilience and effective functioning of Kyiv under the current challenging conditions.

Building on the foundation of strong international support, the Kyiv Investment Forum 2023 further highlighted its focus on investment and economic opportunities, steering the narrative beyond European aid to explore avenues for self-sufficient, synergistic growth and sustainable economic development.

Keynotes and panel sessions explored Kyiv's potential to meaningfully contribute to the regional and European economy. The discussions underscored how investing in Kyiv's infrastructure, technology, and human capital could yield substantial returns, both economically and socially.

Moreover, the forum introduced the concept of synergy growth, encouraging collaboration between various sectors – public, private, and civil society – to create a robust economic ecosystem. This approach aims to foster an environment where businesses of all sizes can thrive, contributing to the city's overall economic vitality.

A pivotal aspect of the forum centered around shaping a resilient, sustainable, and future-ready economic landscape in Kyiv, guided by a comprehensive vision for transformation. Key discussions revolved around enhancing the education system, fostering social mobility, and reimagining the financial architecture to propel Kyiv toward a prosperous, inclusive future.

The forum's participants emphasized the profound role of empowered communities, with a special focus on the vital contributions of women, in offering people the opportunity to actively participate in decision-making processes and create economic opportunities. Recognizing that women play a pivotal role as defenders and contributors to their communities, it was underscored that their leadership and involvement are essential in shaping Kyiv's sustainable future.

The forum also emphasized the critical role of decentralization, transparency and good governance in attracting and retaining investment. By committing to these principles, Kyiv positions itself as a reliable and attractive destination for international investors.

In conclusion, the Kyiv Investment Forum 2023 marked a significant shift in the city's in/post-conflict narrative. It was not just a platform for seeking support but a stage for presenting Kyiv as a metropolis of opportunity for investment and growth. The forum successfully laid out a vision of Kyiv as a city poised for economic transformation, ready to embrace partnerships that promise shared prosperity and advancement within the European community and beyond.