IT EVENT IN SYDNEY SENDS SIGNAL THAT UKRAINE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Panel of experts discuss how unicorns and global companies achieve success by working with Ukrainian IT talent
SYDNEY, 17 May 2021 – The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) co-hosted an event focused on the deep talent pool of IT specialists in Ukraine and how they can help Australian companies grow. The event, titled “Accelerate your growth and fill talent gaps with Ukrainian IT” was held on Wednesday, May 12th at Fishburners incubator in the Sydney CBD and drew a diverse in-person and virtual audience which included startup founders, business representatives, government officials, and community leaders.
Opening remarks were delivered by Dan Tebbutt, Head of Investment at Austrade. Mt Tebbutt outlined the current trade relationship between Australia and Ukraine and highlited that there is certainly scope to do more. His Excellency Mykola Kulinich, Ambassador of Ukraine to Australia delivered the key note speech and spoke about economic opportunities in Ukraine and the growth of IT services.
Hugh Simpson, CEO of LQD Technology, shared his experices as an Australian IT executive working in Ukraine. “There are well over 200,000 IT specialists in Ukraine and they are globally recognised for innovation and STEM capabilities, including a rapidly growing R&D capability with strong competencies in Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. The IT education system is focused not only on technical skill sets, but also the English language, critical thinking and problem solving. Furthermore, Ukrainian talent is unlike other offshore locations due to high exposure to successful innovative start-ups and global tech companies.” Mr Simpson said.
Kateryna Argyrou, Co-Chair of the AFUO and NSW Representative of the Australia-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce (AUCC) discussed bilateral trade opportunities more broadly between Australia and Ukraine. “Both countries are agricultural powerhouses in their respective hemispheres and play an important role in the resource and energy industries. The 2018-19 trade statistics suggest that there was just over $200m of trade between Australia and Ukraine; the main export from Australia was coal and the main import from Ukraine was vegetable oil. This trade relationship may currently be small when viewed on a global scale, however it has the potential to grow very quickly.” Ms Argyrou said.
Ms Argyrou drew attention to some of the recent Australian-Ukrainian success stories, including Altium, Persollo, Graincorp, Nufarm, CosmoVision Global, and Volt Resources. She also highlighted the key milestones that the Australian-Ukrainian business community has recently achived, including visa free travel to Ukraine, electing new AUCC leadership, and launching the Australia-Ukraine Business Council (AUBC). The AFUO is now spearheading an effort to have Ukraine included in the Australian System of Tariff Preferences which would undoubtedly open new opportunities for bilateral trade.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many Australian companies to reassess supply chains and has highlighted a growing need for geographical diversification to mitigate risks associated with a central point of manufacturing. The AFUO, AUCC and AUBC are receiving a growing number of requests from Australian companies interested in goods and services from Ukraine. Ukrainian companies are also searching for new export markets, so this could be a perfect match.” Ms Argyrou said.
The event concluded with a panel discussion which made it absolutely clear that there are businesses from both countries that are eager to explore bilateral cooperation opportunities across different industries. The AFUO will continue to work with the Australian government in order to unlock some of these opportunities in the near term.
About LQD Technology (LQD): LQD helps high growth scale-ups and enterprises to build and scale innovative products and solutions. LQD are technology partners who work with their clients to understand their business challenges and find cost efficient talent solutions with the right mix of business, technical and critical thinking skills to accelerate development and innovation.
About the Australia-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce (AUCC): Established in 2015, the AUCC’s goal is to advance the broader Australia-Ukraine business relationship through building connections, delivering effective advocacy programs and providing information and insights.
About the The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO): Peak body for 22 community organisations throughout Australia, including churches, state community organisations, youth and women’s organisations, credit co-operative, educational, returned service, language and other organisations.
PROMOTING UKRAINE’S IT SECTOR – UKRAINE IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS
ACCELERATE YOUR GROWTH AND FILL IN THE GAPS
Ukraine has an amazing pool of IT specialists working in Ukraine and around the globe.
In major corporations and start-up companies, IT specialists in Ukraine are often the first port of call.
Ukraine, through UkraineInvest (ADD LINK https://ukraineinvest.gov.ua/invest-in-ukraine-now/doing-business-in-ua/success_stories/) and other government institutions, is working hard to promote the message that “Ukraine is Open for Business”.
Key partners include LQD Technology (lqdtechnology.com) chief executive Hugh Simpson, Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO), Australia-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce (AUCC) Kateryna Argyrou, Embassy of Ukraine Second Secretary Volodymyr Shalkivskyi and Ambassador of Australia to Ukraine, Bruce Edwards.
Keynote speakers – Ambassador of Ukraine Mykola Kulinich, Hugh Simpson, Kateryna Argyrou and Dan Tebbutt from Austrade spoke about Ukraine, the business prism, and how Ukrainian IT specialists are used by international companies to assist with implementing growth strategies.
Hugh Simpson spoke about his experiences as he now lives in Kyiv (Information about LQD below).
Kateryna Argyrou, Co-chair of the AFUO, in her presentation, outlined the economic climate in Ukraine, its growth and potential, and what the AFUO and AUCC are doing to promote business. She outlined the Embassy of Ukraine and the AFUO’s objective of convincing the Australian Government to add Ukraine to the list of countries in the System of Tariff Preferences.
Dan Tebbutt, Head of Investment at Austrade, is well known to the Ukrainian community in his previous role as the Trade Commissioner to Ukraine, and spoke of his experiences and why Ukraine is a strong potential market.
Ambassador Kulinich provided background to what Ukraine is doing now to secure international support and confidence.
A panel discussion that followed expanded on some of the themes outlined in the presentation and provided valuable insights.
DFAT was represented by Markiyan Wojewidka, who has been very supportive in issues relating to Australia-Ukraine relations.
Through the Q&A session, many issues arose, alluding to the opportunities Ukraine offers.
From the floor, Mary Duma, Vice Principal of the International Grammar School, asked about the firms that work in Ukraine and are they geared towards philanthropy.
Yurij Suchowersky, chair of the Ukrainian Studies Foundation in Australia, commented that USFA, together with the AFUO Humanitarian Initiatives Program, were funding an Occupational Therapy (OT) project with the Ukrainian Catholic University in Ukraine – an initiative in the OT area that is much needed. He also commented that most people know little about Ukraine and its potential, so there is much to do.
Leading NSW and international scientist, Associate Professor Natalka Suchowerska initiated the discussion about the role of women in the science and IT field and asked what proportion of women worked at LQD Technology – the response was approximately 70 per cent.
AFUO Co-chair and Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) 1st Vice President Stefan Romaniw gave a vote of thanks on behalf of both peak bodies, thanking the presenters for opening the eyes of many about the IT space in Ukraine and wished LQD Technology every success.
An extraordinarily successful event – more is needed to take the message out to the broader public.
A challenge we hope to meet!
BIT OF BACKGROUND
Ukrainian community organisations are working with Embassies of Ukraine internationally to take out this message – Ukraine is Open for Business – It is smart, there are many diversified opportunities.
Ukraine’s GDP, and confidence in the nation, are growing. Reforms are progressing.
The Ukrainian World Congress has an economic development portfolio headed by Lenna Koszarny, well known in investment and finance in Ukraine.
The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations initiated the formation of the Australia-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce in 2015, which Eugene Hawryszko currently heads.
The AFUO, together with the Embassy of Ukraine in Canberra and others, commenced planning for the Australia–Ukraine Business Council (AUBC).
The Embassy of Ukraine through Volodymyr Shalkivskyi, Serhij Budkin, a successful businessman from Ukraine who lives in Sydney, and AFUO Co-chair Kateryna Argyrou have met numerous times to explore the possibility of such a Council.
Ambassador Kulinich and AFUO Co-Chair Stefan Romaniw, have also met with Jason Yeap, a prominent business professional and philanthropist. He has agreed to chair a committee to lead the AUBC into the next phase.
In Sydney, this week after the above event, Embassy members, Serhij Budkin, and AFUO Co-chairs Kateryna Argyrou and Stefan Romaniw met with Jason Yeap and had wide-ranging discussions about planning the next steps.
There is potential, goodwill and expertise available. Blended, they will hopefully bring results and we will see that imports and exports will increase. The values that bring Australia and Ukraine together will be the basis for an expanded and more robust relationship for many areas to come.
LQD (Liquid) Technology (lqdtechnology.com) helps high growth scale-ups and enterprises to build and scale innovative products and solutions. LQD are technology partners who work with their clients to really understand their business challenges and find cost efficient talent solutions with the right mix of business, technical and critical thinking skills to accelerate development and innovation.
LQD Technology is a merger of the IT and digital capability of a large American/Ukrainian diversified investment company, the Atlantic Group Limited (AGL) (atlanticgrouplimited.com). In 2020, MD Intelligence, Animax and LQD7 came together to form LQD Technology which enables us to think like a start-up whilst leveraging 29 years of experience in Ukraine delivering for international clients.