Two years on: strengthening UK-Ukraine business relations for mutual prosperity

As we pause to commemorate the second anniversary of the Russian invasion, our reflections must extend beyond the grim realities of conflict to envision a future of peace, stability, and prosperity for Ukraine and its people.

Central to this vision is the imperative for closer cooperation between Ukraine and the United Kingdom, addressing the immediate challenges of supporting the war efforts, looking ahead to the reconstruction phase and laying the foundations for a more resilient and prosperous future.

The task of rebuilding Ukraine is monumental and will require concerted efforts from the entire international community. This is not just about repairing decimated infrastructure but about revitalising local economies and restoring hope to communities damaged by conflict.

The United Kingdom, with its experience in post-conflict reconstruction and development, has a pivotal role to play in spearheading support for this endeavour.

This already close relationship between both nations is why I decided to bring an organisation, home to almost 250 of Ukraine’s most significant and innovative businesses, to London, so that our relationship can surpass financial aid and help us become closer business associates.

CEO Club Ukraine, the organisation of which I am proud to be both Founder and President, has brought together Ukrainian business leaders and entrepreneurs since its creation in 2011.

Our headquarters in Kyiv has united critical leaders from the Ukrainian business community for over a decade, enabling us to foster innovative ideas across several industries and move the country forward.

Whilst our clubhouse in Kyiv stands strong, in November 2022, we decided to embark on a journey which would see an extension of CEO Club Ukraine here in London. We thought London was the most appropriate place, given the UK was the first country to offer a helping hand to Ukraine in February 2022 and continues to today, being a role model for other countries in the world.

With around 40 Ukrainian businesses and their leaders commencing activities in London since the war began, CEO Club London has given businesses a unified voice and representation in the UK. Giving some of the brightest business minds in Ukraine a platform to engage with those at the heart of UK business and policymaking will greatly benefit both our nations.

Since the opening of the Club in London, we successfully delivered our message to the British establishment – your support for Ukraine is not divisive. We have already met with several politicians from across the political divide, hosted formal and informal dialogues with big business and organised conferences attended by former prime ministers and members of the current and former cabinets.

By partnering with Ukrainian businesses, the UK can leverage its expertise, resources, and networks to support the development of critical sectors such as infrastructure, energy, agriculture, and technology. This could involve investment incentives, trade promotion programmes, and capacity-building initiatives to empower Ukrainian businesses and unlock their full potential.

Closer engagement between the UK government and Ukrainian businesses will facilitate knowledge transfer, skills development, and technology transfer, enhancing Ukraine’s long-term competitiveness and resilience in the global economy. Collaborative ventures in areas such as renewable energy, digital innovation, and sustainable agriculture can not only drive economic growth but also contribute to addressing pressing challenges such as climate change and food security.

CEO Club London’s plans to become a permanent fixture here in London are well in motion, and we are due to open our official London headquarters next quarter, giving our members, British business leaders and government officials the chance to meet and discuss ideas for collaboration between Ukraine and the UK.

The unwavering partnership between Ukraine and the UK must extend beyond the immediate challenges of military aid and humanitarian support. We must also embrace a shared vision of a prosperous and peaceful future. This requires sustained commitment and collaboration grounded in mutual respect, trust, and shared values.

While the road ahead may seem long, I know that the strength and determination of the Ukrainian people will never waver and that perseverance can lead the world to a just, peaceful and better future. But we can only achieve this goal with the trusted and determined partner, the UK, so we sincerely hope for your continued support of our friends and partners here in London as we face a great and powerful threat, paving the way for victory.

Slava Ukraini. is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of UK politics. Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.