London and Dubai Businesses Unite to Support Ukraine’s Road to Recovery

24 August 2023, London – Businesses from Dubai and London will work together to support Ukraine following the signing of a seminal agreement in Kyiv. 

In the run up to Ukraine’s Independence Day on 24 August, The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ukraine Business Council UAE in Kyiv.

LCCI is the secretariat for the British-Ukrainian Business Council which was established following a decision reached in Kyiv between LCCI and the Ukrainian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in January.  

This new agreement will act as a force for good by bringing together the world’s two biggest financial centres – London and Dubai – to strengthen and support the Ukrainian economy.

With London being the largest global centre for derivatives trading, foreign exchange markets, money markets, issuance of international debt securities and international bank lending and with £445 billion worth of assets being handled in the Dubai market, the potential for the business communities in these two cities to help with the recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine is significant.

The partnership will provide a robust foundation for innovative Ukrainian small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to benefit from the experience and expertise from both the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates while creating a marketplace for mutual benefit and prosperity for Ukrainian, UAE and UK firms.

With Ukraine being seen as a high-risk investment market, this collaboration is a unique opportunity for businesses in London, Dubai and Kyiv to address common challenges and develop new opportunities. The cooperation aims to engage and disseminate information pertaining to business proposals in the fields of foreign trade, industrial, commercial and technological cooperation. 

James Watkins, Head of Policy and Public Impact at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: 

“As we mark Ukraine’s Independence Day, this agreement will help bring the diversity and strength of businesses in the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Ukraine together to back Ukraine’s economic recovery.

“This decision is yet another demonstration that Ukraine is not alone during this traumatic period in its history. Instead its friends in the UK and the UAE are standing alongside Ukraine.

“This step forward also follows a series of detailed agreements which were reached in recent days in Kyiv, Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk to support Ukraine’s SMEs.  

“We support the vision of the Ukrainian Chambers of Commerce that a strong SME base leads to a strong civil society, a strong civil society leads to a strong democracy, a strong democracy leads to a strong economy and a strong economy leads to strong national defences.  

“We are confident that the work programme which will come out of this agreement will ensure businesses in the UK, UAE and Ukraine can co-operate and succeed together”. 

Olena Shyrokova, President at Ukrainian Business Council, Dubai said: 

“Through this collaboration, we are poised to facilitate a meaningful exchange of knowledge and experience, bolstering our members’ efforts to amplify their businesses across key markets in Ukraine, the UK, and the UAE. In particular, the UAE stands as a vibrant global business hub serving as a gateway to markets across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. 

“As we embark on this journey together, our shared commitment to mutual support, robust economic relations, and enhanced trade is certain to yield mutual benefits. Through this partnership, we are equipping our members with the tools to seize new opportunities, expand their horizons, and thrive in an interconnected global marketplace.” 

Between 14 – 19 August LCCI representatives, James Watkins, Head of Policy and Public Impact and Igor Bartkiv, Ukraine Project Manager travelled to Ukraine to discuss and agree a series of action plans to support Ukrainian small and medium-sized businesses following meetings with the Ukrainian Government, Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI), Kyiv City Council and business leaders in Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk.   

In January 2023, a joint delegation from LCCI and the Corporation of the City of London met with businesses across the country and witnessed the devastating impact of the war on lives, trade and commerce. 

The meetings were aiming to address efforts to assist Ukraine to overcome and rebuild further to the consequences of the unjustified Russian military aggression.