The Ukrainian Prime Minister hopes that his visit will boost trade. 

The Ukrainian Prime Minister, Denys Shmyhal, recently met with his Swedish counterpart Stefan Löfven during a working visit to Sweden concerning the International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism. 

During the visit, the two parties discussed the cooperation between the two countries, and the Ukrainian Prime Minister thanked Sweden for their support towards Ukraine. Among other things, Shmyhal highlighted Swedish help to the Ukrainian nuclear power plants. 

“Diversification of sources of nuclear fuel supply is one of our priorities in the context of energy security. In addition, Ukraine has fulfilled all the technical conditions to ensure the integration of the unified energy system into the European network ENTSO-E. For us, this will be an important step towards energy independence,” said Denys Shmyhal, who further pointed out that Swedish companies can help Ukraine in its developments. 

“We encourage Swedish companies to continue implementing joint projects in Ukraine, in particular taking advantage of the law on so-called “investment nannies,” said Shmyhal, pointing out that he especially sees growth in information technology and cybersecurity. 

Swedish companies can help

Ukrainenu spoke to the Swedish ambassador in Ukraine, Tobias Thyberg, last year. He also pointed out that Swedish companies play a significant role in helping Ukraine evolve. They can help develop the workers and industries in Ukraine; he pointed out. 

“I think foreign companies have a big influence on the changes in Ukraine. No company can change everything alone, but I think they have an effect overall. An example is the Swedish IT company Beetroot, which has offices all over the country and has a separate department for education. It is impressive how large a number of IT specialists come from their training program, and we have seen that many have been women… Here you have a small Swedish company that helps to influence the corporate culture – the perception of gender quality and the level of IT specialists in Ukraine,” said Thyberg.

Thyberg pointed out that there is much more potential for Swedish investments in Ukraine but that whether that will happen depends on Ukraine itself. 

“The only reason Ukraine does not have more foreign investment is the dysfunctional rule of law. There are other problems as well, but when I talk to Swedish companies and entrepreneurs, it is the rule of law that is always mentioned. Until that problem is solved, then their headquarters are not very excited about increasing the investment,” he said. 

Den svenske ambassadør i Ukraine Tobias Thyberg. Foto: Stefan Weichert

Swedish Business Association: You need to think

Bohdan Senchuk, the President of the Swedish Business Association in Ukraine, told Ukrainenu earlier this year. He said that there is much potential for Swedish companies in Ukraine, but that trade is meager at the moment. 

“Today, Swedish exports to Ukraine are very low at a level of around 0.3 percent of total Swedish exports. It is very little when you consider that Ukraine is the largest country in Europe and that the country has one of the largest populations. There is great potential, and so are Ukrainian exports to Sweden. Ukrainian exports to Sweden make up only 0.1 percent of total Ukrainian exports,” said Senchuk, who also pointed out that there are obstacles for doing business in Ukraine, but that those obstacles can be overcome. 

“Things are going better, but more Ukrainian companies are still having trouble meeting deadlines and understanding that an agreement is an agreement when trading with countries such as Sweden and Denmark. It creates some problems. As a Scandinavian company, it is therefore important that you make sure to do good research in relation to which companies you do business with in order to avoid problems with deliveries.”