News & Events 2016


Training “Writing Skills”


Visit to Belgian Federal Parliament



Promote Ukraine 2 y.o. BBQ Party 


Charity concert of the Svyatoslav Boyko


Seminar on Agriculture 



Fun in Bobbejaanland


Networking Training


Excel Training 

We organized basic Excel training with the help of City of Antwerp

Seminar “Doing Business in Ukraine: Coming Closer to European Standards and New Opportunities”

Foreign investors have the opportunity and should invest in Ukraine. Despite clear challenges, Ukraine, as a country with great resources of black rich soil (chernozem) and many high-skilled high-educated workers, is extremely attractive for European agrarians. This was the topic of the seminar: “Doing business in Ukraine: Focus on agriculture», organized by NGO Promote Ukraine and its partners Rehbock & Friends, Brussels Plus, and others.
The seminar took place on the 14th of June in Brussels. Among the speakers there were European and Ukrainian experts from the European Commission and the Mission of Ukraine to the EU, as well as practitioners, who had direct experience of running business in Ukraine.
“Every fifth Ukrainian is employed in agricultural sector. 25 out of 100 biggest companies in Ukraine are agrarian,” pointed out Nazar Bobitski, Counsellor and Acting Head of the Trade and Economic Section of the Mission of Ukraine to the European Union, in his presentation of the agricultural potential of Ukraine. According to his report, one year before the crisis Ukraine’s cooperation with EU had been growing fast. At that time export volume to Europe grew by 16%. Currently Ukraine is working on attracting foreign investments; the government is improving juridical system, develops pilot projects and encourage funding for the support of agrarian initiative. 
Wolfram Rehbock, the Head of German Bar Association in Ukraine, highlighted main obstacles for potential investors: obscure law regulation, impossibility to buy agricultural land in property (due to the moratorium until 2017), deficient tax system and systems of other obligatory payments to the government. Moreover, he pointed out that “Ukraine has difficult time competing with Europe, because Ukrainian technologies do not yet reach the standards accepted in Europe”.
The legislative problems are among the main barriers that impede foreign investments, as argued by Peter de Vreede, a consultant on the investment projects, who has been working in Ukraine for 23 years. According to him, at the same time there is a big will for changes, and this will is empowered by the ongoing development of the relationships between Ukraine and the EU. ”If the Association Agreement comes into effect, it will be easier to import European equipment to Ukraine. Moreover, its price will drop for Ukrainians and in this way Ukrainians will be able to reach European standards in agricultural and food sector, and this automatically means increase in sale turnover”, explained Peter.
Tom Van Goey, a Belgian national, owner of the Granex Cherkassy, a family business which produces grains and vegetables in Ukraine, shared his family story to exemplify how to be successful in Ukraine: “The company was started by my father, who invested 10 000 euro in 2000 and, having only 50 hectares doubled this number within a year. Nowadays we have 2800 hectares and plan to expand to 5000 hectares”. According to him, their family business has a strong support of local people as “People do not want to give their land to big agricultural holdings because their owners stay in Kiev and do not care about rural area. We, by contrast, give 10 000 euro every year for development of the villages”.
Team Leader for Agriculture and SPS issues as well as a member of the Support Group for Ukraine (SGUA) at the European Commission, Nicolas Verlet, pointed out: “The picture is not all that good and positive, but Ukraine is suitable for business”. I see the new government will to reform. The key aspect here is uniting foreign donors in Ukraine in order to push the process of reforms”.
After the presentations all participants had a chance to ask questions and engage into discussion with the panelists. The Q&A section was followed by a reception where both speakers and guests could continue their discussion, exchange opinion and experiences in an informal atmosphere. Let’s hope that this seminar brought Ukraine one step closer to fulfilling its agricultural potential and brought European businessmen and investors closer to Ukraine.



On the eve of the referendum on Ukraine Association Agreement with the EU, Netherlanders, who live in Ukraine or those, who have close ties with the country urged to support Ukraine on its path towards democracy.
 In the 18-minute film, initiated by the Belgian NGO Promote Ukraine, they shared their overall impressions of the country and thoughts on how they imagine various paths of Ukraine’s future development. Most of the speakers acknowledge that for the Netherlanders, who have never been in Ukraine, it is quite difficult to get an objective picture of the country from the news. Thereof, the main idea of ​​the film is to get the public acquainted with Ukraine through the eyes of those Dutch citizens, who know of the country from their personal experience.
As it is noted by the Dutch investor Peter de Vreede, who has worked in Ukraine for over 23 years: “If we combine the experience and the knowledge of both Ukraine and the Netherlands, then maybe, we can feed the entire world”. De Vreede reassures that the Dutch support is vital for Ukrainians since there is a clear desire for change in Ukraine and most people are ready to fight corruption and oligarchy.
In addition, CFO of the investment project Galicia Greenery, Michael Honders, mentions that Ukraine has a great potential for Dutch manufacturers on the local level: “There are 46 million people, who must have something to eat”. He also adds that there have been a number of changes in Ukraine in the past three years, and it has become much easier work in the country.
Honders’s words are further confirmed by the entrepreneur Ton Pennings, who owns a factory in Lviv. “Two years ago, we always had numerous inspections. We had to pay for the absence of the fire alarm, or because it wasn’t working the right way; or, for instance, for the absence of the ‘220 volt’ sign just above the socket. Now, all these inspections are prohibited because they were a major source of bribes. Many laws have changed and currently the European standards are at work “, he tells.
Finally, philosopher Rud May, sees the roots in history. In his opinion, Ukraine happened to be on ‘the worse side of the Berlin Wall and was unable to develop’. Now, however, the barrier no longer exists, so there is no reason not to support Ukraine in its aspiration to join the democratic camp.
Promote Ukraine initiated this movie on the voluntary basis involving activists from Belgium, the Netherlands and Ukraine.