A delegation of the Ukrainian League of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (ULIE) and the Association of Small Cities of Ukraine traveled to Lithuania at the end of April to demonstrate to Ukrainian town mayors how autonomous utility, water purification, wastewater treatment, and electricity supply systems could work efficiently in towns, as well as to establish direct business and cultural contacts. The trip was organized with the assistance of the Lithuanian company Traidenis, whose core business is the production of wastewater treatment equipment, the ULIE, and its member – Ukrainian company Elektromekhanika.
“We’ve noticed an interesting thing – Ukrainian towns rather than cities are more open to high technologies. For this reason we’ve decided to organize a trip to Lithuania to exchange experience, exactly for the representatives of the Association of Small Cities of Ukraine. Thus, eight town mayors joined us to visit the production facilities of Precizika Company, a producer of photovoltaic systems. Traidenis Company took our delegation to Druskininkai, a resort town where its wastewater treatment plants operate,” First Deputy President of the ULIE Serhiy Prokhorov said.
Ukrainian Ambassador to Lithuania Valeriy Zhovtenko welcomed the Ukrainian delegation at the airport and held a meeting with entrepreneurs. Among other issues the participants in the meeting discussed local government issues and the opportunity to share relevant experience between Ukraine and Lithuania. The ambassador briefed the entrepreneurs on the steps required to implement local government reform in Lithuania and told them about the country’s historic experience of struggling for its own independence. Zhovtenko noted the ULIE’s important role in the introduction of European values in Ukraine and in promoting the country’s business interests abroad, specifically in Europe.
The delegations of the ULIE and the Association of Small Cities of Ukraine also visited the production facilities of the Lithuanian company Precizika, a manufacturer of solar panels. The electricity supply to places such as parks, water reservoirs, places of public amusement, small outlets, kiosks, filling stations, sparsely populated districts, etc. is a topical problem in towns. The delegates familiarized themselves with the effective use of photovoltaic modules and the technologies that are used to build small power plants and equip some buildings and transport vehicles.
“Lithuanian engineers have developed unique systems which can illuminate any place without wires, posts and relevant certificates. These are designs of the future which make it possible to not only turn roofs but also walls and slab panels into integrated photovoltaic power systems. Precizika also has technologies that turn absolutely transparent windows into power sources by mounting photocells in the glass units. They also regulate light intensity in the premises,” the ULIE first deputy president said.
Precizika products raised great interest among the Ukrainian mayors as the development of the localities they are responsible for requires such systems.
The Ukrainian delegates also gained new experience during their visit to Alytus Industrial Park, for instance, in tax incentives – the companies that rent new land plots here and have invested at least EUR 1 million per hectare in construction and buildings are exempt from taxes on land rent and real estate for three tax periods, and their taxes are halved during the next five tax periods. Interestingly, Alytus is open for all investment projects related to the production of wastewater treatment systems, storage and logistics development.
There is room for Ukrainian enterprises here, Prokhorov said during the visit to the industrial park.
Industrial parks are a part of regional policy in Lithuania. The promotion of regional investment helps to resolve excessive centralization. The industrial parks feature all the required engineering works: gas and water supply, wastewater treatment, electricity supply systems, two transformer substations, and telephone systems.
The delegates also met with Alytus Mayor Vytautas Grigaravicius to discuss business issues as well as possible strengthening of cultural and twin town relations between Ukrainian and Lithuanian towns. For example, Alytus will mark Town Day on June 19, and the mayor of Trostianets, a Ukrainian town, has promised to engage Ukrainian folk music bands and craftsmen in the celebration.
“We think that the implementation of the so-called people’s diplomacy, when people who realize new progressive ideas and technologies cooperate and share experience, is an important aspect of cooperation between the two countries,” Prokhorov said.
The Ukrainian delegates also traveled to the resort town of Druskininkai, which Lithuanians describe as a champion in attracting investment. Some time ago it was a desolate town with a high unemployment rate, however today it is one of the most well-known resorts in Europe. The mayor of the Ukrainian town Myrhorod took great interest in the town’s experience of recreation area development. Particular attention was paid to the wastewater treatment systems used in the town as it is an extremely important issue for resorts.
“They have showcased us the work of Traidenis wastewater treatment plants which effectively eliminate problems related to sewage treatment. I think we will start using such systems in Ukraine soon as they operate in line with European standards, take up minimum space and are hidden so that they don’t spoil the landscape. It is an irreplaceable invention and our resorts and recreation areas lack this. That is why the mayors of Ukrainian towns found this technology interesting. The ULIE promotes advanced ideas in Ukraine in order to realize its mission – progressive development and European integration of the country,” Prokhorov said.