Ukraine and Israel signed bilateral documents on cooperation in agriculture, economics, education, culture, as well as youth and sports. “A series of Ukrainian-Israeli documents were signed in the presence of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu,” the presidential press service reported on Monday.
Thus, Acting Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Olha Trofimtseva and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Israel to Ukraine Joel Lyon signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the sphere of agriculture between the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the State of Israel.
In addition, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the State of Israel Hennadiy Nadolenko and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Israel to Ukraine Joel Lyon signed an Agreement between the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the Ministry of Education of the State of Israel as regards facilitating the study of the Hebrew language in the educational institutions of Ukraine and the study of the Ukrainian language in the educational institutions of the State of Israel.
In addition, the ambassadors of the two states signed a Program of Cooperation in the spheres of education, culture, youth and sports between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of the State of Israel for 2019-2022.
State Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Oleksiy Perevezentsev and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Israel to Ukraine Joel Lyon signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine and the Israeli Patent Office of the Ministry of Justice of the State of Israel.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said about his vision of how to make Ukraine the really rich country and called on business to invest money, time and ideas in Ukraine.
“We are carefully studying the experience of countries that are successful. We understand that they, first of all, invested in education, technology and infrastructure. Ukraine will do the same. Therefore, the role of the state in the economy in the next five years will be reduced to three things: do not interfere business; to build an excellent infrastructure for business and create conditions for doing business in Ukraine was simply convenient; third, focus on education, science and technology,” he said at a meeting with the business community in Kyiv.
Zelensky said that he was not used to catching up, therefore he is looking for creative breakthrough and innovative solutions for Ukraine with his team, and will tell more about them in the near future.
The president said that “to turn from a poor country into a middle-income country is not so difficult.” “The recipes are simple, success stories are known. All these is a mandatory program for us, and we will do it in the next five years,” he said.
At the same time, Zelensky is convinced that Ukraine needs to become a “truly rich country.”
“According to the World Bank, in 1960 there were 101 countries that are developing, and only 13 of them were able to become developed rich countries. In addition, most of them did it at the expense of natural resources. Economists have a special term: “middle income trap.” Its essence is very simple: poor countries compete with cheap labor. As soon as a country receives an average level of income, competitive advantages disappear and the country ceases to develop rapidly. According to this scenario, the country almost never becomes rich, the highest level is “medium,” he explained.
“Half a year ago I decided to invest the most precious thing I have – my time – in Ukraine. I urge you to do the same: invest time, money, ideas in Ukraine. Let’s change Ukraine together!” Zelensky said, addressing business at the end of his speech.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed with the Ukrainian Government on a series of new financing operations, in particular, the sides signed an agreement on lending EUR 50 million to finance transport infrastructure improvements throughout the country and a grant of EUR 10 million to finance the implementation of the Ukraine Higher Education Project, the bank has said in a press release. “The projects signed today will result in faster and safer transport infrastructure, better academic facilities and more resources for higher education programmes, all of which will strengthen the country’s competitiveness,” the press service of the bank reported on Monday, citing EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudák.
The EUR 50 million EIB loan to improve connectivity in Ukraine and in the Eastern Neighbourhood provides support for transport projects expected to have significant positive local impacts. Road safety, connectivity, and traffic management and control projects are under consideration, with a view to contributing to the economic development of Ukraine.
The project’s first phase will focus on the development of intelligent transport system on national roads, the construction of a missing section of the northern by-pass around the city of Ternopil forming part of the extended TEN-T (Trans-European Transport Networks), and a number of multi-level railway crossings.
Furthermore, the project will support the development of future investment in railway connections between the European Union and Ukraine.
“The project is backed by a EUR 14 million EU grant for the Ternopil bypass investment and a EUR 1.85 million EU grant for project preparation and implementation. Both grants are being provided under the Neighbourhood Investment Platform (NIP),” the bank said.
Ukraine and the EIB also signed the EUR 10 million grant agreement under the multi-donor E5P fund that supports municipal investments in energy-efficiency and environmental projects in the Eastern Partnership countries.
“The grant will help finance the implementation of a Ukraine Higher Education Project, which the EIB is already supporting. Furthermore, the EIB concluded a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science for the preparation of a project to create several centres of excellence in the country,” the bank said.
The Ukraine Higher Education Project has already received a EUR 120 million loan from the EIB and EUR 30 million from Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), the EIB said.
The grant will be used to finance, in particular, seven universities in the cities of Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Lviv, Poltava, Sumy and Vinnitsa in order to significantly reduce the energy consumption of their buildings with positive environmental impacts.
The project is also supported by a EUR 3 million EU grant from the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) to assist implementation arrangements, the bank said.
According to the report, the agreements were signed at the EU-Ukraine Association Council meeting held in Brussels on Monday.