A NEW organisation promoting bilateral trade between Milton Keynes, the wider Oxford-Cambridge growth arc and Ukraine is set to launch next week.
OxCamMK-Kyiv Business Association will become a network of well-connected SME business partnerships, providing members with the opportunity to share ideas, innovation and technologies.
Chaired by Valeriy Voschevsky, former Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, OxCamMK-Kyiv BA’s mission is to support SMEs in the Milton Keynes/Ox-Cam region in their efforts to work with Ukrainian organisations. It will also support businesses in Ukraine keen to work with UK companies.
The association’s remit is to help companies to open dialogue, compete more effectively, source finance and investment opportunities, trade with one another, lobby government, upskill their workforces and promote the transfer and exchange of expertise, technology and knowledge. OxCamMK-Kyiv BA will support both governments’ current trade agreements and endeavour to further unlock private sector investment to drive both regions’ innovation-led economies, underpinned by environmentally sustainable and inclusive development once the war with Russia is over.
Mr Voschevsky said: “Our ambitious long-term plan is to unlock the economic potential of both regions, delivering transformative collaboration and tangible growth, specifically between the Milton Keynes/Ox-Cam area and Ukraine.
“OxCamMK-Kyiv BA’s vision provides a pathway to show how the regions can better connect their unique and world-leading assets to become truly united, sharing business investment and innovation while developing top talent.”
The association has already the support of organisations including the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, Milton Keynes City Council, the Federation of Small Businesses, MK:U and Cranfield Universities, the Oxford to Cambridge Partnership and the social democratic political party Ukraine-Forward.
Government officials in Ukraine and the UK have heralded the association as an important step in developing vital business and philanthropic opportunities between both countries.
OxCamMK-Kyiv BA vice chair Mark Baker said: “OxCamMK-Kyiv BA’s overarching aim is to build a community of businesses to nurture cooperation, investment, education and technology, fostering meaningful business relationships between the Milton Keynes / Ox-Cam region and Ukraine. We aspire to be a place where talent and enterprise can not only develop but thrive, laying the foundations for valuable, long-term international business relationships while delivering real development opportunities for the next generation.”
Mr Voschevskyy added: “As a not-for-profit association, we will be reinvesting all our income back into the association, developing and investing in flagship collaborations and supporting our communities in the process. This will help us to realise our vision of establishing a foundation to offer scholarships, training and education for the least privileged children of our nations.”
The OxCamMK-Kyiv Business Association is to launch on December 4. To attend, register at ockba.org