In late 2014 a group of 24 top managers from Ukraine completed the BMWi Manager Training Programme in Germany.
Ukraine’s recent openness towards the European Union – and especially the lifting of duties on goods imported from Ukraine and a VAT exemption for select industries within the country – provided particularly conducive conditions for the business contacts envisioned by the Ukrainian top managers. The Ukrainian contingent was also fully capable of making good use of these economic advantages when initiating business contacts.
It is also thanks to the participants’ exceptional acumen that a number of successful business contacts could be established despite the precarious political situation and the associated concerns of some German businesses. Aleksandr Zolotarev, chief physician and director of the private healthcare centre “Sdorowje” in Kharkiv, plans to set up an oncological therapy centre in the near future. His visit to Germany in conjunction with the MTP was a way of making it easier to directly contact potential suppliers specializing in medical technology. German interest in the project was so great that it led to direct consultations with Carl Zeiss Meditec AG, which developed into a concrete plan of action: Starting in June of 2015 the Medical Centre in Kharkiv will be equipped with cutting-edge radiotherapy instruments and be ready to treat cancer patients. The agreement with Carl Zeiss also includes the training of professional medical staff and related warranty and service provisions.
Several other participants were very eager to offer their products and services in Germany and on the European market. These included some Ukrainian printers represented in the group that are able to work with the latest German printing technology at good conditions. And metal producers, games manufacturers and potential hospitality industry franchisers also expressed interest in the European market. Natalia Tomaschko from Ranok Creative, a provider of educational materials and games for children, managed to sign a declaration of intent for the distribution and sales of her products with the German supermarket chain LIDL GmbH & Co. KG.
In terms of business contacts the Management Programme was a true success for this group despite all political obstacles. About 50 realized or imminent partnerships – in both import and export – made major waves to the tune of millions of euros. A number of follow-up negotiations and talks with German companies had already been scheduled by the time the stay in Germany was drawing to a close. By making these achievements possible, the MP again succeeded in making a tangible contribution to stability and development.
By Roman Bannack
ARGE Konsortium Neue Bundesländer, Dresden