ЕВА Annual General Membership Meeting 2013. New Board Elected
On the 26th of November 2013, the European Business Association held its Annual General Membership Meeting, where around 400 guests, including top managers from EBA member companies and representatives from high-profile European institutions and diplomatic bodies, celebrated their achievements over the past year.
The Elections to the EBA Board for 2014/2015 were held on the same evening. It is a great pleasure to congratulate warmly the seven new EBA Board Members who were elected. Welcome new EBA Board Members:
• Tomas Fiala — Dragon Capital
• Dario Marchetti — Danone
• Dmytro Sholomko — Google Ukraine
• Volodymyr Lavrenchuk — Raiffeisen Bank Aval
• Andreas Fluckiger — Radisson Blu Hotel
• Timur Bondaryev — Arzinger
• Dirck Smits van Oyen — Farmgate Ukraine
We hope that the coming year will be fruitful and will lead to positive outcomes and major achievements. We extend a warm gratitude to EBA Board 2014/2015 Candidates for their dedication, enthusiasm and willingness to join the governing body of the EBA!
We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to our guest speakers — Mykola Azarov, the Prime Minister of Ukraine and Jan Tombinski, the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. In addition, we would like to thank Karel De Gucht, the European Commissioner for Trade and
Stefan Fiile, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, who kindly sent us video-addresses. Also we would like to express our gratitude to those Board
members who were with us during the year, for your special contribution to the life of the EBA: Sophie Oliphant (3M Ukraine), Constantinos Spanoudis (Coca-Cola Beverages), Va-dim Sidoruk (DHL), Gordon Campbell (Hyatt Regency Kyiv).
"You are only as good as your last victory."
The membership in the EBA enables me to most effectively contribute towards improving the investment climate in Ukraine and accelerating the country’s integration with the EU.
Therefore, I will utilize the experience and expertise I gained in investing and managing companies in diverse sectors of the Ukrainian economy towards the above goal.
Since I was elected President, my time commitment to the EBA has averaged about half a day every week and I have been contributing to various activities of our association including communicating our overall opinion on macroeconomic and political decisions by the Government that influence the investment climate and the environment in which all our members operate. Sometime the reaction from the authorities to our frequently critical opinion was reserved, but I believe that in the end our open and frank position favorably distinguished the EBA and gained it respect and appreciation among most decision-makers. I would like to continue my involvement at the same level during the next two years.
I have been putting a lot of thought into what messages to deliver to the authorities (and how to deliver them) in order to attract their attention and make them react in the way that would achieve the goals set by the EBA, the ultimate objective being the signing of the AA/DCFTA in Vilnius. Judging by the expected result, the goal has not been achieved thus far. Although our contribution could hardly have been decisive or significant, 1 plan to work on improving our messages towards fulfilling the EBA mission.
Raiffeisen Bank Aval
"Boritesya — poborete" (Taras Shevchenko)
1 already have experience as an EBA Board Member and I believe that this experience is valuable for the organization. I would assume that my good long-term relations with key officials and EBA members and current position in the banking sector will enable me to represent the business community in a professional and efficient way.
I think in 3-5 years the country will be different in terms of better regulations and environment for investors. But still, a need for a number of reforms will exist: adjustment of the local regulatory environment to EU standards in Ukraine won’t be finalized at that moment. Besides that, the EBA might pay more attention to regulations involving market corporate culture, compliance procedures and communication rules, as well as other issues which market players may setde by themselves to the benefit of overall business community.
I would pay more attention to regional activities. We already have a few EBA branches outside Kyiv, and I am a big supporter of further expansion. This wider presence will allow the EBA to reach our targets better on a local and nationwide level.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." (Mark Twain )
It is a great honor being elected to the Board of the EBA and I am very thankful for the trust given. At the same time, such a mandate carries a big responsibility towards the coUeagues that voted for me and I do not want to disappoint them. I wanted to become an EBA Board Member to be able to contribute to the wellbeing of the society of the country that is hosting me and my family, Ukraine. For sure one has to be realistic and wonders do only happen in fairy tales, however each small contribution will add to the cause and no effort will be spared.
I would like to dedicate as much time to the EBA as I possibly can, as my work and family (you need to keep a healthy balance, or at least try...) will allow me to do. As it is a totally new experience for me it is difficult at this stage to be more specific, time will tell.
I have a particular interest in hospitality/tourism and would like to help by focusing on that particular sector. That said, let us not forget that every traveler that comes to Ukraine will not only spend money in hotels; they will spend money on transport, food, gas, shopping, entertainment, etc. etc. so many different industries will benefit from an increased stream of travelers into the country.
"What does not kill you makes you stronger."
Danone was a founding member of EBA and we have been on the board from day one. We have helped the EBA grow by investing time, energy and resources to see the organization thrive.
I personally have been on the board for five years. Danone has led the creation of the Dairy Committee, which today is a leading dairy association for European and local dairies that share European values. We have even created a dairy program with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Ministry of Health, the Supreme Council Committee on Agrarian Policy and Land Relations, Lac-talis, Wimm-Bill-Dann and Milkiland.
In 2014 Danone wants to continue all of the above as well as tackle business climate issues. We must not let the missed opportunity of Vilnius defocus us from our mission, which now more than ever is vital for business, this country and the people!
Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." (Benjamin Franklin)
I am delighted to join the EBA board and being elected gives me recognition, trust and belief. RECOGNITION of Arzinger as an active and trustworthy member of the Ukrainian business and legal community means a lot to me as founder and managing partner of the firm. TRUST of my clients, friends and colleagues, who have casted their votes for me and entrusted me with the powers to change something in this country and make the Ukrainian society better is an honour. BELIEF from the entire business community, that change is possible, makes me personally very enthusiastic.
As a professional lawyer and partner of a major Ukrainian law firm I see the situation in the country much closer than non-lawyers do. Even if our clients have a quite realistic understanding of the domestic business environment, they still cannot even imagine how deep the problem with rule of law in my country is.This situation in Ukraine severely impacts my business and I want to change it. I am deeply persuaded that further positive developments of the rule of law are the main trigger for the development of the country and the improvement of reputation of Ukraine as a whole.
As a matter of fact, the EBA board members are quite busy people but I am sure that everybody will find the necessary resources to dedicate ourselves to the interests of EBA and to reach the set goals. My company and my colleagues have been very active within the EBA in Kiev and in regions from the first day of our operations in Ukraine, having invested a lot of time and effort in working groups and committees and I am going to stay on this road.
As for now it’s quite difficult to say which steps should be taken next— respective decisions as for the priorities should be made by the team of board members. Being a legal professional, actively practicing across the most regulated industries in Ukraine I think that I can add value in the areas of deregulation of specific sectors as well the general development of the rule of law and there is obviously a long way to go...
DIRCK SMITS VAN OYEN
"Never give up!"
I am very proud to have been elected as a board member of the EBA. The EBA is the most important association in Ukraine for companies that wish to develop their businesses in a transparent and rules-based environment. The EBA provides an essential portal for constructive dialogue with the government for its almost one thousand members and can influence the political debate. My goal is to do what I can to help our members to succeed with their businesses in Ukraine.