Conference highlights export opportunities for Ukrainian food industry

Caption: The conference on food exports was held at the Mykolaiv Business Support Centre

More than 65 businesses and stakeholders from the Mykolayiv, Kherson, Odesa and Kyiv regions of Ukraine recently attended an EU4Business conference on standards and export potential for the food industry, a unique opportunity to meet leading international export experts, learn about opportunities for development in their industry, and get acquainted with best practices for entering the EU markets.

The conference on ‘Development of the Regional Food Industry to the Level of International Markets and Exports’ was held on 20 September at the Mykolaiv Business Support Centre, part of the EU-funded Network of Business Support Centres, implemented by the EBRD in Ukraine.

Participants came to find out about the requirements for product standardisation, the potential for exports to EU markets, ways to increase the competitiveness of goods, and to obtain information on access to quality raw materials.

Secrets of a successful export strategy

Presentations included an overview of the EU food sales market by André Pilling, Head of a German-Ukrainian cooperation project on agro-trade in Ukraine, as well as an address by Yaroslav Kutovoy from the Ukrainian Export Promotion Office, who outlined the steps to be taken before entering a new market and highlighted the key elements of a successful export strategy.

Participants also had the opportunity to learn about market analytics and the secrets of qualitative analysis of potential markets, including where to find data on trade and trade barriers, how to analyse data and prioritise markets, and which tools to look for when searching for partners in selected countries.

At the end of the conference, a representative from the EBRD in Ukraine presented the EBRD tools available for SME development.

The Mykolayiv Business Support Centre welcomed the high level of interest in the event, both from entrepreneurs, and SME managers, but also from financial and educational institutions from Mykolayiv and beyond.

The Mykolayiv Business Support Centre is part of the EU-funded Network of Business Support Centres, which aims to improve the competitiveness and bankability of Ukrainian SMEs through the provision of business advice and capacity building. It also supports BSOs in 15 regions of Ukraine in setting up a network of EU4Business Business Support Centres (BSCs). At least 30,000 SMEs and entrepreneurs benefit from the project.