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UBBC and SCEG hold security and ‘doing business in Ukraine event’

‘Fortune favours the brave- take a first mover advantage’


Baroness Nicholson opened the UBBC, SCEG conference on ‘doing business in Ukraine’ from a security and insurance perspective.

Baroness’ key message was ‘fortune favours the bold, and first movers will have an advantage in Ukraine.’ The risks in the country are diminishing, Russia has failed to advance beyond the Donbas, the FCDO have reduced the risk warnings in the west, the banks and reserves are profitable with strong liquidity, the economy is growing in certain sectors, and SCEG can mitigate personal risks to businesspeople. The Europeans, Koreans, Japanese and Americans are stealing a march on the UK with trade delegations and MOUs, and we need to step up.

Those companies who are bold enough to make relationships with Ukrainians and position themselves now, will benefit from a highly lucrative, growing business climate, as over $100bn has already been pledged for reconstruction and a likely $300bn of Russian assets could swell the treasury.

SCEG members then followed on with a series of interesting and informed presentations including from: Paul Gibson of SCEG on a spectrum of capabilities members offer and supporting for trade missions. Justin Hedges of Prevail gave a strategic assessment, Liam Kelly of G4S informed on how best to travel, and reduce any risks, while Adam Rowson of Garda world outlined the challenges, including state of the roads, the weather, espionage and recruiting employees. Dan Hooton of Spearfish spoke of the training available to employees for, including first aid, travel, power outages and drones. Simon Maxwell of HFW covered legal and insurance aspects, and risks including corruption, legal complexity and asset management, and contractual bureaucracy with his complex risks team. He referred to Simon Cassey of Chesterfields, who specialise in insurance in Ukraine. Richard Fenech of Frontier operations reiterated the first mover advantage as his company support inward trade missions – and has seen the Japanese, Koreans and Americans move in with force. There are many opportunities for UK businesses, but they must be in the country to begin to count, to understand the culture, to be researched. Richard Wylde of SCEG summarised by explaining that SCEG members can guide businesses through the pitfalls and opportunities in Ukraine, on a personal to business level, and suggested to create a pooled centre through ADS where members can work as a collective and overcome the reticence that the FCDO and DBT are showing about trade initiatives, to address procurement and trade supply opportunities.

Nataliya Yankovska of Harcus Parker and UBBC concluded the event by expressing gratitude to everyone for their support of Ukraine. She also emphasised the immense opportunities that Ukraine will offer in the medium and long term, urging immediate involvement: "Get in now, as they need you now." Though it is deeply saddening that the war has persisted for two years and continues to this day, it is crucial to remember that Russia initially expected the conflict to conclude in just three days. This stark contrast highlights both the resilience of Ukraine and the ongoing need for global support.


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