Liverpool hosts UK-Ukraine trade summit

UK and Ukrainian business leaders meet in Liverpool to discuss trade opportunities and the £300bn reconstruciton of Ukraine ahead of the Eurovision Song Contest in May. Tony McDonough reports

UK and Ukrainian business leaders met in the Hilton Hotel in Liverpool


Business leaders from the UK and Ukraine have met in Liverpool to discuss trade opportunities in the first summit between the two countries since 2018.

On Saturday, May 13, Liverpool will host the Eurovision Song Contest. Ukraine won the competition in 2022 and therefore should have hosted it in 2023. However, the Russian invasion made this impossible and Liverpool will be the venue instead.

From the start of the bid to host Eurovision Liverpool has reached out to Ukraine and the contest itself, as well as multiple events in the days leading up to it, will have a strong Ukrainian influence.

Now, representatives from 17 different Ukraine businesses travelled to Liverpool for the first bilateral trade summit with the UK to have been held outside London. 

It took place at the Hilton Hotel in the city centre. They were joined by business and Government delegates from Liverpool city region and across the UK for a series of presentations, panel discussion and networking lunch.

It was jointly organised by the Liverpool, London and Ukrainian Chambers of Commerce, the Department for Business and Trade and the Ukraine Recovery Conference.

It is estimated the cost of post-war construction in Ukraine will top £300bn. And it has produced a guide to help UK businesses better understand how they can become involved in the recovery and rebuild plan.

During the event, it was also announced that Liverpool Chamber has become an equal partner in a new Business Council established by London and Ukrainian Chambers of Commerce.

This group comprises senior business figures from both countries and aims to strengthen the business base of Ukraine to underpin a strong, liberal and democratic nation in the future.

Hennadii Boldyr, member of the Presidium Ukraine Chamber, said: “Ukraine and the rest of the world are dealing with new realities. But we have survived and we have not been left alone in the face of an enemy. The support of the UK remains crucial in that effort.


This was the first bilateral trade summit between the two countries since 2018


“Our delegation comprises entrepreneurs who have managed to save their businesses, keep hold of their production equipment and teams and continue to keep their promises to customers.

“They are now exploring new markets for growth across different sectors and we are all delighted to be here in Liverpool.”

Paul Cherpeau, chief executive of Liverpool Chamber chaired the event. He said he was “proud and honoured” to host the summit “on behalf of our Ukrainian friends around the world”.

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He added: “The business summit is a unique opportunity for businesses from the UK and Ukraine to stand together and discuss a variety of investment and supply chain opportunities, both now and in a post-war Ukraine.

“We are united in spirit and united in business.”

And James Watkins, head of policy and public impact at London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also said: “The UK and Ukraine share strong economic and cultural ties that present magnificent opportunities for both the countries to collaborate in areas of entrepreneurship.

“Both the Liverpool and London Chambers are committed to supporting Ukraine and can and will be the bridge between Ukraine and the global economy going forward.”

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