A Saskatchewan delegation led by Deputy Premier Ken Krawetz recently concluded a mission to Ukraine which was highlighted by the signing of an educational agreement, discussions with the business and investment communities, meetings with the heads of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic and Orthodox Churches and political leaders from across Ukraine.
The delegation, comprised of representatives from Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) and members of the Saskatchewan-Ukraine Relations Advisory Committee (SURAC), Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Saskatchewan Provincial Council (UCC-SPC), visited Ukraine June 16-21, and made stops in Lviv, Chernivsti, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv and Donetsk.
The mission builds on work completed on two other visits by Saskatchewan delegations in 2008 and 2010.
“Saskatchewan and Ukraine have strong historical and cultural ties and are working to build a more robust economic relationship.” Krawetz said. “These visits allow us to better understand how Saskatchewan can play a role in the ongoing development of Ukraine.”
SIAST President Larry Rosea took part in the mission, as SIAST has established partnerships with technical institutes in Lviv, Kyiv and Ivano-Frankivsk. Krawetz said SIAST is helping Ukrainian Institutions strengthen governance structures. The institutions and SIAST began a partnership in 2009 to provide a service to Canadian employers and potential newcomers by ensuring that the technical and language skills of the potential newcomers match needs in the Canadian labour market.
The delegation met with more than 45 business and investment leaders in Lviv and Kyiv to learn firsthand the challenges and opportunities for Saskatchewan companies. Krawetz also addressed the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce stressing importance of the small-medium enterprise sector in building the Ukrainian economy. He also emphasized the importance of further cooperation with the European Union to develop key market areas, and the significance of concluding the proposed free trade agreement with Canada to expand the opportunities for future growth.
The delegation also paid its respects to the victims and survivors of the Holodomor at the memorial in Kyiv. “Saskatchewan is the first province to recognize the Holodomor,” Krawetz said.
“As we commemorate in November the 80th anniversary of this tragedy, it is critical that we reflect and remember those who experienced this horrific event.”