Meeting with representatives of IT community on July 6, Poroshenko promised his administration would draft legislation to issue special visas for IT specialists to attract more foreign investors and qualified IT professionals to Ukraine’s burgeoning tech sector.
Lithuania’s parliament at the end of June passed a bill on startup visas to attract foreign IT specialists to the Baltic country.
Those present at the meeting with Poroshenko included Lenna Koszarny, the CEO of private equity fund Horizon Capital, AVentures Capital managing partner Andriy Kolodyuk, Evgeni Utkin, the founder and president of KM Core, Preply СЕО Kirill Bigai, Dmytro Shymkiv, the deputy head of the Presidential Administration.
Apart from visas, some of the other main topics raised were searches of IT companies, taxes, defending intellectual property and cooperation between the tech community and the government.
Preply’s Bigai told the Kyiv Post the president had devoted extra time to the meeting. According to official information the meeting lasted 90 minutes instead of the 30 minutes planned.
“Definitely, the president approached this meeting very seriously and, as far as we know, paid a lot more attention to it than originally planned,” Bigai said.
“The main thing is that the president gave Ukraine a signal about the prospects and future plans for developing IT in the country,” he said. “That was important to begin the dialogue.”
According to Poroshenko, the government will focus on financing startups that can help country to “survive” in its current conditions — the Defense Ministry and Ukroboronprom will invest in the technological development of Ukraine’s defense industry.
Poroshenko also said the government would improve the business climate to attract more investment to the country. He said amendments to the Constitution and the reform of the current tax code should help achieve the desired result.
The unjustified searches of IT companies that have taken place over the last year must stop, as “reports in the media about raids on tech companies bring no benefit either to the government or to Ukraine’s world’s image, or to the judicial system,” Poroshenko said.
The tech sector representatives proposed that a governmental body resembling the Office of the Chief Scientist in Israel be created in Ukraine to manage tech investment policy in Ukraine.
"The meeting took place and this is already a concrete result," AVentures Capital’s Kolodyuk told the Kyiv Post.
"Before this meeting, we didn’t anticipate that we we’d find solutions to all the issues we raised — these problems need a fundamental approach, that has to be implemented step by step."