Ukraine’s city Korosten plans its woodworking industry development strategy together with the M4EG Staff Exchange Programme visitors

17 September 2019

Korosten, Ukraine, September 16, 2019 – During the week of 9-13 September, Korosten City Council hosted two colleagues from Denmark in the frameworks of the M4EG Staff Exchange Programme. The Danish experts helped the city in Ukraine’s Zhytomyr Region to promote its woodworking industry via sharing their European experience in creation of and support for cluster initiatives, attracting investments and working with investors.

In particular, the Staff Exchange Programme experts explored the city’s economy and its development plan in 2019-2020, analysed the practices of Mayor’s Office in the fields of interest, visited on-site production facilities, and discussed a draft business plan of Industrial Park “Korosten”.

The Danish professionals provided recommendations to the Mayor’s Office for ensuring sustainable development of woodworking industry via building partnerships and attracting partners from the European Union countries. They also developed a plan of actions of the Industrial Park “Korosten” for attracting more investors. In addition, the Korosten City Council specialists were able to increase their professional capabilities by obtaining practical European experience in cluster model of development and working with investors.

As a result, having more qualified human resources, better knowledge of how to deal with investors, and a more streamlined plan of actions for the Industrial Park, Korosten will successfully continue sustainable implementation of its goals as envisaged in its Local Economic Development Plan (LEDP).

The Danish delegation was comprised of two professionals from Denmark’s Borhnolm Island – Mr. Henrik Eybye Nielsen, Senior Advisor on Regional Development at Regional Municipality of Bornholm, and Mr. Hans-Henrik Kofoed, Director of Oesterlars Sawmill dealing with wood processing. They were selected by the M4EG Secretariat particularly for this mission because their knowledge and experience were unique and well-suited to Korosten’s needs and development goals.

The Mayor of Korosten Volodymyr Moskalenko said: “We are doing our best to keep up with the innovations and the best practices coming from Europe. Therefore, the M4EG Staff Exchange Programme proved to be very helpful to us. Our Danish colleagues were very enthusiastic and open in sharing their thoughts and experience. We chose woodworking as a focus in terms of economic development but we also discussed other issues. Moreover, the staff exchange programme was useful in terms of business development recommendations, mainstreaming environmental aspects, exchange of experience and cultural insights as well”.

Mr. Henrik Eybye Nielsen from Bornholm noted about his visit to Korosten: “We are very impressed by the progress our colleagues in Korosten’ have made in promoting woodwork industry in the municipality. It definitely has huge potential, and we would be happy to continue communication and cooperation in this field. But it is also very important to work on diversifying the local economy, and I believe, Korosten could benefit a lot from tourism development. There are many similarities between Korosten and Bornholm, where we made great effort to increase tourism and food industry”.

Peter Korsby, M4EG Team Leader, summed up the outcomes of the Staff Exchange visit, stating: “Despite certain differences between Denmark and Ukraine, the colleagues share similar goals and determination for more prosperous cities and better living environment for its citizens. The Staff Exchange Programme helps in realizing this determination via sharing the best practices and knowledge. Korosten is motivated to modernize and promote its woodworking industry based on the European model, and we are glad to provide our share contribution to this important endeavor”.

Launched as part of the European Union’s initiative ‘Mayors for Economic Growth’ (M4EG), the Staff Exchange Programme sends municipal staff member from EU countries to selected signatories in order to share their experience and render assistance. To date, 50 signatories from the six Eastern Partnership countries have applied for such support and 9 of them were selected for the first Staff Exchange Programme this year. This is the 8th mission in the Eastern Partnership region. Earlier this year the other two Ukrainian cities - Lviv and Pniv -have already hosted Polish and Latvian visitors, respectively.