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Olivier Adam (UN)

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Olivier Adam (UN)

  1. 1. Speech of Mr. Olivier Adam at the Black Sea Economic Forum, Yalta I am delighted to be here with you today and to take part in this important Panel Discussion. I would like to thank the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea for hosting this important event and inviting the United Nations. Crimea, with its rich history and blend of cultures, its strategically important geographical location and its favorable climatic conditions, can and should, indeed, contribute to the development of Ukraine as a whole and become a reliable and dynamic economic partner for other countries of the Black Sea region and around the world. In this morning’s discussion we focused on Black Sea Region countries, if they are “partners or competitors” in attracting foreign direct investment. In this session we will focus on Ukraine’s new economic policies for Crimea, a process I have followed closely in 2010. The United Nations Organisation and UNDP is present in each of the countries of the Black Sea Region and it is through our perspective of the Black Sea and the context of Ukraine’s partnership with all countries in the Black Sea that I see potential in the new economic policies Ukraine is using to transform Crimea into a cultural, economic and business capital of the region. What are the key “sectoral stars” of Crimea? Of course, tourism, renewable energy, cinematography, agriculture come first. However it is a combination of these and other sectors that can in fact shape Crimea’s economic future. Tourism is a sector of the economy whose impact should benefit all inhabitants of Crimea. Its development requires not only investments but also depends on the extent to which Crimea will be able to draw from the good and even bad experiences of other countries. Planning in this sector is essential to ensure that constructions and infrastructures are in harmony with the beautiful landscapes of Crimea’s coasts. Planning is also needed to focus the attention of investors not only on resort, beach or health tourism but also on rural and cultural tourism.
  2. 2. Another “star” is the Crimean agricultural sector. With its wide range of producers, from the small scale cooperative to the large agricultural enterprise, it is an obvious provider to the Crimean population and the tourist market. Domestically grown, ecologically clean fruit and vegetable can be particularly attractive to tourists and for exports. In addition, by updating its technology and becoming more competitive, agriculture can substantially help Crimea raise its domestic and foreign exports potential. Among other sectors presenting serious development potential, I would mention domestic waste utilization, the effectiveness of which is crucially important for Crimea in relation to its tourism industry and its ecology. Energy generating industries and the sector of energy saving technologies are also of critical importance, the latter is already showing signs of development in Crimea. I am certain that other less traditional “development stars” could emerge on the Crimean development landscape. What about, for instance, the electronics and software development industry (a silicon valley in Crimea?), but also, why not expand on Crimea’s century-old history as a prominent film industry centre. Crimea- wood or Yalta-wood? It is crucially important that Crimea’s new economic policies and strategies are evidence-based. They need to take into account not only Crimea’s own competitive advantages, market opportunities and socio-economic development indicators, but also those of its neighbors in Ukraine and in the wider Black Sea region. They need to be based on a forward looking and innovative strategic thinking going beyond the traditional sectoral planning approach and envisages new and non- traditional market niches. They have to be designed on the basis of an effective consultative partnership, within Ukraine and the Black Sea Region. I have no doubt that the Council of Ministers is applying those principles in its current important strategic planning efforts.
  3. 3. The large knowledge and experience base accumulated by the United Nations Development Programme throughout the world clearly indicates that economic policies designed on the basis of a detailed assessment of their impacts on the social and human development of all members of the population, whether urban or rural, men or women, from major or minor ethnic groups, will have bigger chances to generate real development of the region and bring peace and stability to it. The best examples of successful economic development policies in the world include not only balanced approach to energy efficient sectoral development but also and key measures to improve a country or region’s business climate; to promote the application of good governance principles; to develop the professional skills of its population; and to promote public private partnerships and community initiatives. In this context, I would like to highlight here the importance of the Crimean Agency for Regional Development, set up this year by the Council of Ministers of Crimea, supported by the European Union and UNDP through a 2 year’ technical assistance project. The role of this Agency is crucial, as it will not only coordinate the efforts of development actors within Crimea, but it will also reach out to other countries’ development actors in the Black Sea Region and elsewhere to facilitate exchange of information and the formation of effective economic and technological partnerships I would like to emphasize that the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is well known to UNDP we have been working here since 1995. Throughout these years, the nature of our support has evolved. From addressing the integration issues faced by formerly deported people coming back to Crimea in the 1990s to supporting the introduction of social mobilization principles and the adoption of a more integrated approach to regional development.
  4. 4. Since the start of its activities in Crimea, UNDP’s total funding in the region has amounted to several dozen million, which has been used to finance a diverse range of technical assistance projects at the local and republican level. I trust that UNDP and the UN family as a whole continues to be one of the key trusted partner of the Government of Ukraine at both the national and regional levels to support it in its work to achieve the country’s millennium development goals. We are committed to the Paris Declaration principles– everything that we do must be owned by people we work for, and all our actions are aligned with the national and republican strategies. UNDP’s presence in Crimea and a large number of other agencies sends a positive message to new potential partners, donors and foreign investors in the region. There are at present around 60 international technical assistance projects in Crimea funded by a total of eleven donor organizations working in various spheres. Together with the executive bodies of government of Crimea we are doing our best to address the region’s development issues in such a manner as to ensure fair development opportunities for all. I hope that this panel discussion, today, will generate a lively exchange of opinions and concrete proposals and I wish to the participants of this Forum a very fruitful work. Thank you very much.