Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has met with leading investors, representatives of venture funds and Silicon Valley accelerators in San Francisco, the press service of the head of state has reported.
"Our meeting here in Silicon Valley is a great opportunity to discuss the prospects for the development of the IT sector and innovations in Ukraine. Our country is rapidly transforming and adopting innovations. Over the past year, we have managed to make a real breakthrough in the digital sphere. At the same time, we still need to do a lot," Zelensky said.
According to him, over the past two years, Ukraine has made a huge leap towards creating a digital state, and the Ukrainian IT sector has significant potential, especially in human resources.
Zelensky said he was convinced that Ukraine also has a high potential for developing its own products, and it is necessary to provide conditions for implementing it.
"For that, we are creating one of the best tax and legal frameworks for IT companies – Diia City," he said.
According to Zelensky, thanks to its implementation, the income of the IT industry in Ukraine in three to five years may increase from $6 billion to $16.5 billion per year. The share of the Ukrainian IT sector would expand to 10% of GDP. The number of jobs in the IT industry is expected to grow to 450,000 by 2025, he added.
Zelensky said that Ukraine would provide maximum assistance to foreign and Ukrainian investors. He recalled that a special legal regime was aimed at creating companies in the country with a capitalization of over $100 million, which will be residents of Ukraine.
He also noted that the state is ready to address the concerns of investors and cooperate with them, and Ukraine is very flexible in changing legislation and will facilitate investments.
"Ukraine is open to investments in the IT sector in cooperation with U.S. businesses. We want your business to be interested not only in the possibilities of opening representative offices in Ukraine, but also in investing in Ukrainian innovative products," Zelensky said, addressing participants in the event.
At a meeting with the management of Lyft, one of the largest transportation companies in the United States and Canada, Zelensky thanked its co-founder and President John Zimmer for special attention to the Ukrainian market and selecting it among other countries when opening the R&D center (Lyft Engineering).
At a meeting with representatives of the Stellar Development Foundation, a company that develops an open-source financial solutions network, Zelensky expressed hope that in the near future this institution will see opportunities to expand its activities in Ukraine, expand its team and, possibly, open an R&D center.
"After all, Ukraine is now the best magnet with blockchain and crypto specialists in Europe. And one of the vectors of development of Ukraine's digital economy is the launch and development of a legal innovative market of virtual assets," he said.
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov, in turn, said that the Ukrainian Startup Fund has been operating in the country for more than a year, and the state has already funded more than a hundred projects. It is also planned to create a Fund of Funds, when the state not only invests in startups, but also sends money to private funds, he said.
The minister said that Ukraine is developing a virtual asset market, has one of the world's largest blockchain developer communities, is creating an attractive jurisdiction for Ukrainian and foreign crypto companies, is modernizing the payment market, which will even allow the National Bank to issue digital currency.
According to the President's Office, representatives of investors and venture funds noted the high level of Ukrainian IT specialists and their huge potential.
Zelensky and his wife, Olena Zelenska, are on a working visit to the United States.