The task of each Ukrainian ambassador is to attract foreign direct investment to Ukraine, promote domestic exports and defend the interests of Ukrainian business abroad. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should develop a model of key criteria for assessing the effectiveness of ambassadors in the economic field. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a video conference of heads of foreign diplomatic missions of Ukraine, which began in Kyiv.
"It is important for Ukraine to be integrated into the world economy. I see that the direction of economic diplomacy has received some renewal in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but so far we do not see the end result. The tasks of each ambassador in this area are as follows: attracting foreign direct investment to Ukraine, promoting Ukrainian exports, defending the interests of Ukrainian business abroad," the President said.
He noted that for obvious reasons, in particular due to the coronavirus pandemic, trade turnover between the countries has fallen worldwide this year. But today, every diplomatic representative of the Ukrainian state must look for all opportunities to restore and increase trade.
"Please put forward your new ideas, make proposals for initiating new negotiations on free trade areas not only for goods, but also for services, study the markets of your host countries, get acquainted with the main importers and retailers. In the current conditions, the ambassador should become the best Ukrainian economist in his host country," the President stressed.
According to the Head of State, economic cooperation should not be limited to Europe, the United States and Canada, as the markets of the Middle East, including the GCC countries, Africa, Asia and South America, also have significant potential for economic cooperation.
Among other things, as Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted, Africa is an important region. "We need to strengthen our diplomatic presence in this region, because our economic interests are there as well. I am ready to consider the proposals of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard. I understand that in these regions, issues are most often resolved at the level of heads of state and government. I am ready to personally get involved in this work, please invite me," he said.
The President of Ukraine noted that this year, in the framework of the so-called telephone diplomacy, he held 67 phone conversations with heads of state and government, and the lion's share of these talks was devoted to the economy.
"I want to emphasize once again that economic achievements in bilateral cooperation are one of the main criteria by which I evaluate and appreciate the work of the ambassador. And I will tell the newly appointed ambassadors: you have to show the first results of your work in the economic field six months after your appointment. No result - no position of the ambassador," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.
The President commissioned Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba to develop and submit to the Office of the President a model of key criteria for assessing the effectiveness of ambassadors in the economic field. Such an assessment, according to the President, could be given with the involvement of representatives of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as representatives of Ukrainian business associations.