Source: Information and public relations department of Poltava Regional State Administration

IMG_0512The Poltava Regional State Administration hosted a meeting with a delegation of the Ukrainian-Canadian technical assistance project “Partnership for Local Economic Development and Democratic Governance” (PLEDDG) led by Senior Governance Advisor Laura Hagg. First Deputy Head of the Regional State Administration Dmytro Lunin thanked the team of the PLEDDG for their cooperation and assistance in the development of the Poltava Oblast, support in the implementation of effective democratic governance, and acceleration of economic development of the region. He also asked to provide expert assistance and advice in the development of strategic programs.

“We are currently developing a Strategy for the Development of Small and Medium Entrepreneurship in the Poltava Oblast until 2027, business support programs for 2021-2023, and a Strategy for the Development of Tourism and Resorts in the Oblast,” said Dmitry Lunin. “The coronavirus pandemic has made its adjustments in the development of many areas. Local tourism requires development, it is a great opportunity to leave the money in the country, rather than take it abroad. The ongoing medical reform in the country has revealed a very important problem, which is the lack of rehabilitation. In Ukraine, patients undergo post-surgery rehabilitation at home, they hire the necessary specialists and buy the necessary equipment. In the Poltava Oblast, there is a good rehabilitation facility in Myrhorod. Our oblast has a favorable geographical position, located between three large oblasts, a good environmental situation allowing people from all across the country and even the world to undergo rehabilitation here.”

Therefore, this area can be used to attract investment for the construction of both medical and rehabilitation facilities. In addition, the First Deputy Head of the Oblast State Administration told the Canadian partners that the decentralization reform caused the need for large hospitals or boarding schools to disappear. Eventually, they will be closed, and to avoid the premises standing vacant, they can be converted into facilities that are important today.

Aside from industry in the Kremenchuk Raion and agriculture in the oblast, there are no other large areas for development in the Poltava Oblast according to Dmitro Lunin. Therefore, the oblast leadership has an ambitious goal – to become the center for rehabilitation in Ukraine.

“We are already attracting donor funding to give young people new professions. Among them is the currently important job of rehabilitation physicians,” added Dmitro Lunin. “We also attract a lot of money for the construction of roads, and in the future, we will open an airport. This will make it convenient for the tourist or the patient to come to the Poltava Oblast.”

Oleksandr Ignatenko, Senior Expert in Intergovernmental Cooperation and Economic Development of the Partnership for Local Economic Development project, said that the PLEDDG team will be able to involve tourism specialists in the development of the Poltava Oblast Development Strategy, conduct workshops, and so on. In addition, specialists from Canada will be involved in the cooperation remotely.

“I worked in Jordan on tourism development,” said Laura Hagg. “Talking about resorts, you need to pay attention to certain aspects of this business. Tourists or vacationers are interested in certain services, amenities, new activities, emotions. To get everything, they have to stay at the resort longer. It is also crucial to take into account the experience of foreign travel companies, how they behave during the crisis: which institutions are resilient and survive, which, unfortunately, do not. It is important to analyze all this because both the demands and the tourists at such resorts have changed. When it comes to tourism, it is more appropriate to support small and medium-sized businesses, rather than to build a grandiose hotel or project.”

Department of Economic Development, Trade, and Investment of the Poltava Oblast State Administration reported that the strategy itself and all necessary materials have been assembled. The Canadian side needs only to provide a critical assessment of what has been achieved and an outside perspective of the current developments.