Source: Zaporizhia Oblast State Administration website

1PLEDDG has supported the “Projects Preparation for the receiving of the EU and State Regional Development Fund (SRDF) Sector Budget Support” training in Zaporizhia. Within the frames of the event, the “2027 Development Strategy” round table has been conducted. The meeting has gathered Zaporizhia oblast local economic development experts.

The representatives of structural divisions of the oblast state administration, territorial bodies of central executive authorities, local administrations, and amalgamated territorial communities have attended the event.

“The PLEDDG Project is a Canadian international technical assistance project that is being implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by Global Affairs Canada. Our partners are the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Utilities Services of Ukraine, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine, the Association of Ukrainian Cities (AUC), 16 partner cities from 4 oblasts of Ukraine (including Zaporizhia oblast). The project aims to apply the best international practices to build an effective and democratic municipal sector in Ukraine”, says Oleksandr Ignatenko, Senior Expert in Intergovernmental Cooperation and Economic Development, PLEDDG Project.

The participants have discussed 2027 Economic Development Strategy of Zaporizhia oblast and the 2021-2023 Action Plan for its implementation, as well as the ways to improve the competitiveness of the region on the basis of smart specialization and expert support.

As mentioned by Ilona Nesterenko the Head of the Section of Budget Formation and Social Sphere Economics Factors of the Division of Regional Development Analysis and Forecasting of the Department of Economic Development and Trade of the Oblast State Administration, in the process of development of the third Regional Development Strategy for Zaporizhia Oblast the authorities have followed the principles of maximum involvement of the interested parties while being focused on the priorities of region’s development.

“Due to PLEDDG, Zaporizhia oblast has become the first to adopt a regional development strategy in Ukraine. A Steering Committee and 12 thematic focus groups have been established, which included more than 250 participants. Public organizations and business representatives, scientists and authorities have been involved. We have conducted a survey on the vision of Zaporizhia oblast development, also attracted the Institute of Regional Studies named after Dolishnyi, undertaken a strategic environmental assessment”, says Ilona Nesterenko.

Thus, Zaporizhia oblast has a Strategy and a clear plan of actions and changes that take into account all advantages and opportunities of the region’s development, identify development milestones and priority areas that have the greatest growth potential for the region, and in the nearest future will become “growth points” of the economy and increase of social standards.

As noted by the coordinator of the REGIONET network Olexandr Dudka, in contrast to Zaporizhia oblast, most regions of Ukraine have not yet prepared development strategies and implementation plans. This means that they are at risk of not receiving funds from the SRDF in 2021. In particular, he has recalled that a competitive selection of investment programs and projects that could be implemented at the expense of the State Regional Development Fund in 2021 had started.

Also during the meeting, the participants analyzed practical experience of implementation of the winner-project of the EU sectoral support competition on the example of Melitopol.