On May 18, Free Market Road Show, a joint project of Austrian Economics Center, Liberty Fund, Global Philanthropic Trust, European Students for Liberty, F.A. v. Hayek Institut and many other organizations, made a stop in Kyiv. For ten years already, FMRS has been bringing together leading economists, politicians and businessmen to discuss current economic problems and their possible solutions.
The tenth tour across Europe and the Caucasus was devoted to discussing the consequences of two historic events - the British decision to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States. Naturally, in Kyiv we also talked about the situation in Ukraine.
A short networking session opened the event, followed by a partnership fair, in which organizations like the Centre for Economic Strategy, Case Ukraine, EasyBusiness, Austrian Economics Center, European Students for Liberty, Osvitoria, Ayn Rand Institute and VoxConnector had a chance to present themselves and their projects. After this Florian Kolfurst from the Embassy of Austria in Ukraine, Maksym Kolesnikov, a Project Manager of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Ukraine and Belarus, and Barbara Kolm, the Director of Austrian Economics Center, delivered their opening speeches.
The first discussion panel covered five great ideas for better Ukraine. Marian Zablotskiy (Wiki-permit), Hlib Vyshlinsky (free movement of capital), Dmytro Boyarchuk (reverse mortgage), Yuliya Tychkivska (education reform) and Oleksiy Mushak (land reform) presented one idea each.
After lunch Nataliya Mykolska, the Trade Representative of Ukraine, interviewed leading Ukrainian businessmen on what they can do to accelerate the expansion of economic freedom in Ukraine. Vyacheslav Klymov, the Founder of LLC Nova Poshta, Yuriy Kosyuk, the Founder of Myronivskiy Khliboproduct and Oleksandra Alkhimovych, the Managing Director of Luxoft Ukraine participated in the discussion.
The topic of freedom was covered by Ukrainian cultural figures Andrii Bondar, Oleksiy Nikitin, Oleksandr Irvanets, Mykola Yakovyna, Oleksandr Krasovytskiy and Tetyana Danylenko. Among other things, they talked about the freedom of speech and numerous bans that have been introduced in Ukraine since 2014.
Successes and failures of the reform front were addressed by the prominent Slovak reformer Ivan Miklos. In turn, Oleksandr Danylyuk, the Minister of Finance of Ukraine, in his speech focused on future plans and priorities of the Ministry of Finance, such as the pension reform, privatization and the reform of the tax police.
The final panel discussion of the Free Market Road Show in Kyiv was devoted to the causes and potential consequences of Brexit and Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election. John Fund, Richard Rahn, Daniel Kaddik, Michael Jaeger, Alfred Praus and James Sproule exchanged their thoughts on the issue.
The event was supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Ukraine and Belarus.