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The Fifth International GR Forum

The Fifth International GR Forum

The Fifth International Open GR-Forum annually brings together the best specialists in Government Relations, Government Affairs, lobbying and advocacy from all over the world. 

It should be admitted that the Third International GR Forum was held in Kyiv, Ukraine in 2017. The Fourth International GR Forum was held in Brussels, Belgium in 2018. It confirms the global character of the annual Forum and strong international position of the main organizer of the Forum – the International Government Affairs Professionals Association.C:\Users\user\Desktop\87aze7za78e.jpg

The IV International GR Forum in Brussels, Belgium (October 11, 2018)

This year the global GR Forum was held on May 26 in Istanbul, Turkey. Despite of COVID-19 pandemic the annual event was successfully organized according to the last Turkish quarantine rules. The purpose of the event was to develop cooperation with government departments and GR-specialists, lobbyists, lawyers, politicians from the USA, Turkey, Greece, India, Israel, Romania, Ukraine and other countries.  This aim was successfully achieved by the main organizers of the Forum – International Governmental Affairs Professionals Association, influential European political consulting group «SIC-Group», and the Institute for Democracy and Development “PolitА”.

There were more than 40 professionals as speakers and active participants of panel discussions from the USA, Ukraine and Turkey, among whom were Kendall Coffey (top-lawyer of the USA), famous Turkish and Ukrainian lawyers Faruk Aktay and Sergey Klets, famous American lobbyist Tim Schellberg, influential political consultants Mustafa Oguz (Turkey), Erdinch Mert (Turkey), Dr. Eyup Vural Aydin (Turkey), Ayazhan Uteuova (Kazakhstan), People’s Deputies of Ukraine Halyna Yanchenko and Olexandr Marikovskyy, a successful GR-professionals Samet Sertash, Fatih Kaya, corporate affairs director Mehmet Orgen (Turkey), the Secretary-General of SEDEFED Erhan Arslan,  a culture diplomat Yulia Gershun (Ukraine), influential entrepreneurs Mohammed Adil Jeylan (Turkey), Bilgin Haluk (Turkey), CEO of Ukrainian Airlines Evgeniy Dykhne, PR-professional Sitara Jabeen, famous Ukrainian analyst and publicist Victor Andrusiv. Also, Dimitris Konstantellos (Greece), Suryaprabha Sadasivan (India), Egon Cholakian (the USA), Sefa Gomdeniz (Turkey), Shaikh Kazybek Altay Uly (Kazakhstan), Teodora Migdalovici, Ukrainian agricultural specialist Vasyl Shtendera  took part in the International GR Forum as online speakers. 


The Fifth International GR Forum was successfully held

It should  be admitted Kazakh PR-consultant Yulia Chelnokova, the president of FIBA Europe Turgay Demirel, famous Ukrainian public figures Iryna Kopanitsa and Anna Mishchenko, Ukrainian politicians (Pavlo Polyanskyy, Andriy Gordeev, Yana Zhelyanovska), influential lawyers (Sergey Lysenko, Anatoliy Yarovyy), Yuriy Sergienko, Volodymyr Ivanov, Dmitriy Yakovlev, Vitaly Zvarich («IBOX Bank» representatives), political scientists Lev Bondarenko and Andrey Buzarov, Ukrainian successful journalist Roman Bochkala and many others.

The Fifth GR Forum is one of the biggest specialized conferences of the region. The main feature is that it unites not only American and European professionals, but Asian ones. 


Kateryna Odarchenko is the main organizer of the International V GR Forum

Kateryna Odarchenko, as the main organizer of the V International GR Forum supposed uniting successful professionals of GR and lobbying from different countries was a confirmation of regular experience exchange and influence of global professionals on local government structures. The International Government Affairs Professionals Association and European political consulting company «SIC-Group» are interested in improving the global community of international professions and holding more international conferences, round tables, and annual GR Forums soon.

The Fifth GR Forum is one of the biggest specialized conferences of the region. The main feature is that it unites not only American and European professionals, but Asian ones. 

Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Florida, admitted the importance of uniting the international GR-community and development of lobbying during pandemic times on the Forum: «This is an extremely good time to talk about lobbying and GR. We did not know what is going to happen with business, law, governmental relations models. Pandemic is a great oppression. It seems that all sectors have survived, some of the traditions are revising». It confirms the success of the global GR and lobbying community that is facing the challenges of COVID-19 world, especially at the annual GR Forum. Mr. Coffey is annually recognized as one of Florida Trend’s Legal Elite, Florida “Super Lawyer,” and South Florida Legal Guide’s “Top Lawyers”. 


Kendall Coffey was a speaker on the V GR Forum

Visiting the Forum by American professional with long-term law practice (Mr. Coffey served as Chair, Southern District Conference, Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission) is a great opportunity to the international community to analyze modern GR and lobbying community in terms of COVID-pandemic.

Tim Schellberg, the founder and President of «Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs», an internationally known governmental affairs and government business market development firm, was one of the main speakers on the Forum. Mr. Schellberg has used over 25 years of professional experience, worldwide contacts and knowledge of global government institutions to actively lead legislative based projects in over 30 countries and within the United States. Mr. Schellberg explained the importance and secrets of GR and lobbying tools in the USA. The President of «Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs» admitted: «The most powerful tool in American lobbying is obviously relationships. Relationships came to government relations». In other words, Government Relations is an independent sector of international politics. Global cooperation between politicians and representatives of non-governmental organizations depends on governmental relations. 

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Tim Schellberg was a speaker on the V GR Forum

Development of stakeholders, professional dialogue, an ability to manage through social media, public relations  are important tools of lobbying and GR in the USA. The same tendency is visible to Turkish colleagues, who actively took part in panel discussion «Lobbying in Turkey». 

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Samet Serttash was a speaker on the V GR Forum

For example, Turkish GR-professional Samet Serttash, as a moderator and speaker, discussed an important item of paradigm shift in lobbying in Turkey under the new presidential system. Mr. Serttash is an influential government affairs director of “Herbalife Nutrition”, chairman of public policy research center (KAPSAM) in Turkey, chairman of food and agriculture policy center (GIFT) and chairman of food supplement and nutrition association of Turkey (GTBD). Mr. Serttash admitted the role of the President increased in a new political system in Turkey. It is one of the main reasons for Turkish GR-professionals and lobbyists to improve their own professional sector and unite with each other to take active part in improving Turkish political system.

«IBOX Bank» representatives, who were interested in the development of GR instruments in Ukraine, took active part in the Forum. «IBOX Bank» is one of the most influential and popular banks in Ukraine. Ivanov Volodymyr, an honorary member of the bank’s management, was convinced of the need to develop a quality dialogue between bank representatives of cryptocurrencies in Ukraine and the administrative authorities. Vitaliy Zvarych, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of IBOX Bank, is convinced that it is necessary for bank representatives to exert maximum influence on the confrontation between retailers and banks. Successful implementation of this task will help reduce the price of interchange, approve loyalty programs of a number of companies, and, accordingly, protect the interests of Ukrainian citizens in the banking sector.


Dmytro Yakovlev and Vitaliy Zvarych were active participants of the V GR Forum

Dmytro Yakovlev, the Head of the Innovation Department of IBOX Bank, confirmed the importance of establishing a cryptocurrency market in Ukraine at the legislative level. «Binance», as the first banking cryptocurrency of the state, was a confirmation of the efficiency of «IBOX Bank» as a leading representative of the latest innovations in the Ukrainian market. Serhiyenko Yuriy, a representative of IBOX Bank and an influential entrepreneur, admitted the importance of the development of correct GR relations and their approval at the legislative level between banks and retailers as a guarantee of effective operation for the Ukrainian business sector. Clearly defined rights, proposals, responsibilities of Ukrainian banks could create a solid foundation for further work and development of all other areas of Ukraine, including business. The work of «IBOX Bank» is rather influential as the financial vector of Ukraine’s development, which affects the economic policy of Ukraine.

Timur Chmeruk is a member of the Ukrainian Association of Professionals in the field of GR and lobbying

“The GR Forum is the regular  experience exchange organized by the Ukrainian Association of GR and Lobbying Professionals, the International Association of Government Relations Professionals (IGAPA), and the Institute for Democracy and Development “PolitA” . The GR Forum is one of the effective tools for lobbying and GR at the international level ”- Timur Chmeruk thinks.