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Ukraine's Pitch, From Chocolate King to Cloudsourcing, Of Democracy & Dollars

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 29 -- A pitch was made to Americans by Central Park on May 29, under the high ceilings of the Ukrainian Institute on 79 Street in Manhattan, to outsource IT or information technology tasks to Ukraine.

You will only pay for the time the outsources workers actually work, one promoter said, they must log out before they can use Twitter or Facebook. You can support Ukrainian independence and democracy. And, she added in a more hushed tone, you can profit.

Who are the companies already outsourcing to Ukraine? A pamphlet handed out listed Citibank, Boeing, PepsyCo (mis-spelled) and Reuters. One wag wondered if that gave the wire service a conflict of interest in their reporting. They already try to censor other media, Inner City Press reported here.

  The pamphlet included a quote from Barack Obama, about “assistance to the government of Ukraine so it can stabilize its economy and meet the basic needs of the Ukrainian people” -- and another from Congressman Eliot Engel, but not one from Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund. A graph shown put 6% of Ukraine's IT business in Donetsk, scene of recent fighting.

  A non-Ukrainian executive, Anthony Conte of EPAM, was brought up as the last speaker. He talked hopefully about the election of Poroshenko the Chocolate King -- just as the UN offered praise, although in the hallways to its own News Center, here -- and about those EPAM has employed in Ukraine since 2005. They are also in Belarus.

  When the speeches were over, red caviar and pancakes were served and the networking began. The pamphlet said “Support Democracy, Increase Your Profits” but the order was perhaps different. Watch this site.


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