Ukrainian officials ask WEF for help in international investment, post-war reconstruction, fighting internal corruption

"We should do it right now, because once the war is over, no one is willing to invest in the country which is not reformed, and we’re doing it right now."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

On Tuesday, officials from Ukraine and other European nations gathered to talk about supporting Ukraine throughout the conflict with Russia and in its post-war rebuilding efforts in a World Economic Forum Annual Meeting panel titled "Ukraine: What Next?"

Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy of Ukraine, said that Ukraine has shown "resilience" during this wartime, and that this resilience would "help foreign investment to come and to feel comfortable and to achieve their goals.

"So that’s why our idea is, first of all, to stress on that necessary to provide this additional military support, and of course, to find some additional tools with our… partners how we can facilitate Ukrainian business to develop, and how we can facilitate foreign investment to come to Ukraine even now with different mechanisms such as insurance for the war risks, for example, or some additional finance that can be provided."

Oleksiy Chernyshov, CEO Naftogas Ukraine, Ukraine’s oil and gas company, said in regard to Ukraine’s "next enemy" after the war, "Ukraine should fight is internal enemy, which is definitely lies in the area of anti-corruption, corporate governance, reforms agenda, judicial reform, all the factors that are desperately needed to this country regardless of the war."

"Let us remember, did Ukraine suffer from equity shortage before the war? Yes," he said, later adding that "we should reform reforms agenda as soon as possible, and we cannot wait until the war is over."

"We should do it right now, because once the war is over, no one is willing to invest in the country which is not reformed, and we’re doing it right now."

Other international leaders chimed in on their efforts to help Ukraine rebuild during and after the war.

Odile Françoise Renaud-Basso, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, said that "what is very important is to support Ukraine now."

"And indeed we need to prepare for construction and to think about it and to get organized about it, but I think that the more we do now, the more it will give chance to the country to win the war and the less we will have to do in the reconstruction.

"And, in a way, it’s not — I think we are in an environment which is we already start to reconstruct," she continued. "Everything we do in terms of emergency repair since the attack on the key infrastructure have started in October is, I mean, starting to reconstruct. of course, we will have to do much more later on, but really providing support now is absolutely key."

Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Finland, echoed a similar sentiment in terms of acting now in Ukraine, saying, "when it comes to reconstruction, well of course I want to underline the most important thing is to act now when the need is there."

Skinnari said that Finland has been supporting Ukraine since 2014, adding that Finland has given Ukraine 300 million euros "including material support, humanitarian, and all equipments, everything included."

"But of course then we have to look at the — our European commitment, our development financing together with our global entities, and therefore it’s so important that, for instance here today, we are together to look at the way, how we operate, how we coordinate with what kind of emphasis we work. And of course, the most important thing is to have a dialogue with you, Ukrainians, decision-makers, everybody, the people, that what are the real needs."

Jörg Kukies, State Secretary Federal Chancellory of Germany, said that the world is now "seeing the damage" sanctions placed on "the Russia war machine."

"You know, the ban on all kinds of semiconductor exports, the ban on all exports of dual-use goods, I think is really hurting Russia’s ability to restock and is really causing damage in Russia."

Kukies added that there was "skepticism" at the beginning as to how effective these sanctions would be, "but we’re seeing now that the toll being extracted is very severe."

On energy, Kukies said that they have been able to "rid ourselves first of Russian coal, then of Russian oil, now of Russian gas." He said that the Russian state-owned Gazprom "will make a lot of money looking back in ’22," but that "the sources of revenue in ’23 are getting less and less."

"So in that sense, I think in terms of how did we respond, I think it was quite forceful."


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