The United States and Ukraine are working together with the international business community to accelerate rebuilding efforts in Ukraine.
The U.S.-Ukraine Partnership Forum brought together government, private sector and other leaders to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington April 13 to discuss ways to rebuild and revitalize Ukraine’s economy.
“The need for the bold and original ideas of the private sector will be more important in Ukraine than ever before,” said Jose Fernandez, the U.S. Department of State ‘s undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment, at the event.
Fernandez said that despite the destruction from Russia’s attacks on cities and infrastructure, there is much hope, given the resolve of the people of Ukraine and the world’s support.
Ready to help
Suzanne Clark, president and chief executive of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said U.S. companies are ready to help. “They want to make a difference in Ukraine,” she said, noting that the U.S. business community has committed $1 billion in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.
During the conference, U.S. and Ukrainian officials announced they would work together to identify possible private sector projects in Ukraine eligible for U.S. International Development Finance Corporation support.
The World Bank estimates Ukraine will need $411 billion over the next 10 years to rebuild from Russia’s brutal full-scale February 2022 invasion. Russia’s military has damaged and destroyed Ukrainian power stations, infrastructure and agriculture, causing billions in damage. The war has also killed thousands and displaced more than 13 million people, according to U.N. figures as of April 11.
Private sector investments
Rebuilding is already underway. U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power highlighted several recent private sector investments in Ukraine, including:
- Nestle, the Swiss food and beverage manufacturer, is investing nearly $43 million in a food production facility in the Volyn region.
- Kingspan Construction, an Irish firm, plans a $200 million technology campus in Lviv.
- Bayer, a German biotechnology company, will invest $65 million in agricultural production and storage and brought in demining equipment to help farmers clear their fields.
Power pointed to Ukraine’s power grid as an example of the country’s resilience and how quickly things are changing. The U.S. government and international partners spent months helping Ukrainians repair critical infrastructure and delivering transformers and generators. Today, the power in many places is back on and producing such a surplus that, in April, Ukraine began supplying power to parts of Moldova and Poland, she said.
Other U.S.-backed projects have helped farmers and protected internet access.
The April 13 forum is just the first of several events in the U.S.-Ukraine Partnership series. “We are starting a great reconstruction and recovery program,” Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said. “We are united in defense today and we will be united in our recovery tomorrow.”