American companies urge to invest in Ukraine in connection with the approaching large-scale reconstruction

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has claimed thousands of lives, displaced millions and caused a level of devastation not seen in Europe since World War II.

The conflict has isolated Moscow politically and economically as sanctions and dozens of Western companies leave Russia. A recent Yale study of more than 1,200 companies around the world found that almost 1,000 of them have publicly stated that they voluntarily restrict their activities in Russia beyond the minimum required by international sanctions.

These and other companies are now encouraged to make major investments in Ukraine. Speaking remotely at a recent CEO summit hosted by Yale University, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told an audience of government and business representatives: “This is our common war.” goldman SaxGS,
Group C
Pfizer PFE,
and Verizon VZ,

According to Yale University, were among the companies attending the event.

Andy Hunder, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, told CNET that the resilience of Ukraine’s trade infrastructure should be celebrated by the rest of the world. “This… sends a signal to businesses that are currently not based in Ukraine or are considering [Ukraine] potentially,” he said. “The Internet in wartime Kyiv works better than in many European capitals in peacetime, the mobile network works, banks work transparently.”

As Ukraine prepares to enter its sixth month of war, US companies are urged to invest in the country now. “We see a lot of help on this from the Department of Commerce and the State Department to really get the message across to US companies that now is the time to think about investing in Ukraine,” Hunder said. “The Department of Commerce was pretty positive about this, saying, ‘Let’s not wait six or a few months after we end the war, let’s start preparing business now.’ “”

See also: Yale University research shows that companies that left Russia after its invasion of Ukraine are making huge stock returns, while those that remain are not.

The head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry added that his organization is negotiating with a number of companies to invest in Ukraine. “It’s a pretty long list, and I don’t think I want to single out just one right now,” he said. He added that the procurement and decision-making process will be transparent.

The recovery effort will be “massive,” Hander said. “We see cities like Mariupol, Severodonetsk and many others that are practically destroyed,” he said.

“Everything related to renovation – glass, brick, cement, all kinds of building materials – I think will be in high demand,” Hunder said. “Building roads, building bridges, building tunnels, there will be so many needs.”

According to Hander, other important areas are healthcare, education and agriculture. A major exporter of products such as wheat and sunflower oil, Ukraine has long been known as Europe’s breadbasket. “If we talk about agriculture, it starts with the whole process – it starts with seeds, then comes plant protection, then comes machinery, then comes agriculture, then comes logistics, then railroad and river transport,” he said. “Then he goes to ports, handles logistics and delivery.”

However, the Russian naval blockade of Ukraine is strangling the Ukrainian economy. The World Bank, for example, expects Ukraine’s GDP to contract by 45% in 2022.

“Now the most important thing in the short term is to really unblock these ports – we have over 100 ships that have been stuck in ports since the end of February,” Hunder said. He added that relying on Ukraine’s railway network would be like “using a teaspoon to draw water from a lake.”

Read also: A Star Wars sequel in Ukraine? The Iron Dome project aims to protect the country from missiles

Hunder, who spoke to Deadline from London, was awakened by Russian bombs on the first day of the invasion and left the capital for western Ukraine with his son. The Chamber of Commerce had contingency plans, and in early February it even paid salary advances to its employees. In addition, COVID-19 has prepared the organization for remote work.

Like others, Hunder made plans in case mobile networks went down and ATMs couldn’t dispense money. “Every night when I went to bed I made sure I had a full tank of gas, I had two cans in the trunk. [trunk] out of the car, I had paper cards in the car, I had cash, local currency,” he said.

After working for several days in a Lviv hotel and its basement air raid shelter, Hunder left Ukraine on March 1 and his organization used an office in Kosice, Slovakia provided by the US Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Slovakia. Today, out of 41 employees of the Ukrainian Chamber, about half are in Kyiv, and the rest are either in Western Ukraine or in other European countries.

Increasingly, employees want to return to Ukraine. “Especially those whose husbands are there, they start coming back,” Hunder said.

According to Hunder, the serviceman who joined the Ukrainian army is also preparing to go to the front.

Hunder plans to return to Kyiv in the coming weeks and is confident that Ukraine will win, describing areas such as Mariupol and Severodonetsk as “temporarily [Russian] controlled territories.

“Resilience is [the Ukrainians] strong,” he added.