The risks of investing in Ukraine are already lower than at the beginning of the war, and the opportunities are higher, the first foreign investors, such as Kingspan, Nestle and Bayer, are already investing in the country and American businesses should follow their example and get benefits, while the government will support them, said USAID administrator Samantha Power.
“By investing in Ukraine, you can join companies like Kingspan, Nestle, and Bayer in the group of early adopters. You can invest in Ukraine’s future. And in doing so, you will be investing in democracy’s future. Please know that as you do, USAID and our partners around the world plan to offer our full support,” she said at the U.S.-Ukraine Partnership Forum organized by the American Chambers of Commerce of the two countries in Washington on Thursday.
“The Kingspan Group, an Irish insulation and building materials company, recently announced a $200 million investment to construct a Technology Campus in Lviv. They will build six high-tech plants and employ 600 to 800 people when construction begins next year. Nestle is investing nearly $43 million in a new foods production facility, which is going to add 1,500 new jobs. Bayer, a close partner of USAID, is investing over $65 million to expand a corn seed production facility with state-of-the-art agriculture field equipment, storage facilities, and bomb shelters to protect employees,” she added.
“Even during this brutal war … Ukraine has expanded its leadership in cutting-edge industries like artificial intelligence, fintech, and blockchain. In 2022, last year, the IT industry brought more than $7 billion to the Ukrainian economy – and that was a 20% increase over the year before,” the report says.
“We are investing heavily, in partnership with the Ukrainian government and fellow democracies and multilateral institutions, in reducing the costs of doing business in Ukraine. And we’re committed to doing more right alongside all of you,” she noted, citing as an example the assistance provided with the restoration of energy supply, the supply of seeds and fertilizers to Ukrainian farmers.
“We’re also helping take on the barriers that still prevent investment … For a new investment climate report, USAID just surveyed 122 Chamber of Commerce companies with ties to the U.S. and Ukraine; surveyed U.S. investors and international organizations; and economic experts. The report, which you will hear more about in the next panel, identified eight areas of reform. So, this is crowdsourcing the reform agenda from people in the private sector and others,” she said.
“And now, we are taking that crowdsourced reform agenda and working with the Ukrainian government to help ensure that those reforms get implemented … Now, I know you are all well aware of the potential rewards of being an early investor in an economy poised for material growth, poised for far deeper integration with European neighbors in the years ahead … Every contribution to Ukraine’s economy, right now, is a contribution to winning the war,” she said.