Hilal SARI / ISTANBUL
The Ukrainian War, which began with the invasion of Russia on February 24, hit the Ukrainian economy by shrinking it by a third in the second quarter of 2022. This forecast is the forecast of contraction of the Central Bank of Ukraine. Central Bank of Ukraine Governor Kyrylo Schevchenko said in his recent statements that Ukraine will start to grow again in 2023-2024, where two important summits were held in Lugano and then in Istanbul.
However, this requires billions of dollars in financing and investment by companies in many fields, from defense to industry, from construction to agriculture. The reconstruction of Ukraine was discussed at the two-day summit entitled The Global Economic Impact Forum on Ukraine, held by the International Trade Council (ITC) from 21 to 22 July at Istanbul Atlas Cinema.
Ukraine’s largest commercial non-governmental organizations as well as prominent names in the Ukrainian parliament and chambers of commerce attended the event, Ukrainian parliament member Dmytro Natalukha said in a statement on the issue by the DÜNYA newspaper: “They will focus on 3 areas in the reconstruction of Ukraine”: Defense, construction infrastructure, export. Natalukha is also chairman of the Committee on Economic Relations of the Ukrainian parliament.
DEFENSE – “Investments in this area will save lives”
Emphasizing that they will mainly focus on the defense sector, which will end the war, Natalukha said: “We can divide the investments needed for Ukraine’s reconstruction into three. The first is the defense sector, which we need now to stop this war. From lead and ammunition production to equipment, this is our top priority. If the necessary investments are made in this area, we will be saving lives.”
CONSTRUCTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE – “This will alleviate some of the suffering of the Ukrainian people”
Noting that the second largest basket of investments will focus on public services to be provided to Ukrainians and on building housing and infrastructure, Natalukha said: “There will be areas of housing and infrastructure that can alleviate some of the suffering of the Ukrainian people. That means building housing, supplying energy, roads, bridges, etc.” he said.
EXPORT – “Investments that will revitalize all sectors”
Noting that the third area of investment will focus on sectors that provide export earnings (such as iron-steel, grain, ore, oil, oilseeds), Natalukha said: “We will revive the export sectors that will contribute to the recovery of the Ukrainian economy. “
“Energy, grains and agriculture are also a priority”
Nataluhka stressed that, at a time when the rise in energy prices in the face of the war initiated by Russia is creating serious economic problems even in non-war economies, Ukraine will also give priority to areas where it wants to be independent from Russia, such as energy, grains and agriculture.
Turkey wants to be the 3rd largest investor in Ukraine
Burak Pehlivan, President of the Turkish-Ukrainian Businessmen International Association (TUID), stated that Turkey is one of the top 5 foreign investment countries in Ukraine and said: “Our aim is to be the 3rd”. Stating that Turkey has an investment of 4.5 billion dollars in Ukraine and that the investments are not only in Kiev but also in other cities, Pehlivan said: “As of January 2022, there is an annual increase of 76% in our bilateral trade. Bilateral trade surpassed US$10 billion for the first time. Turkish construction companies have done more than 200 projects in Ukraine. The stadium, hundreds of thousands of homes, shopping malls, thousands of kilometers of roads and bridges, many major infrastructure and city roads that you see on your way to Boryspil Airport, including the airport, which is Kiev’s gateway to the world, were built by Turkish companies. More than 15,000 people are employed in Turkish companies in Ukraine. Before the war, that number had dropped to 30,000.” Stressing that the two countries are truly strategic partners and have real economic relations, Pehlivan stated that he hopes that the forum held at Atlas Cinema will be an opportunity to increase cooperation between Turkish and Ukrainian companies and other companies.
“We also need an economic Rammstein”
Ukrainian MP Natalukha’s response to a participant who claimed that Ukraine needed funding for all these investments but asked how they would manage the money to be found was as follows: “We had a summit in Lugano. And hundreds of Ukrainian officials tried to answer that question. Honestly, I don’t think anyone has the answer to that question. Everyone at the Lugano Summit, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EDRB), the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Ukrainian government have their own opinions.” Natalukha, referring to Rammstein summits, where countries’ defense ministers meet to address Ukraine’s defense needs, said: “We also need an economic Rammstein. We need to see all stakeholders in one place. How to manage policies should be discussed here. But there is no single answer to that,” he said.
Bilateral trade agreement negotiations are underway
Taras Kachka, Ukraine’s Deputy Economy Minister responsible for Foreign Trade, who attended the Istanbul summit via videoconference, said Ukraine is negotiating with many countries for bilateral trade agreements and said: “Negotiations for new agreements are continuing. It can be signed with Canada in the fall. Negotiations continue with Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Indonesia and Australia. There are also early stage talks with South Korea and Gulf countries,” he said.