Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine brought war back onto European soil and has led to a shocking destruction of human life and physical infrastructure. We remain in awe of the success Ukraine has bitterly achieved on the battlefield, and of the bravery and resilience of the Ukrainian people in the face of unimaginable suffering and tragedy. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce marshaled what continues to be an overwhelming response on behalf of the U.S. business community. To date, more than $1 billion in corporate humanitarian aid has been committed for Ukraine. As the war enters its second year, the U.S. Chamber continues to evolve and adapt our response.
We recognize that ensuring lasting security and prosperity in Ukraine will depend not only on military victory, but also on establishing the foundation for a vibrant and thriving economy and society. Ukraine’s post-war recovery will need to go beyond rebuilding former capacity to growing market potential and strengthening relationships with partners in the United States and Europe.
Recently, the World Bank released a new report estimating that the cost of Ukraine’s reconstruction and recovery has climbed as high as $411 billion. Despite the remarkable unity of governments from around the world in the face of Russia’s invasion, the global public sector alone cannot meet the demands of reconstruction. The private sector will play a critical role in helping to finance commercial activity and grow key sectors for a flourishing post-war Ukraine.
Recently, the U.S. Chamber announced its Ukraine Business Initiative, a first-of-its-kind platform for companies to engage with senior American and Ukrainian policymakers to help Ukraine recover, rebuild, and modernize after victory is won. The Ukraine Business Initiative was launched at the U.S. Chamber-hosted U.S.-Ukraine Partnership Forum, which brought together senior government and private sector officials to discuss mobilizing private investment to finance Ukraine’s reconstruction.
Leaders who joined the Ukraine Partnership Forum included U.S. Chamber President and CEO Suzanne Clark, Prime Minister of Ukraine H.E. Denys Shmyhal, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (via letter), USAID Administrator Samantha Power, and top executives from preeminent American companies.
The Ukraine Business Initiative will help companies assess investment risks and opportunities in Ukraine, communicate the reforms and conditions needed for companies to feel confident about launching or continuing operations in Ukraine, and promote a competitive environment in which firms have equal access to projects. The Initiative will involve major U.S. businesses spanning sectors vital to Ukraine’s economic future, including companies that can offer technology, know-how, and capital in sectors including agriculture, energy, infrastructure, and tech.
The U.S. Chamber is a trusted resource for companies hoping to understand the challenges of reconstruction and will work to ensure that these efforts unfold in a transparent investment climate. The stakes are high: public and private sector investments will go hand in hand with socio-political reforms to revitalize Ukraine’s economic and democratic vibrancy. Getting this process right will be in the interest of all countries with a shared commitment to democracy and free enterprise.
Helping Ukraine build a more democratic, prosperous, and entrepreneurial country will be a complex multiyear process and the private sector will bring critical expertise, resources, and innovation to the table. While the duration of the war remains uncertain, the time to begin planning for Ukraine’s postwar future is now. Strong collaboration between the public and private sectors will help ensure Ukraine has the support it needs in the years ahead.
To find out more about how you can help Ukraine and for more information on the U.S. Chamber’s Ukraine Business Initiative, please contact Ivana Zuzul (firstname.lastname@example.org).