Ukraine launches platform to attract private sector investments as war rages



By Andrea Shalal

KYIV/NEW YORK, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Ukrainian Economy Minister Yulia Svyrydenko on Tuesday launched a new platform listing over 500 investment projects worth $400 billion and appealed to foreign investors to help rebuild the country's economy, even as the war with Russia drags on.

The announcement was made as Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, after a roundtable with top executives from JP Morgan, Pfizer Inc and other U.S. companies to discuss Ukraine's push to secure more investment.

The "Advantage Ukraine" initiative first flagged at a recovery conference in Lugano, Switzerland in July, focuses on 10 key sectors, including the military-industrial complex, energy, pharmaceuticals, metallurgy, woodworking, and logistics.

Svyrydenko, who is also first deputy prime minister, urged foreign investors to step up even before the war ends.

"It is necessary to invest in Ukraine now, and not wait for the end of the war," she said in a statement.

Ukraine is appealing for some $5 billion in international aid each month to keep its economy running, in addition to massive security provided by NATO military alliance members.

Svyrydenko told Reuters last month that Ukraine's economy should stabilise over the coming year and expand by as much as 15.5% in 2023, after a likely contraction of 30-35% this year.

"RECOVERY STARTS NOW"

On Tuesday, she said Ukraine was keen to bring back foreign direct investment, which had reached $6.7 billion before the war.

"We are not waiting for the end of the war, but are starting the process of recovery and reconstruction right now," she said. "The Russian invasion adjusted our short-term plans, but did not force us to abandon our strategic goals."

After registering on the platform, potential investors will receive information about hundreds of specific investment opportunities and benefits.

The economy ministry said it was providing grants to existing businesses, and has already helped relocate 700 businesses from the frontlines of the conflict, of which 480 had already resumed work.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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