War in Ukraine Already doing business in Ukraine? Westerners want to believe it
The Franco-Ukrainian bilateral meeting on Tuesday brought together around 500 French companies, from CAC40 behemoths to SMEs in various sectors.
It’s hard to think of signing contracts below Bombings in UkraineYet Ukrainian and Western leaders are pushing for private investment to begin rebuilding a country already devastated by a year of war.
“Participation in Calls for Tenders”
A delegation of Ukrainian leaders, including Prime Minister Denis Chymikal, traveled to Paris in part on Tuesday, following new massive Russian strikes on the city of Kherson in the country’s south. of an international conference In support of reconstruction, the bilateral Franco-Ukrainian meeting of about 500 French companies. The purpose of the event was made clear by the Élysée during Friday’s press conference: “It is a question that allows any French SME or ETI (medium enterprise, editor’s note) to learn about the work sites. To be able to contribute and participate in the calls for tenders”.
The list of invited groups ranges from CAC40 behemoths such as Alstom, Engie, or TotalEnergies to smaller companies such as architecture, asbestos removal, telecommunications, IT, with an emphasis on energy, health, agri-food, digital, and infrastructure. France in particular has a card to play in terms of civilian nuclear power compared to other Western countries, according to kyiv.
“Without waiting for the war to end”
Ukraine is pushing for an opportunity to position itself in this large market through reconstruction and a ripple effect, according to which “war does not mean that investment is prohibited,” noted the Trade Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. , Yulia Sviridenko. Private investment “will be one of the engines of reconstruction,” the president told AFP in an interview. “But like all businessmen, business leaders start by evaluating projects from the very beginning, which should start now rather than waiting for the audit, research, and war to end.”
Needs are enormous in a country estimated by the World Bank at $350 billion in September since the outbreak of war in late February. The amount will increase significantly with new figures expected in early 2023, its manager for Europe, Anna Bjerde, said, returning from a trip to Qive.
Companies are still cautious
According to Anna Bjerde, parts of the west, north and east of the country can already start rebuilding. But companies should benefit from “insurance” to exercise, because “the perception of risk in Ukraine is very high”. The concern is widely felt among French companies that were invited to Paris on Tuesday, despite the political voluntariness of the environment. Many of them told AFP that they were “simple participants”, “spectators”, “not at all established” in the Ukrainian market or had a “minimum presence” at the event organized at the ministry. economy.
In addition to collaborations on some urgent needs, such as energy networks, some projects are beginning to emerge at a more international level. On Monday, Swiss giant Nestlé announced the investment 40.5 million Euros In a new factory in the West, boasting of being the “first multinational” to start new investments in the country.
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