The Forum on Economic Resilience and Reconstruction of Ukraine was held in Paris, at which one of the speakers was First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yuliia Svyrydenko.
The Forum was preceded by the Standing with the Ukrainian People Conference, which was opened by the President of the French Republic. Emmanuel Macron announced, in particular, comprehensive support for Ukraine and additional assistance to Ukraine in connection with the russian strikes on the energy infrastructure.
During an online address at the Conference, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized the specific assistance that Ukraine needs. In particular, as the Head of State noted, the country needs equipment to restore the destroyed energy system, and electricity supplies from the European Union (Ukraine’s import needs are up to two gigawatts). Ukraine also needs about 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
The President of Ukraine also initiated the establishment of a mechanism of coordination of efforts and response to the challenges related to attacks of the aggressor state on the energy infrastructure.
In the course of the speech at the opening of the Forum on Resilience and Reconstruction, the President of Ukraine noted the role of France in the recovery of Ukraine (France assumed patronage over the reconstruction of Chernihiv region). The Head of State also urged to contribute to charitable assistance in the sphere of education, medicine, assistance to the elderly, IDPs, in particular under the projects presented in Paris by the Olena Zelenska Foundation.
The third important area identified by the President of Ukraine is involvement in the development of economy. According to Volodymyr Zelenskyy, investments are expected in the agrarian sector, energy, mechanical engineering, defense industry, transport, construction, IT and many other industries with significant growth potential.
“First Deputy Prime Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko and representative of the Office of the President Rostyslav Shurma will present specific areas of possible cooperation. The sooner and more effectively we combine the power of Ukraine and France, the more we will benefit from it. And the more reliable peace will be, which, I am sure, we will be able to return to our country and all of Europe,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted.
Speaking at the Forum, First Deputy Prime Minister Yuliia Svyrydenko stressed that supporting Ukraine today is an investment in the peaceful future of the entire European continent.
During the Forum the Minister of Economy took part in a panel with representatives of international financial institutions (IFIs) – President of the EBRD Odile Renaud-Basso, Director General of the French Treasury Emmanuel Moulin, President of the European Investment Bank Werner Hoyer. This is very symbolic, as cooperation with IFIs can provide operational capital to the Ukrainian private sector, which is traditionally supported by the Ministry of Economy.
“Today we already know about the IFC’s intention to attract USD 2 billion for the private sector in Ukraine. And the EBRD is preparing a program for USD 3 billion. The European Investment Bank also declared its readiness to join the launch of loan programs for the private sector of Ukraine. Therefore, it was extremely important to synchronize our positions and assure that the Ministry of Economy remains the single window of entry for these organizations and they will receive maximum support from us while investing in the reconstruction of Ukraine. After the war we expect a significant inflow of capital into the economy,” said Yuliia Svyrydenko.
According to the First Deputy Prime Minister, the provision of military, financial and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, as well as the imposition of economic sanctions against russia are extremely important for our country.
At the same time, cooperation in other areas is equally important, in particular in supporting our country on the path of European integration. In particular, as Yuliia Svyrydenko noted, preparations for the official start of negotiations on Ukraine’s full membership in the EU are underway.
“We are talking about consistent implementation of potential of the Association Agreement, industrial visa-free regime, customs visa-free regime. We are also conducting a thorough inspection and preparation for negotiations in certain sectors, such as: ‘Free movement of goods’, ‘Food security’, ‘Customs Union’. We believe that this approach will allow to maintain political momentum and strengthen practical integration of Ukraine into the EU internal market. We will be grateful to France for its support in launching the process of pre-accession negotiations as soon as possible,” said the First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Economy of Ukraine.
During the work of the Ukrainian delegation in Paris, led by Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal, a number of meetings were held and important agreements were signed. In particular: