Ukraine faces major challenges today as it attempts to lay the foundations for its post-war recovery even as the war continues. This is not just a matter of rebuilding cities and infrastructure; it is about achieving a comprehensive transformation of the state and creating the conditions for sustainable development and a favorable investment climate.

During the German-Ukrainian Business Forum, held German-Ukrainian Business Forum on Oct. 24 in Berlin, together with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, and Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz, Ukraine’s preparedness for these challenges and what needs to be done to facilitate recovery was discussed.

Our top priority is people.

Germany has created excellent conditions for Ukrainians seeking temporary refuge from Russia’s invasion. In order for Ukraine to recover from the war and achieve social and economic balance, our nation must create conditions that will motivate our citizens to come home.

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The second key challenge is reform.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz noted that Ukraine’s future in the EU will depend on Ukraine’s implementation of the outlined reform plan. These reforms are also a prerequisite for attracting private capital, which is the basis of Ukraine’s economic recovery.

Ukraine was not a “Mecca” for investment before the war, and one cannot assume it will automatically become so during the post-war period. The path to changing this perception begins with recognizing that attracting private capital depends on creating favorable conditions. This is the task our state is currently facing. We have every opportunity to become a major European investment hub.

British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 21 April 2024
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British Defence Intelligence Update Ukraine 21 April 2024

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The key is to introduce incentives and establish clear, fair rules of the game for investors. In other words, Ukraine must implement the necessary reform packages.

These cover various sectors, each of them with an important role to play in creating an attractive business environment. The first priority is building effective and transparent judicial and law enforcement systems. Business will only trust the government if the latter can guarantee legal certainty and zero tolerance for corruption. A fair and transparent justice system is an essential element of any high-quality investment climate.

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We must also address the economic reform package.

First and foremost, this means economic liberalization to make Ukrainian markets competitive. Secondly, we must address the possible corporatization of state-owned companies, which means the transformation of subsidized giants into efficient and lucrative businesses. Third on the list is the privatization of state-owned companies. This is not just about selling off state assets, but about transforming them into competitive modern businesses. Everything must be geared toward creating a landscape where both domestic and international investors see attractive opportunities.

Undoubtedly, the reform agenda must also apply to the energy sector. It will be one of the key components of the post-war recovery. We must address the privatization of state-owned energy companies and the introduction of an energy market. Ukraine’s position as an important player in Europe’s energy future is already reassured. By means of the effective management of our major companies and liberalization of the energy market, we will not only encourage significant investments, but also play a key role in the continent’s energy security and stability.

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That is why Naftogaz Group actively advocates for the implementation of corporate governance reform across Ukraine’s state-owned companies, and promotes the formation of an efficient energy market; in particular, through participation in the Ukrainian Energy Exchange and stimulating energy production by Ukraine’s private sector.

In addition, as the largest energy company in Ukraine, we propose rethinking old approaches and paying special attention to green transformation and decarbonization as part of the country’s recovery process. Building a circular economy and ensuring the efficient use of resources will help create a sustainable and solid base for the future of our country.

Our path is clear.

Comprehensive, urgent, and most importantly successful reforms will open the door to a new era for Ukraine. The future Ukraine will not just be a participant, but a leader in the new economic and energy architecture of the European continent.

The views expressed in this opinion article are the author’s and not necessarily those of Kyiv Post.

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