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Entrepreneurs want a Development Fund for investments in Ukraine

Representatives of the Polish-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce (PUIG) and the Ebury company, on the occasion of Monday’s visit of Prime Minister Donald Tusk to Kyiv, appealed for the creation of a Development Fund for investments in Ukraine. In this way, entrepreneurs want to follow the example of other countries and take care of the interests of Polish business.

Jacek Piechota, president of PUIG, and Jakub Makurat, managing director for Central and Eastern Europe at Ebury, are convinced that Poland – following the example of Great Britain and France – should prepare a bilateral Polish-Ukrainian agreement concerning mainly economic matters. Several dozen Polish companies already have investment plans in Ukraine, including: infrastructure, processing and waste management. In turn, the list of companies interested in participating in the reconstruction of Ukraine, kept by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, includes over 3,000 companies. Putting investment activities into a certain framework would be an additional incentive for Polish businesses.

Entrepreneurs’ demands

PUIG and Ebury have three demands. The first concerns the creation of a Development Fund that would engage in investments in Ukraine to the benefit of long-term Polish interests.

The second demand is to establish an intergovernmental working team for Polish-Ukrainian economic cooperation, which would ensure a new opening in relations by coordinating the work of government institutions on an ongoing basis. In addition, it would be supported by a group of expert business practitioners.

The third point of the entrepreneurs’ plan assumes systemic assistance in Ukraine’s accession to the European Union, because, according to PUIG and Ebury, Ukraine’s membership in the EU is in Poland’s national interest, as it will expand the common market, provide a significant investment impulse, and strengthen the competitiveness of the EU economy thanks to the strong position of Ukrainian companies in certain industries (e.g. IT), will ensure security of many raw materials and rare earth metals and will increase strategic food security.

The decision of the National Bank of Ukraine, which in 2023 gave up independently setting a fixed hryvnia exchange rate, is also important for Polish entrepreneurs. According to business owners from Poland, the continuation of such a policy will facilitate the transfer of funds and settlement of transactions in the future.

It can therefore be assumed that the progressive liberalization of the currency market in Ukraine will be followed by a gradual increase in the interest of entrepreneurs in payments in hryvnias. Companies always strive to eliminate currency risk, avoid losses resulting from unfavorable changes in exchange rates. Unfortunately, the Ukrainian currency remains a niche currency in transactions for now, because settlements with Ukrainian contractors are still overshadowed by the perception of Ukraine as a very high-risk market

– said Jacek Piechota and Jakub Makurat.

PUIG and Ebury also praised the entry into force of the amended Act on insurance guaranteed by the Polish State Treasury, which covered not only exports, but also Polish investments, including those in consortiums with partners from Ukraine.

World Bank estimates show that the reconstruction of Ukraine will cost over $400 billion. In turn, according to the Polish Economic Institute, in 2022 Poland was in 8th place among investors in Ukraine.