The besieged nation of Ukraine has signalled that it is looking to attract $400bn in foreign investment.
The nation, which was invaded by Russia on 24 February, is now targeting money from abroad in order to rebuild its factories and infrastructure. The news came as Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy remotely rang the NYSE’s opening bell earlier in the week.
As Reuters reported: “Zelenskiy appeared on a video screen behind the platform overlooking the NYSE floor where the opening bell is traditionally rung. Traders applauded and whooped while a banner read: ‘We are free. We are strong. We are open for business.’ Fresh from a roundtable with top executives from JP Morgan, Pfizer Inc, and other US companies, Zelenskiy said in English that Ukraine was already rebuilding its economy, more than six months since the Russian invasion began.”
Ukraine is also appealing for continued funding from other nations to help it finance its war effort, asking for $5bn a month to keep the government running.
However, it has never been one of the most-attractive countries for FDI. Investment Monitor, writing earlier this year, said: “In 2020, Ukraine was the 56th leading recipient of inbound greenfield FDI globally, and the tenth-largest FDI recipient in the central and eastern Europe (CEE) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region.
“In 2019–20, Ukraine accounted for 3% of total inbound FDI in the region. Poland, Russia and Turkey are by far the leading recipient countries in the CEE/CIS region. Combined, the three countries accounted for half of all inbound regional FDI.”
Likewise, Transparency International has the country ranked pretty low in terms of corruption perception at 122 out of 180. 23% of public service users, it said, had paid a bribe in the previous 12 months in 2021. And if the country is currently fighting a long war of attrition, how sound an investment is it to put one’s money in Ukraine? If investors are looking to do this, they will be expecting some heavy and sustained returns.