By James Rogers
'Ukraine is open for business, and we are getting this message across globally,' said Andy Hunder, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine
A year and a half after Ukraine was invaded by Russia, 84% of the nation's companies are fully operational, according to a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine.
The survey, conducted jointly with Chamber of Commerce member Citi Ukraine found that the remaining 16% of companies continue to operate partially. Some 72% of respondents gave an upbeat forecast on their companies' financial health at the end of 2023, with 45% saying they will achieve planned financial results and 27% saying they will achieve more than was planned. Some 22% say they will fail to achieve planned financial results.
Respondents cited the safety and security of staff as the number one challenge to doing business over the next six months. Other key challenges are Russia's missile attacks on vital infrastructure and business assets, employees' health and mental well-being, economic and consumer recession, and access to electricity, water, mobile network, or heat supply.
Related:How Ukraine is planning to recover with help from Western companies
Some 127 CEOs and top managers of the chamber's member companies took part in the survey, which was conducted between Sept. 6 and Sept. 15, 2023. Some 70% of the respondents are CEOs.
According to the respondents, the biggest opportunity to attract foreign direct investment in Ukraine is uncertainty that the country can win. Other opportunities cited were country-wide rebuilding and recovery; E.U. accession; public-private partnerships to attract funds and state programs to stimulate investments; and security guarantees or insurance for investments. In terms of sectors, companies said they see opportunities for foreign investment are security and defense, infrastructure and construction, agriculture, IT and technologies, energy and renewables, and high-tech production.
The respondents said that the most helpful services and products for companies to attract more investment in their industries post-war are demining, IT and digital solutions, infrastructure and logistics, financial services, manufacturing and construction.
Related: 'Ukraine is open for business': Western companies urged to be part of country's recovery
"Ukraine is open for business, and we are getting this message across globally, as Ukraine creates opportunities that no ambitious investors should miss,"Andy Hunder, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, said in a statement.
The 600-plus members of the chamber include Boeing Co. (BA), Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO), Citigroup Inc. (C), Coca-Cola Co. (KO), Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL), Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) (GOOGL) Google, International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), McDonald's Corp. (MCD), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) , Oracle Corp. (ORCL), PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) and Pfizer Inc. (PFE).
Ukraine's GDP fell by 30.4% in 2022, according to the country's Ministry of Economy.
Related:Unilever CEO vows to look at Russian operations with 'fresh eyes' as pressure to exit the country mounts
In March, the government of Ukraine, the World Bank Group, the European Commission and the United Nations reported that the estimated cost of reconstruction and recovery in Ukraine has grown to $411 billion. Ukraine's reconstruction and recovery cost is 2.6 times the country's estimated 2022 gross domestic product, according to those organizations.
Earlier this year Nestlé announced a $42.8 million investment in a new production site in Ukraine's Volyn region. The investment will expand the Swiss food giant's production of vermicelli and other food products in Ukraine.
In March consumer goods giant Unilever announced that it will invest EUR20million [equivalent to $21.4 million] in a new production facility in the Kyiv region. The factory, which will create around 100 jobs and manufacture personal care products, is expected to open in 2024.
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