The conflict in Ukraine weighs immensely — from munitions, to rebuilding. Our pleasure to present a post from our September newsletter, penned by Jeff Finkle, former IEDC CEO currently amid some private enterprise regrowth tasks.
During my time as the President of the International Economic Development Council, I was fortunate to have worked with a variety of staff, interns and fellows who helped to develop the programs and content that we delivered to the economic development community.
We have had three individuals from Ukraine, two senior fellows and one intern. You can imagine the shock we are all experiencing by this invasion by Russia into Ukraine and the loss of life and destruction that this has caused. Various estimates have said that between 7–10 million people have left Ukraine. Damage caused by the invasion by some estimates is more than $100 billion.
One of the former fellows is Mihail Krikunov, who is the Dean at Kiev Business School. Mihail has been asked to develop a redevelopment plan that engages the private sector, once the Russian invasion abates.
A group of economic developers, with expertise in economic recovery after disasters has been helping Mihail and his team in Ukraine develop such a plan. There are many groups trying to assist the Ukraine after the attacks are over, but most of them are supporting government plans. What is unique about this effort, it is working on the private side to make sure they are engaged in such redevelopment efforts.
Issues that Mihail is trying to address include:
- Determining what taxation system will provide incentives for investment.
- How to they achieve balance between governmental overreach in economic decision making and getting the private sector balance correct.
- Determining new organizational models for economic recovery and economic development and what is the private sector role. If they are successful, they can use the rebuilding effort to create a modernization effort for the future of Ukraine.
Some of the guidance the panel has provided the group in Ukraine:
- Anticipate rebuilding will take many years. There will not be enough money for rebuilding and international donors will not stay at the table for the long haul. They will move onto other projects.
- There will not be enough housing or jobs for everyone who has left to come back immediately so the country will need to encourage patience by people who have left before they race back home.
- The country needs to “build back better”. This will be one of those rare opportunities for the country to have a large pool of money to jump forward on infrastructure investments.
While this group of economic developers are not writing the plan, Mihail says he has produced 10 versions so far. Without question, Ukraine will need lots of economic development assistance after this is over. Russia should pay, but whether the international community has the clout to force that is suspect. So far the international community has not gotten Russia to reverse their devastating invasion of Ukraine.
Let us hope this ends soon, so people can go back to their lives and we can begin to redevelop Ukraine.
For more insight:
What is the estimated expense of Ukraine regrowth?
How much will it cost to rebuild Ukraine pondering the potential price tag at INVESTMENT MONITOR.
THE ATLANTIC offers this assessment about what Ukraine needs now
As FOREIGN POLICY magazine reminds, Tacitus once wrote of the Roman strategy in Britain, “they make a desolation and they call it peace.”
What about infrastructure resiliency and how Ukraine can build back better