Recovery Begins during War: What Does UK Offer to Ukrainian Businesses?

Friday, 23 June 2023 — , British Business and Trade Minister
Credit: President's press office
Volodymyr Zelenskyy's visit to the UK. London, May 15, 2023

The perseverance of you – the Ukrainian people – in going about your daily lives despite the horrific pain and suffering caused by Russia’s illegal full-scale invasion is recognised all around the world. 

The same is true of Ukrainian businesses, who are striving to sell their products, service their clients and support their employees despite the devastation wrought on Ukraine’s infrastructure.  

And while UK air defence systems and donate military hardware continues to be put to good use by the Armed Forces of Ukraine to protect your cities and critical national infrastructure, there is immediate work to be done to support you and your businesses to rebuild.

Not in a few months’ time, not when the war ends – now and long into the future. The UK is committed to doing exactly that.

There is a huge amount of goodwill and determination from UK businesses to support Ukraine and help you rebuild,

but the sad reality of the situation is that companies face serious challenges reaching their Ukrainian counterparts and operating in the country.

That’s where the UK Government is stepping up – we are working with Ukraine to unblock these issues and unleash the ingenuity, expertise and drive of the private sector in both countries.

When I had the opportunity to be Minister at DBT for the Ukraine Recovery Conference, I jumped at the responsibility. I wanted to ensure that the UK – as co-host of this week’s conference alongside Ukraine – goes beyond pledges of financial support and delivers real time physical support, working with businesses to build back Ukraine brick by brick.

As you already know, Ukraine is a digital powerhouse and your tech sector is driving a modern, innovative economic future for the country – and despite being under constant bombardment, you continued to grow your exports last year with 2022 showing a record $7.34 billion in export volume.

Trading digitally is particularly important now, while damage to infrastructure and warfare makes it much harder to trade physically. 

That’s why the UK and Ukraine have signed a Digital Trade Agreement that will help UK and Ukrainian businesses do business more efficiently and cheaply through, for example, electronic transactions and e-signatures. 

But a trade deal isn’t just a piece of paper. Business is about relationships, collaboration, the sharing of expertise and realising of opportunities.

UK and Ukrainian businesses tell us that the war creates challenges in creating business connections. That’s why

we have this week announced two initiatives to help address this.

Firstly, a new TechBridge to bring the UK and Ukrainian tech and tech-enabled sectors together to collaborate, innovate, and drive commercial opportunities.

Secondly, the Business Bridge Ukraine platform – an app for businesses to identify and link up with counterparts who provide the kind of service their business needs. 

The UK has also this week committed an extra up to £20m of funding for the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency to expand its political risk insurance offer in Ukraine. Giving businesses the cover they need to do work with and in Ukraine is crucial, and I look forward to seeing the opportunities this funding presents realised.

Businesses are key to Ukraine’s recovery, that’s why we are working to make sure Ukrainian businesses will succeed. The measures we have announced this week and the $60 billion plus of international commitments will go some way to doing that. But we will not stop there.

We will support you, Ukraine, for as long as it takes, while you fight Russia’s full-scale invasion and long into the future. 

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