The announcement by Australian billionaire businessman Andrew Forrest to invest $740 million into the post-war Ukrainian economy by seeding an investment fund which will seek to rebuild Ukraine’s shattered energy and communications infrastructure has been hailed by the Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) as a ‘game-changer’.
“Ukraine and Ukrainians know they will defeat Russia. What they also need is support and encouragement to rebuild. This huge, promised kick start to the post-war economy helps Ukrainians to see the future, beyond the latest round of Russian missile strikes, which are continuing to rain down on Ukrainian cities, towns and energy sites,” said Stefan Romaniw OAM, Co-Chair AFUO.
“Forrest’s “golden vision” for Ukraine to be the highest growth economy in Europe is truly inspiring,” he added.
The global fund, which Forrest wants to grow to a $100 billion ‘Marshall Plan’ for Ukraine, reflects a confidence in Ukraine’s ability to rebuild its country. Forrest has said the fund, which will be led by the multi-national investment company Blackrock, has commenced due diligence, governance procedures so that as soon as the war ends Ukraine will be able to accept large-scale investment.
“We greatly admire Forrest recognising that as soon “as the last shot is fired”, it will be important the fund is ready to go. Ukraine can’t wait for years to rebuild. Global business investment will be critical to rebuild the economy.
“Forrest and President Zelenskyy’s plans to rebuild Ukrainian infrastructure with the latest green and digital infrastructure is also very exciting.
“Together with the vision of people like Forrest, Ukraine and Ukrainians will show the way with entrepreneurship, the latest technology, and an educated, strong and highly flexible workforce.
“Yet again, Russia’s destructive and savage war, which has dragged the world back to a more barbaric time, will have been shown to be a failure. Ukraine will rebuild and put eastern Europe at the centre of modern Europe,” said Mr Romaniw.
Other projects focused on the reconstruction of Ukraine have also included international governments (such as the UK and France) partnering with Ukrainian regions to help rebuild devastated areas. Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko has welcomed the possibility for Australia, suggesting the seaside, port city of Mykolaiv and the liberated Kherson region, an export and primary industries hub, might be a ‘natural fit’.
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