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Ukraine asks Korean businesses to help rebuild war-torn countryBy Im Eun-byel
Published : May 16, 2023 - 15:19
Ukraine’s top governmental officials called for Korea to take part in the reconstruction of the war-torn country following Russia's invasion at a meeting held by the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Seoul on Tuesday.
The KCCI held a meeting under the title of “Korea-Ukraine Partnership for the Future,” in cooperation with the Embassy of Ukraine in Korea as high-ranking Ukrainian governmental officials visited Seoul, to discuss how Korean companies could take part in the rebuilding of Ukraine.
“Ukraine has to work on rebuilding its infrastructure, energy (sector) and more,” Ukraine’s First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade Yulia Svyrydenk said.
“Ukraine, a country with high potential in eco-friendly energy and green hydrogen, hopes to cooperate with Korean companies with outstanding technologies in the fields of eco-friendly metal, fertilizers and more,” Svyrydenk said.
Svyrydenk further emphasized that Korea and Ukraine have continued to maintain close ties, with bilateral trade surpassing over $800 million in the past three years despite Russia's invasion and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Economy Oleksandr Gryban introduced the country's reconstruction plan, explaining the costs would mount to $893.2 billion over the next decade. This is far above the World Bank's estimate from March, which suggested $411 billion for the cost of recovery and rebuilding.
“Ukraine has suffered social infrastructure damages worth $130 billion due to the war,” he said. “The recovery of essential infrastructure, including housing, is the most important agenda. We are working on rebuilding infrastructure such as hospitals and schools.”
The war-hit nation has been discussing loans and investments from other governments and international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, European Investment Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
For instance, the IMF has approved a support loan of roughly $15.6 billion for Ukraine in March to help the country revive its economy.
“The three goals (for) rebuilding Ukraine is strengthening its resilience, pushing for reconstruction and modernization," Gryban noted.
The KCCI welcomed the Ukrainian delegation, stressing Korea's hopes to participate in the recovery of Ukraine.
“Korea sympathizes with the war pains of Ukrainians,” KCCI Executive Vice Chairman Woo Tae-hee said.
“Korea has the experience of achieving the most successful reconstruction from war after the Korean War, called the ‘miracle of Han River.’ We hope Korean companies can take on roles in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.”
Business figures from Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Lotte Engineering & Construction, Posco International, Hyundai Engineering, Doosan Business Research Institute and Korea Aerospace Industries attended the event.
“Korean companies’ experience and technology in civil engineering and construction can contribute to the rebuilding of Ukraine,” an official from a local company said through the KCCI.
“We hope Korean companies can show their capability in the modernization of Ukraine, through the construction of nuclear power plants, smart city planning and more."
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