Despite two years of war, Ukraine’s economy grew more than 5% in 2023 and its accession to the European Union is on track, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told world leaders at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024.
“For us, today, to build up a resilient economy, only our people and your investments are capable of that,” he said, urging businesses to invest and governments to continue providing aid to the war-torn country. “Investment is so necessary because people need jobs.”
Regarding the country’s ability to achieve economic reforms with the support of the International Monetary Fund,” Zelenskyy said “Ukraine is fulfilling all those faster than prior to the war because we have regrouped. Ukraine, in times of war, has proven that it can be strong and can reform.”
Zelenskyy also expressed confidence that fresh aid from European countries and the United States would come through “in weeks”. Emphasizing that Ukraine’s people are its biggest asset, he said his country needs investments to create more employment and allow people to return from abroad. “Strengthen our economy and we’ll strengthen your security,” he told the gathering, adding that there will be growth in Ukraine once the war is over.
Earlier in the day, Zelenskyy spoke at a “CEOs for Ukraine” session, where he apprised corporate leaders of the kind of assistance his country needs immediately, outlining how businesses and governments can help Ukraine rebuild.
The creation of a new Black Sea corridor last year has contributed to Ukraine’s impressive growth, Zelenskyy said. “We pushed the Russian fleet out and managed to create a parallel trading route, and we began transporting more than grain, which is why our GDP is growing.”
But at the end of the day, he said, the future of the country is about resilience: “The Ukrainian people have proven to the whole world that they are smart, talented and modern, and they are sharp-witted, they are brave and they are absolutely open. For us today to build up a resilient economy, only our people and your investments are capable of that.”