UK Collaborates with EBRD to Pave the Way for UK Businesses Supporting Ukraine
In a significant step towards facilitating UK businesses in their endeavours to assist Ukraine, the UK government is poised to establish a war-risk insurance scheme in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). This collaborative initiative seeks to address the current dearth of available insurance options that has long been a major obstacle for UK companies seeking to trade with and invest in Ukraine, a nation striving to rebuild in the aftermath of Russia's illegal invasion.
The scale of the challenge facing Ukraine is formidable, with the World Bank estimating the cost of reconstruction at a staggering £411 billion. Private sector entities, including architects, engineers, and construction companies, are instrumental in this reconstruction effort. However, many of them encounter difficulties obtaining the necessary insurance coverage to operate within the country. Recognizing the crucial role that the private sector plays in Ukraine's recovery, the UK is spearheading efforts to enhance access to war-risk insurance.
The roots of this endeavour can be traced back to the Ukraine Recovery Conference, convened by the Prime Minister earlier in the year, which led to the creation of the London Conference Framework. This framework serves as a blueprint for addressing the insurance gap and promoting private sector participation in Ukraine's reconstruction.
Business and Trade Minister, The Earl of Minto, commented on the initiative, stating, "UK businesses have the expertise and desire to help Ukraine rebuild. But too often, a lack of insurance prevents our world-class architects, engineers, or lawyers from doing that, and hinders Ukraine’s recovery. That’s where the Government comes in – we are committed to breaking down the barriers that get in the way of UK companies offering their expertise. Today’s signing is another step forward in our ongoing support for Ukraine on this issue."
The EBRD's scheme development is expected to provide essential support to bolster the provision of insurance against war-related risks in Ukraine. This endeavour, inspired by the London Conference Framework, will initially focus on ensuring the transportation of vital cargo through trucks to ensure the smooth flow of trade. Over time, it aims to expand its coverage to encompass more sectors as the scheme matures.
Business and Trade Minister, The Earl of Minto, will formally sign the Statement of Intent alongside EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso. They will also engage in discussions regarding further measures to increase the availability of war-risk insurance.
EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso expressed gratitude for the UK's commitment to facilitating insurance against war-related risks in Ukraine, emphasising the importance of creating a sustainable solution that benefits the domestic economy and safeguards trade activities.
The UK's non-military support to Ukraine since the commencement of the invasion totals £4.7 billion, comprising over £4.1 billion in fiscal support and over £640 million in bilateral assistance. This substantial commitment underscores the UK's dedication to assisting Ukraine in rebuilding its infrastructure and economy.
This momentous signing occurs in anticipation of the upcoming Rebuild Ukraine Conference and the UK-Ukraine Infrastructure Taskforce meeting in Warsaw. These events, led by Minister for Industry Nusrat Ghani, will provide a pivotal platform for the UK and Ukraine to collaborate on prioritising reconstruction projects.
Minister for Industry and Economic Security Nusrat Ghani commented, "The UK is a key partner for Ukraine, and we remain committed to providing the crucial support it needs as it continues to rebuild its infrastructure and economy."
Furthermore, today marks Ukraine Tech Day, an event jointly organised by techUK and IT Ukraine. This event spotlights areas of potential cooperation between the tech sectors in the UK and Ukraine, with a focus on defence technology, cybersecurity, education technology, skills development, and the startup community. This initiative follows the Prime Minister's recent announcement of the UK-Ukraine TechBridge, set to launch in the coming months, which will foster innovation and collaboration between the two countries' tech sectors.
In the backdrop of this progressive collaboration, the Statement of Intent signifies the UK's commitment to supporting the EBRD's ongoing development of the scheme, with an eye towards garnering international interest in the future. The UK, renowned as a global thought leader on insurance issues, is taking a leadership role in this pivotal endeavour to facilitate UK businesses supporting Ukraine's reconstruction.