Italy-Ukraine Bilateral Conference for Reconstruction and SIMEST Aid

The bilateral reconstruction conference organized between Italy and Ukraine was held in Rome on April 26.
It was an initiative that followed other international meetings for the same purpose held in Switzerland and Germany in 2022. The PM and the government had promised it to Ukraine, and they realized it.

The goal is to mobilize energies and resources to “design the reconstruction now” and shorten its time frame. The “execution ” of projects will be done only when the war is over, but the prodromal steps- which are often very long – can be done now.
There are so many needs; in March 2023 the Ukrainian government, the World Bank, the EU and the United Nations estimated financial needs for reconstruction at USD 411 billion (in a truly impressive study, broken down by sector). This is a conservative calculation, because whole areas of the country are still under Russian control and so the estimate is hypothetical. The sector that needs the most resources is Transportation (92Bn), followed by Housing (68.6Bn) and third is Transportation (47Bn).

The conference was organized in sectoral meetings, followed by a plenary forum. During the latter, the two governments made many statements and major European financial institutions described their “commitment.”
The political forum was more interesting than the economic meetings, which were crowded with all the major Italian companies, certainly activated by the Government. There were many institutions at the meeting who illustrated their business potential. From my point of view, at this stage, the project ideas will have to incorporate their financing arrangements, and it is in this last aspect that we (Italians) will have to work very imaginatively.

The government words were strong: “we will be with Ukraine in reconstruction.”

The Italian PM has, boldly, suggested entrepreneurs to invest today in order to participate in reconstruction tomorrow. Foreign Minister and Finance and Trade Minister promised aid, which we talk about later.
I learned from the delegates that there is no longer a limited allocation for Italy only to the Donbass as a reconstruction area. This “allocation,” which seemed to have originated in previous conferences, has been replaced by a wider possibility of projects throughout Ukraine.
As regards the use of Russian money, “frozen” by central banks, to finance the reconstruction, it seems that it will be used to underwrite European bonds.

As a result of the political will expressed by the government, in early May Simest announced a €500 million plan in three directions: support for export credits, the provision of interest-free financing for Italian companies engaged in the supply of plant and machinery, and the creation of joint ventures.

All in all, the conference shone a great spotlight on the possibility for Italians to participate in the reconstruction and the opportunities of the same. We must now work with a great deal of imagination on financing the works and planning, because the Ukrainians will certainly be the first to decide what they want, and we must convince them (with facts) that we are among the best in the world in many technologically advanced sectors, and not only in tourism and food.

We will have to compete on this with EU partners, with the USA (which is funding Ukraine enormously) and with Asians, and provide projects that create wealth on the ground.
I believe that initiatives from different companies, with an urban, architectural, digital and production vision, taking into account the needs of the people and the Ukrainian government, can help create projects to be financed. If we want, our creativity will work miracles.
#ukraine #invasion #simest #MEF #farnesina #mylegalife


Published by Carlo Scarpa

lawyer, partner at Tonucci & Partners. Specialized in Commercial Contracts, JV, IP, FIDIC. Conflicts of Law and International Law. Office in Padua - Italy

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