FAKRO, along with its partners, has been strongly committed to providing assistance since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. Together with companies from Beskid Sądecki, we have organized numerous charitable convoys and collections, donating part of our resources to Lviv Caritas. We have also welcomed guests from Ukraine, offering them support in their urgent needs. Currently, we actively engage in projects aimed at rebuilding Ukraine, including public utility buildings (hospitals, schools, kindergartens, social buildings), as well as private homes. In December 2022, in collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact, we organized the transportation of building materials for the reconstruction of Bucha. We are also involved in discussions about the participation of Polish companies in the reconstruction of Ukraine.
On July 18, a business mission took place in Lviv and Lutsk, with representatives from the Polish government, business organizations, and NGOs participating. FAKRO was represented by Natalia Kuharczyszyn, the General Director of FAKRO Lviv. Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz, the Polish Government Plenipotentiary for Polish-Ukrainian Development Cooperation, emphasized the scale of Ukraine's reconstruction, which could surpass even the Marshall Plan (the post-World War II reconstruction project for Europe). This highlights its importance for European economies involved in the process, including Poland's economy. She informed about solutions regarding Polish-Ukrainian cooperation that should further strengthen it, including changes to enable the flow of financial resources from Ukraine to Poland and strengthening the presence of PAIH (Polish Investment and Trade Agency) in Kyiv and Lviv. Work is also underway on a law concerning guaranteed export insurance that will better protect investments in Ukraine.
Rafał Szefler, the director of the Polish Chamber of Commerce of the Wood Industry, added that Polish companies operating in Ukraine, such as FAKRO and Barlinek, are leading players in the Polish wood industry. As Poland holds the position of Ukraine's main trading partner, this cooperation is crucial for both economies.
On July 20, an international conference titled "Europe - Poland - Ukraine. Rebuild Together 2023" was held in Warsaw to discuss the prospects for the economic development of Ukraine and its impact on the global economy. The conference brought together representatives from the governments, ministries, and parliaments of Poland and Ukraine, experts, and representatives from industries directly interested, including energy, transport, logistics, and IT. Speakers from Poland and Ukraine summarized the current state of the Ukrainian economy, infrastructure needs, and the Ukrainian side's actions to increase the security of foreign investments. Several legal changes related to conducting business in Ukraine and directions for investment result from Ukraine's intentions to apply for membership in the European Union. Political, administrative, and business cooperation is needed at this stage, as full reconstruction will start immediately after the cessation of military actions. Those who are ready to engage in reconstruction efforts first will achieve success. There is also a noticeable trend of increasing Ukrainian companies' presence in Poland (around 25,000) compared to Polish companies in Ukraine (around 3,000).
The initial outpouring of support from Poles during the early days of the war was heartwarming, but now it is time for planning and organizing the reconstruction of various public and private facilities in areas where there is no longer a direct military threat. We have all the technical capabilities as a company present in this market for years and offering products highly favored and appreciated by Ukrainian customers. However, what is needed now are not just words but money, as the Ukrainian society and public budgets have become impoverished. It can be expected that Western countries will engage in the reconstruction of Ukraine by financing the supply of products and services from their domestic producers, facilitating their market share expansion in a rapidly growing economy. If, as a country, we do not invest money and direct it to Polish producers at this stage, no one will wait for us later. Instead of a relatively moderate investment now, Western governments and companies will receive letters of intent for future cooperation, while Polish companies will have to send subcontracting offers at low margins. That's why much depends today on the governmental agendas responsible for the financial engagement of the Polish economy in the reconstruction of Ukraine - commented Paweł Dziekoński, Vice President of FAKRO.
The events were organized by Związek Przedsiębiorców i Pracodawców (the Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers).