Rebuilding Ukraine

What does it take to keep a country running at war? How to avoid bank runs and ensure that citizens can still get paid and have access to their savings? How has war changed over these two + years?

Yuriy Butsa, Government Commissioner for Public Debt Management at the Ministry of Finance in Ukraine, shared with us his insights at the closing of the Banking Meeting at IESE Business School.

Some of the insights regarding the war and the reconstruction efforts:

* A war of drones. This is a war fought both at the trenches (WW1 style) and with an army of high-tech drones – a battle tank lasts 5 min in the battleground. There is a tech race to keep producing the most advanced drones for defense, Ukraine has had to develop it internally to move fast enough. The application of AI to drones will mark a new age of warfare.

* The financial system managed to be very resilient. No bank-runs took place, the entire Ukrainian banking system transitioned to the cloud in record time, in just 3-months. Current inflation is at 3.2% – even too low for a war-time economy. Exports are back up. Still, international funding is essential.

Financial development should be supported by broader reforms of corporate governance, the rule of law, pension systems, etc. Building trust in the financial system is essential.

* Reconstruction is already taking place. Ukraine is already rebuilding a more sustainable economy: with sectors such as agriculture, tech and renewable energy offering great growth opportunities.

Rebuilding will require institutional reforms to connect Ukraine with Europe. Spain has proven to be a great partner to connect Ukraine to LATAM countries. Accession to EU will be key to connect the Ukrainian economy and to ensure a good governance of the flow of funds.

Internally, it is necessary to develop a common vision and strive for agreement on the reform agenda. It is essential to ensure a broad consensus within the Ukrainian society for the reform agenda.