Polish-Ukrainian Construction Convention on the Future of the reconstruction of Ukraine
The most important construction event in our part of Europe - the BUDMA International Construction and Architecture Fair - was accompanied by a number of substantive meetings with authorities from the construction and architecture sectors, as well as conferences on current trends and challenges facing these industry sectors. One of the key events was a two-day (30-31 January 2023) construction conference - on the first day focused on Polish issues (BUILD4FUTURE Forum) and on the second day on the perspectives of post-war reconstruction in Ukraine (Poland-Ukraine Construction Convention).
Tuesday 31 January saw the start of the second day of the construction feast at the Poznań Congress Center, the Poland-Ukraine International Construction Convention. This is the first meeting of its kind in our country of representatives of the construction industry from Western Europe, Scandinavia, Ukraine and Poland, devoted exclusively to the issue of construction in the overall plan to rebuild the infrastructure of our eastern neighbour after the continuing war.
The Convention was opened by Piotr Uściński, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Development and Technology, Bartosz Cichocki - Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to Ukraine, Paweł Kurtasz - President of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, Piotr Dardziński - President of the Łukasiewicz Research Network and, as hosts of the event, Jan Styliński, President of the PZPB and Filip Bittner from the Management Board of the MTP Group.
Important and difficult questions
There are many questions related to the current status of cooperation with the Ukrainian market, therefore the participants of the Convention tried to indicate what government support for Polish construction companies and financial support for entering the Ukrainian market is necessary and most urgent at the moment. Extremely important issues related to insurance and guarantees for investment in the East were also discussed.
During the introductory debate, which started immediately after the opening, the economic situation in Ukraine was discussed and an attempt was made to assess the current situation in the construction market in this country. Well-known financial analysts and economists took part in the debate: Marek Zuber, Marek Budzisz and Adrian Furgalski.
Losses leading to disaster
Earlier, however, Dr Tetiana Khuzha from the Foreign Trade Office of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency in Kiev presented the scale of the war damage within the construction and infrastructure in Ukraine. And these are enormous, while the country itself is on the edge of the humanitarian disaster. As reported by Dr Tetiana Khuzha, overall losses - according to the Office of the President of Ukraine - were estimated at more than 1 trillion dollars last October, while direct losses were estimated at USD 650 billion. On the other hand, World Bank figures of last June indicated the reconstruction needs for Ukraine's infrastructure alone at approximately USD 350 billion.
Reported by Dr Tetiana Khuzha, the damage to building infrastructure caused by the war was estimated at USD 137.8 billion in 2022. Unfortunately, as a result of warfare, the number of damaged and destroyed infrastructure facilities continues to rise. In turn, the cost of damage to transport infrastructure has already exceeded USD 35.6 billion - of which USD 26.6 billion represents damage to roads and USD 4.4 billion - damage to railway. More than 150 bridges or flyovers on roads of state importance were damaged or destroyed, while damage to Ukrainian housing is estimated at USD 54 billion.
In total, 149,300 residential buildings were damaged or destroyed. The damage caused by the war to cultural, sports and religious facilities is estimated at USD 2.2 billion.
Dr Chuzha also reported that, among others, 84 thousand of agricultural machines, three thousand private passenger cars, 14.4 thousand public transport vehicles, 330 hospitals, 595 state and local government buildings, 31 boarding schools and 44 social welfare centres were destroyed as a result of the war. All of this - as the Convention participants unanimously assessed - will require huge international cooperation, both at the design stage of the reconstruction financing mechanisms and at the execution stage itself, supplying technology, human resources, machinery and building materials.
How and with what funds can Ukraine be rebuilt?
Concepts for the reconstruction of Ukraine and the participation of the Polish construction sector, i.e. a forum of practical experience of the functioning of the construction industry and Polish companies in this sector in Ukraine - this was the topic of an expert debate, attended by, among others. Szymon Waszczyn from the company Bolix Ukraine, Yaroslav Romanchuk from EUCON Legal Group and the Association of Ukrainian Business in Poland, Karol Kubica from the Foreign Trade Office of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIH) in Kiev, Roman Babak from TB Group and the Poland-Ukraine Construction Convention, Leszek Gołąbiecki - President of Unibep, professor Gennadiy Farenyuk of the State Scientific and Research Institute of Building Structures of Ukraine and Alexander Baranovsky of the National Association of Architects of Ukraine.
Shortly afterwards, discussions were held on modern technologies and the export of Polish construction services and materials. Jerzy Karwelis of the Łukasiewicz - ORGMASZ Business Development Centre discussed these issues, among others, with Maciej Korbasiewicz from Bolix Ukraine, Artur Jarząb from Synthos, Michał Wieczorek from the Institute of Ceramics and Building Materials in the Łukasiewicz Network, Bogusława Rudecka from the Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers, Bogdan Kępka from the Polish Basalt Technologies Cluster, Konrad Szczęsny from Invest Stockholm and Mateusz Daniluk from Pronar.
On the other hand, at the end of the meeting, Kazimierz Krupa of Drawbridge Law Firm invited to a discussion on investment financing and insuring the implementation of construction processes in the reconstruction of Ukraine. His guests included Janusz Władyczak - President of KUKE, Karol Tofil from Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, Dariusz Blocher from Budimex, Damian Kaźmierczak from PZPB, Viktor Karpinec from Kredobank Ukraine and Olena Sztorgin from the Confederation of Construction Companies of Ukraine.
Organisers and Partners
The Poland-Ukraine International Construction Convention was organised by the MTP Group and the Polish Association of Builder Employers, bringing together the major construction companies operating in our country. Substantive support to the events was provided by: Polish Investment and Trade Agency, Export Credit Insurance Corporation, Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, PFR Real Estate and Łukasiewicz Research Network.