Ukraine’s infrastructure industry has been dramatically weakened by Russia’s invasion. Substantive infrastructure activity is unlikely to take place until the conflict subsides. As a result of the war, Ukraine’s infrastructure market is one of the smallest in the region in terms of value. However, there is strong growth potential stemming from future reconstruction efforts after the conflict has concluded.
Ukraine is likely to require and attract vast amounts of capital for reconstruction in the wake of the destruction caused by the invasion. Ukraine is well situated as a natural freight corridor, connecting Russia and the EU, which, in the long-term, will prompt investment in transport infrastructure. The country has received financial assistance from the World Bank for urban infrastructure projects, regional financial support from EU donor countries for its infrastructure and industry development, and financial aid from the IMF in support of economic stability.
The primary segments of Ukraine’s infrastructure industry are:
- Transport infrastructure: Ports, harbors and waterways infrastructure, airports, roads, railway, postal and shipping services.
- Construction: residential and non-residential building
Looking ahead, there are encouraging trends in the residential and non-residential building sectors in Ukraine that could benefit during post-war reconstruction period. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has set out an ambitious reform agenda, including land reform and the privatization of state-owned assets which should support growth over the medium-to-long term, though it remains to be seen if the government can enact its plans. After growing by 3.4% in 2021, industry experts predict a considerable contraction of 30 to 50 percent in 2022, though forecasts could be revised should the conflict abate. Notwithstanding the war, the infrastructure industry remains exposed to risk following the broader economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Activity within Ukraine’s transport infrastructure will continue to be the key growth driver for the broader construction and infrastructure industry in the long term. In the future, regional development funding will remain the primary source of financing for projects, due to the continued pressure on Ukraine’s public spending capacity.