Aug 24, 2022 - World

Ukraine to investors: We're open for business

Ukrainians march in the streets of Kyiv
Ukrainians tour seized Russian military equipment in Kyiv on the Day of the State Flag of Ukraine on Aug. 23. Photo: Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Ukraine has enlisted a stable of American and European PR firms to lure business back to the war-torn nation, even as Russian forces continue to occupy swathes of territory in the east and south.

Why it matters: Russia's invasion — which began exactly six months ago Tuesday — has decimated the Ukrainian economy, causing over $110 billion in direct damage and billions more in dried-up foreign investment, according to the Kyiv School of Economics.

  • Ukraine's successful defense of Kyiv and looming counteroffensive in the south— buoyed by Western air defense systems — have helped some parts of the country return to a fragile sense of normalcy.
  • But even with the U.S. and European Union continuing to funnel military, humanitarian and budgetary aid into Ukraine, experts worry its economy could collapse at the current pace of foreign intervention and investment.

Driving the news: Ukraine's Ministry of Culture and Information Policy is launching a PR campaign with the message: "Ukraine is still open for business."

  • The campaign, which was revealed a day before the 31st anniversary of Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union, is being dubbed "Advantage Ukraine."
  • Aiding in the effort are American PR giant Hill+Knowlton, the London-headquartered Hogarth Worldwide, and the German and Polish arms of the firms Ogilvy and GroupM, respectively, according to Foreign Agents Registration Act filings.
  • They're performing that work on a pro-bono basis, according to contract language.

Details: The campaign will craft print, broadcast and digital ads portraying Ukraine as "a key cultural and digital technology European hub."

  • It's targeting 18 countries across three continents, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Spain and Japan.
  • In addition to ads, the campaign may also involve outreach to leading CEOs and government officials to court business directly.
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