Ukraine needs Marshall Plan approach to rebuild, says German lobby

A local resident walks at a backyard of a residential building heavily damaged by a Russian missile attack in Mykolaiv, Ukraine October 23, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

BERLIN, Oct 24 (Reuters) - A German lobby group representing companies with interests in eastern Europe has called for a plan to rebuild Ukraine that would mirror the Marshall Plan that helped Europe recover from World War Two, the media group RND reported.

The 20-page "Rebuild Ukraine" dossier covering topics from industry to agriculture and energy will be discussed at a Ukraine-Germany business forum in Berlin on Monday, attended by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal.

In an opinion piece in German business newspaper FAZ on Sunday, Scholz and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made a similar call for a "new Marshall Plan for the 21st century" for Ukraine.

"The path to reconstruction is also Ukraine's path into the European Union," they wrote, saying rebuilding needed to include setting high standards on the rule of law and tackling corruption.

The lobby group's dossier called for each European country involved in efforts to rebuild Ukraine to nominate a coordinator to an advisory board to liaise with Ukraine's government.

German companies should be given incentives to invest in Ukraine just as the Marshall Plan, which was a U.S. initiative, encouraged investment in West Germany after World War Two, the lobby group's chair Michael Harms said.

"Companies need reliable contacts, quick tenders and approval processes, and financial and legal security," Harms told RND.

The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce, which is organising the conference, was not immediately available for comment on the dossier.

Rebuilding Ukraine could cost nearly $350 billion, according to a September report by the World Bank, Ukrainian government and European Commission, about 1.6 times the country's $200 billion gross domestic product in 2021.

Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Edmund Blair

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