Australian Economy

Australian Mining billionaire ‘Twiggy’ Forrest invests $740m in Ukraine: Volodymyr Zelensky

Mining billionaire ‘Twiggy’ Forrest invests $740m in Ukraine to rebuild the war-torn nation’s economy: ‘I don’t want to wait for the last bullet to be fired’

  • Andrew Forrest lent a hand to Ukraine through a huge $A743 million investment
  • The billionaire has called for investors to fund a Ukraine Green Growth Initiative
  • He announced the investment alongside Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky
  • The fund will focus on primary infrastructure such as energy and communication
  • Zelensky said it gave Ukraine potential to be Europe’s ‘fastest-growing economy’

Mining magnate Andrew Forrest will help Ukraine to rebuild its economy with green infrastructure through a new $US500 million ($A743 million) investment.

The Australian billionaire has committed seed funding for the Ukraine Green Growth Initiative through his private investment group Tattarang.

He announced the investment alongside Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday at the New Economy Forum in Singapore.

He announced the investment alongside Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday at the New Economy Forum in Singapore (pictured, Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest with the Ukraine president during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Kyiv in June 2022)

He announced the investment alongside Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday at the New Economy Forum in Singapore (pictured, Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest with the Ukraine president during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Kyiv in June 2022)

It is hoped the fund will grow to at least $US100 billion ($A149 billion), with a focus on primary infrastructure such as energy and communications (pictured, devastation last month after Russian shelling in central Slavyansk, Donetsk region, Ukraine)

It is hoped the fund will grow to at least $US100 billion ($A149 billion), with a focus on primary infrastructure such as energy and communications (pictured, devastation last month after Russian shelling in central Slavyansk, Donetsk region, Ukraine)

Dr Forrest expects the initial funding will seed a minimum $US25 billion ($A37 billion) in investment as Ukrainian forces continue to defend the country following the invasion by Russia.

It is hoped the fund will grow to at least $US100 billion ($A149 billion), with a focus on primary infrastructure such as energy and communications.

‘Our investment fund will help to step beyond the wire lines of the past and accelerate digital communications development,’ Dr Forrest said in a statement.

‘The Ukraine Green Growth Initiative will be the home of professional and sovereign investment, with the aim of helping rebuild Ukraine in one generation, whilst delivering returns to investors.

‘I invite professional investors, fund managers and sovereign funds and all who believe invading another country should now be forever consigned to the historical garbage bin of humanity’s worst mistakes, to join us.’

President Zelensky said the initiative had the potential to make Ukraine the fastest-growing economy in Europe, ‘if not the world’.

‘Andrew and I have agreed we will not replace communist-era rubbish Russian infrastructure, instead we will leapfrog to the latest technology,’ he said.

‘We will take advantage of the fact that what the Russians have destroyed can readily be replaced with the latest, most modern green and digital infrastructure.’

Dr Forrest has briefed world leaders, including US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, on the fund.

He travelled to Ukraine in June, visiting the capital Kyiv and meeting most of President Zelensky’s cabinet.

'I want every government to know that as soon as hostilities cease, global business will be ready to help rebuild immediately,' Dr Forrest said (pictured, an employee cleans the debris at the remains of a car shop last month that was destroyed after a Russian attack in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine)

‘I want every government to know that as soon as hostilities cease, global business will be ready to help rebuild immediately,’ Dr Forrest said (pictured, an employee cleans the debris at the remains of a car shop last month that was destroyed after a Russian attack in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine)

‘I want every government to know that as soon as hostilities cease, global business will be ready to help rebuild immediately,’ Dr Forrest said.

‘We will build a new future, not simply replace the past. We want Ukrainian people to know that we will be there with you, helping you to deliver strong economic growth in Europe.’

The Forrests’ philanthropic organisation Minderoo has also provided aid to Ukraine, including funding the first humanitarian grain shipment out of the country in August.

The Forrests' philanthropic organisation Minderoo has also provided aid to Ukraine, including funding the first humanitarian grain shipment out of the country in August (pictured, people cleaning up after a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine last September)

The Forrests’ philanthropic organisation Minderoo has also provided aid to Ukraine, including funding the first humanitarian grain shipment out of the country in August (pictured, people cleaning up after a Russian attack in Kharkiv, Ukraine last September)

The Australian billionaire has committed seed funding for the Ukraine Green Growth Initiative through his private investment group Tattarang (Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy accepting an R.M.Williams stockwhip from Australian businessman Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest last June)

The Australian billionaire has committed seed funding for the Ukraine Green Growth Initiative through his private investment group Tattarang (Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy accepting an R.M.Williams stockwhip from Australian businessman Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest last June)

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