Ukraine needs to start thinking now about how to pull off an economic rebound of epic proportions, says economist Noah Smith in this forward-looking essay. Its leaders should consider how best to achieve lasting economic self-sufficiency, raise the living standards of their population and protect the nation from further foreign aggression. Smith offers the thought-provoking examples of South Korea’s and Poland’s economic development as potential templates for Ukraine’s future.
Ukraine’s reconstruction will require a bolstered economy.
Recasting its economy once the war ends is front-and-center for Ukraine. Hollowed-out cities like Mariupol and Kharkiv, along with the displacement of one-quarter of the nation’s population, attest to the immediate need for infrastructure. Reconstruction could take more than a decade, in keeping with the recovery times that many nations experienced after World War II.
Long-term aid from allies will be crucial, most likely coming from the United States and Europe. But Ukraine will have to bolster its economy through its own efforts, much as Japan and West Germany did after World War II. Taming Ukrainian oligarchs’ political machinations and generating tax revenue more efficiently...