As part of the meeting of the Council for International Trade, the results of the first year of implementation of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) were discussed. CUFTA opened for Ukrainian exporters duty free access to 98% of the Canadian market.
According to First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv, the free trade zone has a positive impact on the development of mutual trade. Exports of Ukrainian goods to Canada in 2017 amounted to almost 130 million USA dollars. Growth in comparison to the previous year- 36.8%.
“We are talking about the Free Trade Area as a fact, achievement, and victory. We are currently working within the framework of the triangle: Ukraine-Canada, Ukraine-EU, Canada-EU “, – said Kubiv.
According to him, the free trade zone allows not only to increase the export of Ukrainian goods to Canada, but also to contribute Canadian investments in Ukraine. In the first quarter of 2018, more than $5 million was invested by Canadian business.
Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine Roman Waschuk noted that Canada has been fruitfully working with Ukrainian authorities to strengthen trade cooperation.
“The main thing is that we see an expansion of the range of Ukrainian products exported to Canada. Within the framework of the Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support Project, the priority sectors with the largest potential in the Canadian market were selected. Several exhibitions in Canada have already been held in which Ukrainian companies took part, in particular, furniture, footwear, clothing and confectionery products”, the ambassador said.
It is also worth noting that Canadian investors are interested in the Ukrainian IT market. The Canadian company Brookfield Asset Management is developing IT park in Lviv. IT park will start working in 2.5 years. It is planned that the object will occupy more than 10 hectares. The volume of investments – more than 160 million USA dollars.
“The realization of this project demonstrates that the Ukrainian IT sector is already mature and is ready to implement such large-scale projects,” the ambassador noted.
Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Olga Trofimtseva noted that despite skeptical expectations regarding the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement with Canada, it works, including in the agricultural and food segments.
“The trade balance of the agricultural sector is still negative. Ukraine purchases more agricultural and food products in Canada than Canada in Ukraine. But there are positive dynamics of supplies from Ukraine. The range of exporting products is expensing, in particular in such areas as oil, juices, honey, and sugar”, she said.
The Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) came into force on August 1, 2017.