Trade Rep on Ukraine's first free trade agreement on the American continent
During his first ever visit to Ukraine Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participated in the official signing ceremony of Ukraine-Canada Free Trade Agreement.
Ukraine's Deputy Minister for Economic Development and Trade Nataliya Mykolska joined Ukraine Today to discuss the benefits of the Agreement for both Ukrainian and Canadian businesses. Deputy Minister Mykolska hopes to get duty-free access to the U.S. market via Canada and see more Canadian seafood on the Ukrainian market.
"Despite the very good relations, which we have between our two nations and between our people, which is the most important, the economic relations between Ukraine and Canada are not as good, as we wish it could be. Therefore we need to find a way to facilitate our relations," Mykolska said
"And we're not discussing only trade here, we're also discussing potential investments here. Canada is a huge market with high level of consumption and high level of the overall household income. It's the first market, which we have a free trade agreement with on the American continent. Therefore we consider Canada as a first step and logistical hub for us," she added.
"Canada is the 54th Ukrainian trading partner, this is a very low level. But this Agreement provides for the elimination of all tariffs from the side of Canada, except for some tariffs for agricultural products and vehicles immediately upon entering into force," Ukraine's Trade Representative said.
"It means an immediate duty free access of Ukrainian goods to the Canadian market, and it should boost the trade. Definitely, we will face a competition both from the local and US goods […] But we have a rather low cost of production here, we have a number of unique and competitive goods. In addition to that, the Canadian consumers have a lot of sentiments towards Ukraine and towards Ukrainian goods," she explained.
"Major industries, which would benefit immediately, in short-term perspective, is food industry, agricultural industry, light industry – Ukrainian clothing and Ukrainian footwear, because they will have immediate duty-free access to the Canadian market. Plus we believe that Ukrainian machinery would benefit from this agreement. This year we started exporting to Canada railway parts and wagon parts and that's a huge market for Ukrainian machinery."
"We believe that Canadian equipment producers, machinery producers that produce machinery with high level of know how would definitely benefit. If we want to boost Ukrainian processing product, we need to import equipment with high level of know-how and high level of production efficiency. Fish producers will also benefit from this agreement. Because of losing Crimea, Ukraine is in rather shortage of seafood. Not the river- or lake-fish, but seafood. Basically we all need good seafood."