12 Apr 2023 16:25

Ukraine, Canada to update free trade agreement

MOSCOW. April 12 (Interfax) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have announced the completion of negotiations on concluding an updated free trade agreement.

Ukrainian media reported with reference to the Ukrainian Economy Ministry that the document would replace the previous free trade agreement that has been in effect since 2017.

Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Yulia Sviridenko has been quoted as saying that the new agreement substantially amended the existing trade regulations between Ukraine and Canada. The two countries also signed an agreement on digital trade within the framework of this document.

The new agreement will abolish duties on Ukrainian goods containing components from the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, the United Kingdom, and Israel. "This should encourage the building of production chains and make the location of manufacturing facilities in Ukraine more appealing to foreign investors who plan to supply their goods to the Canadian market," Sviridenko said.

The new agreement also provides for special guarantees to investors and an investment protection system based on the most modern legal instruments. The new agreement will entitle the parties to do "anything that is not prohibited."

Meeting with Canadian business leaders in Toronto, Shmygal encouraged them to invest in Ukraine and join efforts toward its restoration.

The parties are conducting negotiations to insure risks with export and credit agencies of various countries. "We expect the Canadian government also to offer efficient tools to its businesses to stimulate investment in Ukraine," Ukrainian media quoted Shmygal as saying on his social account on Wednesday morning.

Ukraine and Canada have good prospects for implementing mutually beneficial projects in the agrarian, defense industry, IT, and energy sectors. "In particular, we are planning to build new nuclear power units, and Canadian companies may play a key role here," he said.

During the visit, Ukraine's Energoatom concluded an agreement with Canada's Cameco as the final phase of implementing a program for using Ukrainian uranium in manufacturing nuclear fuel for Ukrainian nuclear power plants, he said.

"Canadian businesspeople are interested in investing in Ukraine. Our companies are cooperating with Canadian partners and are willing to deepen this cooperation," Shmygal said.