Canada, Ukraine conclude talks on free trade agreement

GMT 06:34 2015 Wednesday ,15 July

Arab Today, arab today Canada, Ukraine conclude talks on free trade agreement

Canadian PM Stephen Harper
Ottawa - XINHUA

Ukraine and Canada have successfully concluded negotiations over the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA), the Office of the Canadian Prime Minister announced.

The announcement was made just before Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk arrives here for his official visit to Canada Tuesday afternoon and a few weeks after Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to Ukraine in early June, his third to the east European country since March 2014.

The agreement is expected to provide improved market access for Canadian exports to the Ukrainian market, help address non-tariff barriers and facilitate closer economic relations. Also, the agreement will provide Ukrainian exports with improved access to the Canadian market, said the office in the announcement.

Once the agreement enters into force, Canada and Ukraine will immediately eliminate duties on 99.9 percent and 86 percent of respective current imports, thereby benefiting both Canadian and Ukrainian exporters and consumers.

It also will lead to the elimination of all Ukrainian tariffs on industrial goods, forestry and wood products, fish and seafood products, as well as the elimination of the vast majority of Ukraine's agricultural tariffs. Canadian agriculture exporters will benefit from duty-free access for beef, pulses, grains, canola oil, processed foods and animal feed.

The prime minister's office highlighted the inclusion of Ukraine as a priority emerging market under Canada's Global Markets Action Plan and as one of Canada's development countries of focus. It also publicly released Canada's market access plan for Ukraine -- another tool the Canadian government is providing to help Canadian companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, identify new opportunities to do business in Ukraine.

Total bilateral trade between Canada and Ukraine averaged 347 million Canadian dollars (some 300 million U.S. dollars) in the 2011-2013 period, and is expected to expand by 19 percent as a result of the implementation of this trade agreement.

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