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Ukraine, Canada sign new Free Trade Agreement

After five years of talks, Ukraine and Canada cemented an upgraded trade relationship that expands market access for companies on both sides.
Canada Trudeau Ukraine zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on 22 September 2023 in Ottawa. Credit: President’s Office
Ukraine, Canada sign new Free Trade Agreement

Ukraine and Canada signed a new free trade agreement on Friday, 22 September, replacing the previous agreement that had been in effect since 2017, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced at a joint press briefing with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Liga.net reported.

“This agreement will become the basis for rebuilding Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said.

The Ministry of Economy previously explained that the main differences in the new agreement are that in addition to eliminating tariffs, Ukraine and Canada are expanding opportunities for companies that have not only Ukrainian but also foreign components in their products. This means tariffs will be eliminated on Ukrainian goods that contain components originating in the EU, the European Free Trade Association, the UK, and Israel.

This is intended to encourage the creation of production chains and make locating production in Ukraine more attractive to foreign investors planning to supply their goods to the Canadian market.

A second important element of the agreement is that in the areas of investment and services, it allows the parties everything that is not prohibited. The agreement does not regulate what is permitted but instead spells out exceptions to full freedom of services, the article explains.

One section includes a Digital Trade Agreement, which outlines all the fundamental freedoms in this area. This is Ukraine’s second such agreement, the first being concluded with the UK in January 2023.

Additionally, the new agreement regulates financial services, temporary entry for business persons, telecommunications, trade and gender, trade and small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as issues related to trade and indigenous peoples. The new agreement also contains updated chapters on rules and procedures of origin, competition policy, monopolies and state enterprises, government procurement, environment, labor, development and administration of measures and transparency, anti-corruption, and responsible business conduct.

Ukraine and Canada signed a free trade agreement in 2016. At the time, it was Ukraine’s largest such agreement after the free trade zone with the European Union. It provided for the opening of 98% of the Canadian market of goods to Ukrainian exporters.

Negotiations on signing an agreement with Canada lasted from 2010 to 2015, Liga.net notes.

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