President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau have signed an updated Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. This document will replace the existing agreement, which has been in force since 2017.
According to Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Economy of Ukraine, the new agreement brings significant changes to the trade regime between Ukraine and Canada. As part of this document, Ukraine and Canada also signed the Digital Trade Agreement, which became the second for our country after the corresponding agreement with the United Kingdom.
“This agreement takes the trade relations between the two countries to a new dimension, as we have applied a new liberal method in the service sector when preparing the document – everything that is not prohibited is allowed. In other words, the agreement does not regulate what is allowed, but rather carefully sets out exceptions to the complete freedom of service provision. This should facilitate the maximum development of trade in services between Ukraine and Canada. The section on trade in goods contains new rules of origin that allow the use of parts or ingredients from the EU, the UK and Israel for goods exported to Canada duty-free. This will expand the involvement of Ukrainian producers in global supply chains,” explained Yuliia Svyrydenko.
According to her, the agreement has updated the section on protecting business interests, adding a comprehensive and modern set of legal instruments for investment protection. The conditions for temporary entry of employees of Ukrainian companies to Canada to provide services were also expanded and simplified.
The signed agreement contains a modern section on digital trade between Ukraine and Canada, based on the principles of free and open development of the digital ecosystem of the economy. In particular, the digital component of the agreement guarantees freedom of cross-border transfer of information, freedom to choose the location of equipment, freedom of source code and open access to the Internet.
The new agreement also includes updated chapters on rules and procedures of origin, competition policy, monopolies and state-owned enterprises, public procurement, environment, labour, measure development and administration and transparency, anti-corruption and responsible business behaviour. In addition, it regulates financial services, temporary entry for business persons, telecommunications, trade and gender, trade and small and medium-sized enterprises.
“In this way, Ukraine confirms that our economy is built on the same principles of respect for workers and the environment as in Canada. This is the first agreement that confirms that Ukraine shares the trade agenda of Canada, the US, the EU, Japan and our other partners. Its text is based on the standards of the Canada-US-Mexico Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, which Ukraine is preparing to join. In this way, Ukraine is joining a common trend among our allies called friendshoring – the development of trade with countries that share the principles of economic policy. In fact, this is a modern trade and legally binding economic pact with partners who support our security. In the context of geo-economic competition, such agreements emphasise which common values will be protected by the security guarantees of our partners,” explained Yuliia Svyrydenko.
The agreement should also become a step towards active preparation for the future economic development of the de-occupied Crimea and the role of Crimean Tatars in it. The agreement is aimed at strengthening the role of indigenous peoples in the economy and international trade. (Government portal/Business World Magazine)