KYIV, Dec. 13 (Xinhua)--The Ukraine-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came into effect on August 1, 2017. This would push forward trades between Ukraine and Canada, gradually reduce the bilateral trade deficits, create jobs for Ukraine and attract long-term investment from North America.
Under this agreement, Canada will open 98 percent of its market to Ukraine immediately after the agreement takes effect, and Ukraine will open 72 percent of its market to Canada, which will increase to 98 percent in 7 years.
The free trade between Ukraine and Canada will create a new market for Ukrainian exporters and promote Ukraine’s advantages in agriculture, medicine, metallurgy and machine manufacturing. Ukraine's exports to Canada are expected to grow by about 1,000 percent in the coming five years, according to the Ukrainian government. Meanwhile, Canada's commodities including textile, electronic products, steel, cosmetics and seafood will increase in Ukraine correspondingly.
Currently, the annual trade volume between Ukraine and Canada is only 250 million U.S. dollars, and Ukraine's export to Canada is less than 30 million U.S. dollars. Ukrainian experts said that the data indicates the huge potential of Ukraine-Canada bilateral trade.
Referring to the shortage of goods for trade, the key barriers for bilateral trade are wide economic gap and remote distance, which needs enterprises on both sides to make cooperation more targeted. Ukrainian enterprises need to improve product quality and intensify product R&D to design and manufacture commodities meeting the needs of Canada and North America, said Ukrainian analysts.
On the other side, the EU-Ukraine FTA which came into effect in January 2016 has created a lot of convenience for the export of Ukrainian commodities to the rest of Europe. Experts hold that Canada is optimistic about the Ukrainian market because Canada can manufacture commodities exported to the EU through Ukraine. Ukraine's rich and cheap labor and land resources, strong and solid industrial foundation and persistent reform measures will bring opportunities and interests to foreign investors.
The location at the junction of Europe and Asia, and its free trade relations with the EU are Ukraine's advantages. Besides, Ukraine can employ Canada's superior location in North America and its special relations with other trade partners, to further expand the influence of Ukrainian commodities, according to Andrei Novak, Head of the Economists Committee of Ukraine.
(Contributed by Chen Junfeng and Zhong Zhong, edited by Tong Wei)