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Trudeau is coming to Kyiv

Author : Serge Halytsky

10:13, 11 July 2016
Trudeau is coming to Kyiv

Author : Serge Halytsky

Canadian Prime-Minister Justin Trudeau visits Kyiv, where he is going to sign Free Trade Agreement with his Ukrainian Counterpart President Petro Poroshenko.

10:13, 11 July 2016

The Canadian Press

According to CBC the visit will take place on 11-12 of July, right after the NATO summit in Warsaw, and according to Twitter, his plane already landed in Boryspil International Airport and even snapped first dozen of selfies.

Would this visit and a trade agreement be of any significance though? Canadian Main Stream Media would say yes and, of course, and give the P.M. full credit.

Related: Justin Trudeau: Ukraine meets most popular Canada's politician

But, as it usually happens, it was negotiated by the previous Conservative government. As the E.U. and other free trade agreements, it raised a lot of and farmers’ concerns, as it could potentially threaten their local markets. Being a third party leader then, Justin Trudeau intensely criticized those trade deals and argued that they would kill Canadian business.

So let us try to see what actually can happen.

Free trade zone between Ukraine and Canada would probably do well for both countries in some ways.

“Key products from Ukraine that will benefit from this duty-free access include sunflower oil, sugar and chocolate confectionery, baked goods, vodka, apparel, ceramics, iron and steel, and minerals,” Global Affairs Canada website says.

Ukraine will remove tariffs on “beef, canola oil, processed foods, animal feed, frozen fish, caviar, certain iron and steel products, articles of plastics, and cosmetics. Tariffs will also be eliminated by Ukraine on fresh and chilled pork, and frozen pork will benefit from a duty-free tariff rate quota.”

Also some industrial exports (fuels and oils, pharmaceuticals and machinery) are expected to be exported to Ukraine.

Although On Canadian Ukrainian Business Forum, that took place in late June, four major areas of cooperation were discussed: information and communication technology, agriculture and food, Infrastructure and logistics, energy efficiency and renewables.

That is definitely much more than Global affairs Canada put on their website, so it still needs to be verified after the agreement is signed.

So we can judge from what we have so far. The key products would be the agriculture, and considering the fact that our countries have very similar climate and produce the same crops, grow the same animals it would spell trouble to local food producers in both countries.

Transportation and logistics, if it somehow gets on the agreement could also be mutually beneficial and mutually harmful at the same time. Mutually beneficial because it would let Ukrainian auto (bus) manufacturers compete and win contracts with Canadian municipalities for supplying city-buses for them, but that must come with the responsibility to deliver the product on time and have a service base fully operational.

Ukrainian truck manufacturing may also win from that agreement then. But not too much, as current Canadian government trying to cut any local industry, and for tens of years all market needed was produced either in the U.S. or in Canada. Now many moved the production to Mexico.

Both, Canadian and Ukrainian train/subway/streetcar manufacturers would be potentially happy to have access to a new market, but at the same time unhappy because of extra competition on their own market.

Bombardier planes could get access to Ukrainian market too.

I suppose some major deals could be made in the information and communication technology field, but considering totally business unfriendly situation in both countries I don’t think there will be too many candidates.

As for energy efficiency and renewables, Canada’s Liberal government went all the way to ruin its own oil industry and now attempting to make its citizens, like in Ontario to buy electric cars and to refuse from consuming natural gas, at the same time making prices on electricity for Ontarians the highest on the North American continent.

And in general, considering Ukraine’s corrupt to the bone establishment that would demand a bribe for every single piece of paper that needs to be issued would not bring any Canadian businesses or investors on Ukrainian soil. And local businesses can hardly survive in that climate themselves.

At the same time Liberals in Canada more and more are going “business unfriendly,” introducing all different kinds of carbon taxes and levies, and increasing taxes in general to satisfy its spending appetite. So again, investing in Canada would be considered not too wise either. Except maybe for Manitoba and Saskatchewan, that were wise enough electing pro-business governments.

Other than that, Justin Trudeau would do anything to his photo-ops, and would be happy to oblige a crowd on Maydan and take dozens of selfies.

He’s been dubbed PM Selfie by Canadians, so gotta live to his name.

Related: Canada's visa stencil and its perspectives for Ukraine

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