Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the deal Tuesday during Yatsenyuk's visit to the Quebec hamlet of Chelsea.
“Conclusion of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) is another milestone in the important relationship between our two countries,” said Harper, reported AFP News.
The announcement was made just a few weeks after the Сanadian Prime Minister’s visit to Ukraine in early June, his third to the country since March 2014.
“CUFTA is not just a chance, it is a real opportunity to increase the volume of bilateral trade as well as mutual investments,” told Ukrainian Prime Minister after signing the completion of the negotiation process.
“Our Government is focused on creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians in every region of the country. That is why we launched the most ambitious trade agenda in Canadian history. Since 2006, the Government of Canada has concluded free trade agreements with 39 countries, bringing the total to 44,” stated Steven Harper on his site. “Once the Agreement enters into force, Canada and Ukraine will immediately eliminate duties on 99.9 per cent and 86 per cent of respective current imports, thereby benefiting both Canadian and Ukrainian exporters and consumers”.
The agreement is expected to grow the Canadian GDP by Can$29.2 million (US$22.9 million) and Ukraine's GDP by Can$18.6 million, according to evaluations by the Canadian government.
“Canada’s exports to Ukraine would increase by $41.2 million. Canada’s export gains would be broad-based with exports of pork, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, other manufactured products, motor vehicles and parts, as well as chemical products leading the way. Ukraine would also see an expansion in exports to Canada by $23.7 million under this trade deal, but its export gains would be highly concentrated in textile and apparels as well as metal products” according to the statement.
The CUFTA will provide Ukrainian exports with improved access to the Canadian market, and help address non-tariff barriers and facilitate closer economic relations.
Yatsenyuk added that Canada opened the market for final products from Ukraine, food and industrial goods, “Russia has closed the market for our goods, while Canada has just opened”.
The bilateral relations between countries had been conducted since Canada became the first Western nation to recognize Ukraine’s independence on December 2, 1991. “The relationship between our two countries has developed beyond its historical and cultural roots to embrace cooperation in the political, security, development, and commercial spheres,” highlights Mr. Harper.
With more than a million inhabitants claiming roots in Ukraine, Canada has made multiple supportive moves with Kyiv, and the CUFTA once more corroborates the fact of Canadian strong support.