Ukraine, Canada agree to expand free trade area
Photo via Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine press service

Ukraine and Canada on Tuesday concluded more than a year of negotiations on the revised bilateral free trade agreement, which entered into force in 2017.

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"We agreed on 18 chapters, nine of which were completely new," said Ukraine’s prime minister Denys Shmyhal at the signing of the joint declaration on the finalisation of negotiations.

What is new in the revised CUFTA is expanded opportunities for companies that have not only Ukrainian but also foreign content in their products.

It also is meant to encourage the creation of production chains and make moving production in Ukraine more attractive for foreign investors planning to supply their goods to Canada.

The new agreement will allow the parties to do everything that is not prohibited, and includes guarantees for investors and an investment protection system.

One of the new chapters of the CUFTA contains provisions on digital trade, the second such agreement signed by Ukraine after the United Kingdom earlier this year.

In addition, the new bilateral trade agreement covers financial services, temporary entry for business persons, telecommunications, trade and gender, trade and small and medium-sized enterprises, and trade and indigenous peoples.

It will also include 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.

According to Yuliia Svyrydenko, Ukraine’s economy minister, the revised CUFTA is based on the same principles used in the Pacific Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Area.

She also announced its intention to start formal negotiations on joining the Pacific Agreement.

Ukraine and Canada signed a free trade agreement in 2016, following five-year negotiations.

At the time, it was the largest such agreement apart from the free trade area with the European Union. It provided for the opening of 98 percent of the Canadian goods market to Ukrainian exporters