Deputy Minister of Economy – Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka expects to sign an agreement on the so-called industrial visa-free regime with the EU (ACAA Agreement) by the end of 2021.
“I hope that by the end of the year we will come to the signing of the ACAA Agreement. The main effect will be in one thing – this is the greatest investment in the confidence in Ukrainian producers,” the Ministry of Economy quotes Kachka in a press release.
He added that the second phase of the quality infrastructure assessment is scheduled for September.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky has said that he welcomes the signing of an intergovernmental agreement between Ukraine and Turkey on housing construction for Crimean Tatars, which will allow the construction of about 500 residential apartments, including for internally displaced persons.
“I welcome the signing of an intergovernmental agreement between Ukraine and Turkey on cooperation in the field of housing construction. This makes it possible to build about 500 apartments for representatives of the Crimean Tatar people and other internally displaced persons. This is a very important humanitarian project that will bring the peoples of Ukraine and Turkey closer together,” Zelensky said at the ceremony of signing Ukrainian-Turkish documents with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In addition, according to Zelensky, “further liberalization of trade and economic relations between Ukraine and Turkey is important.”
“The signing of a bilateral free trade area agreement will be able to significantly increase the momentum of cooperation,” Zelensky said.
“This is a very important step that must be taken in accordance with the national interests of each of the countries, because we agreed with the President of Turkey that the relevant institutions of our countries will conduct a very substantive audit of all controversial issues and find a mutual compromise that will open the way to signing of this important document,” the president added.
The presidents also discussed the prospects for Turkish investments in Ukraine, in particular “opportunities for large-scale privatization in the field of investments in seaports, as well as cooperation in the energy and military spheres, including aircraft construction.”
“Our goal is the implementation of specific projects, the creation of joint ventures, the exchange of experience and technologies,” the President of Ukraine said.
Ukrcement proposes to exclude from the agreement on a free trade zone (FTA) with Turkey commodity items that are fully provided by its own manufacturer, head of the Ukrcement association Pavlo Kachur told the Interfax-Ukraine agency.
“The signing of an agreement on a free trade zone with Turkey for the cement industry poses a serious threat. We have transferred our position to the Ministry of Economy and the trade representative of Ukraine,” Kachur said.
The expert emphasized the need for a particularly balanced government policy in the context of the global economic crisis, so that under the slogans of free movement of goods not to lose their own manufacturer and not to leave tens of thousands of Ukrainians without work.
“The established production capacity for the production of cement in Turkey is 140 million tonnes of cement per year. In Ukraine, this figure is more than 10 times less. Turkey’s own cement consumption is about 60 million tonnes. This means that an importer with such capacities that Turkey has, playing with price policy, can easily destroy the production of cement in Ukraine,” said Kachur.
He emphasized the effectiveness and efficiency of the Big Construction program in the fight against the crisis.
“This program has become a lifeline for the entire construction industry during the global economic crisis. In the event of the signing of an FTA agreement with Turkey, the funds allocated from the budget of Ukraine, the funds of Ukrainian taxpayers, will support the producers of the neighboring state, instead of supporting their own,” he said.
He stated that the cement industry in Ukraine is able to fully provide consumers with high-quality cement that is competitive in the European market.
“The cement industry is developing and modernizing. Billions of dollars are invested to maintain high quality products, reduce emissions, reduce CO2 emissions. In March 2021, the cement plant in Balakliya resumed clinker firing, the kilns of which were shut down by the former Russian owners for ten long years. This will further strengthen the ability of the cement industry of Ukraine to provide its own market with cement,” Kachur summed up.
The head of the Ukrcement association expressed hope that the manufacturers’ arguments will be heard.
In September 2020, the Interdepartmental Commission on International Trade launched an investigation into the import of Portland cement and clinker cement from Turkey to Ukraine.
The import of these items in 2019 increased nine times, and according to the results of January-August 2020 – 13 times compared to the same period of the previous year.
According to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, in 2020 the volume of exports to Turkey decreased slightly – to $2.436 billion (by 7% compared to 2019), imports increased slightly – 2.415 (by 2.5%).
An agreement on political cooperation, free trade and strategic partnership between Ukraine and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland may commence on January 1, Deputy Minister of Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture, Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka said.
“The agreement on political cooperation, free trade and strategic partnership between Ukraine and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has been ratified. The British Parliament has already completed its procedure. So we are working ‘at full steam’ so that the agreement will commence from January 1,” Kachka wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
According to him, the agreement provides for the abolition of duties on industrial products, with the exception of fertilizers, electronics and cars.
“Small exceptions regarding fertilizers, electronics and cars may (but not necessarily will) be subject to a duty of no more than 1-2% over the next two years. And from 2023 there will be no duties on industrial products at all,” the trade representative said.
According to him, Brexit will also allow more flexibility in the anti-dumping and protective measures applied to Ukraine now. This applies to metallurgical products, hot-rolled products, sheet products and rods.
At the same time, all agricultural goods that are not subject to tariff quotas are exempt from duties, the trade representative said.
Minister of Defense of Ukraine Andriy Taran signed agreements with Turkish companies on the transfer of technology and production of corvettes and unmanned attack aircraft systems for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said on its website on Monday, the signing took place within the visit of the Turkish delegation to Ukraine, headed by President of Defence Industries of Turkey Ismail Demir.
According to Taran, first of all, this is about projects designed to radically enhance the combat capabilities of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to improve security in the area of the Black and Azov Seas.
The minister said these are the first in history foreign economic transactions for military goods concluded by the Defense Ministry of Ukraine.
The Defense Ministry said that in October, Taran and Demir signed a memorandum with the intention to start and implement joint projects for the construction of warships, unmanned aerial vehicles and all types of turbine engines.
Ukraine and France may soon sign an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation with ALSTOM for the implementation of a project for the supply of electric locomotives to a company with partial localization of their production and maintenance in Ukraine.
This was announced by Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, who is the head of the the Ukrainian-French Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation, during negotiations with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to Ukraine Etienne de Ponsen and head of Ukrzaliznytsia JSC Volodymyr Zhmak on Friday, the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs said.
“We have been working on the details of a common project with the French side for a long time and in the near future we can reach the signing of an intergovernmental agreement that will fully meet the needs of Ukraine,” the press service quoted Avakov as saying.
Zhmak, in his turn, said during the negotiations that Ukrzaliznytsia has a very old park and it needs to be strategically updated. At this stage, according to him, Ukrzaliznytsia is interested in 50 two-system electric locomotives capable of transporting from 5,500 to 6,000 tonnes of cargo.
“We need these locomotives with a long-term system of maintenance and localization of production in Ukraine. At the second stage, we are interested in getting single-system locomotives,” he said.
CEO of ALSTOM Henri Poupart-Lafarge assured that it could be a reliable and long-term partner for Ukrzaliznytsia and Ukraine.
“We have been working in the market for many years and we can satisfy the needs of Ukrzaliznytsia. ALSTOM has experience in working in markets with the localization of production and service capacities. This strengthens our cooperation and creates new jobs. In particular, we work in this way in Kazakhstan and South Africa,” he said.
The ministry also notes that this project was founded in September 2018, when ALSTOM and Ukrzaliznytsya signed a memorandum of understanding, which formalizes cooperation in the provision and maintenance of electric locomotives. The financial model of the project involves the attraction of credit funds from the French State Treasury and other sources.
As reported, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky on October 27 met with CEO of ALSTOM Henri Poupart-Lafarge and discussed with him the prospects for the implementation of joint projects in the railway sector.
The French machine building company ALSTOM is one of the world leaders in the production of power equipment and railway transport.