The Global Affairs Canada, implementing the Ukraine Horticulture Business Development Project (UHBDP), has decided to extend the project until March 31, 2022, whereas it was previously planned to be completed in 2021, project manager Dmytro Nikolayev said during a press conference in Kyiv. According to him, UHBDP for the period from 2014 to 2021 provided financial support for a total of UAH 43.25 million for 2,780 clients.
He clarified that by March 31, 2022, the project will additionally support clients under various programs in the amount of about UAH 20 million. He clarified that at present UHBDP focused on informing farmers about the legislative features of the land market launched from July 1, developing and implementing educational and online trading platforms, and providing grants for business restoration to the most vulnerable groups of agricultural producers.
As reported, UHBDP finances 30% of the total cost of projects, which are at least estimated at $ 200,000. The term of their implementation is a year and a half.
The Ukraine Horticulture Business Development Project (UHBDP) is funded by the Global Affairs Canada, implemented and co-financed by the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA). MEDA works with Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation(MASHAV) and international service companies to provide technical support.
UHBDP works with producers from Zaporizhia, Kherson, Mykolaiv and Odesa regions, engaged in fruit and vegetable growing, berry growing, viticulture and beekeeping.
During the first telephone conversation, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau agreed to begin negotiations in the near future on expanding the provisions of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Ukraine and Canada in the sphere of services and investments, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reported.
“The ministers discussed the intensification of interaction between Ukraine and Canada in the political, security, defense, trade, investment and migration spheres,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
Kuleba also expressed gratitude for the work of the Canadian UNIFIER training mission in Ukraine. “Canada, with actions, not just words helps strengthen the security and defense sector of Ukraine. The Canadian instructors of the UNIFIER mission share important experiences and practices for transforming our armed forces in accordance with NATO standards. This is an example of cooperation between close partners,” the press service of the foreign policy department quoted the minister as saying.
The ministers welcomed the launch of the Ukrainian-Canadian working group on mobility issues to strengthen interpersonal ties. The Ukrainian Foreign Minister proposed to hold its first meeting next month and confirmed the interest of the Ukrainian side in concluding a bilateral agreement on youth exchanges.
“Kuleba informed the interlocutor about the priorities of the Crimean platform as a platform for consolidating international efforts to de-occupy Crimea and invited the Canadian side to take part in its inaugural summit this year. Garneau assured that Canada will continue to steadily support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reported.
The ministers paid special attention to the topic of countering the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination of the population.
In addition, Kuleba and Garneau stressed the importance of coordinating further actions and forming common positions in preparation for the next stage of negotiations with Iran to bring to justice those responsible for the downing of Flight PS752 and to achieve justice for the victims of the tragedy and their families.
Finally, the interlocutors confirmed a mutual invitation to carry out working visits after the normalization of the epidemic situation.
Canada’s Black Iron, implementing the investment project to create a new iron ore production facility in Kryvy Rih (Dnipropetrovsk region, Shymanivske iron ore project), has welcomed a new law on state support of investment projects with large investments in Ukraine aimed at attracting investments, lower taxes and provision of priority rights to lease state and communal land plots needed to realize an investment project.
The company said in a Thursday press release that upon a company entering into an investment agreement with Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers, support can be provided in the following areas that are relevant for Black Iron to construct its Shymanivske project: lower taxes – exemption from corporate taxes for a period of time and value added tax for all new equipment imported for the project; duty exemption – no import duties need to be paid on new equipment; priority land rights – priority rights to lease state and communal land plots needed to realize the investment project; and stabilization of law – the rights and duties of the investor shall be governed by the Ukrainian laws in effect at the date the investment agreement is executed unless a new law improves the investor’s position.
For Black Iron, this could be a savings of up to nearly $170 million through a combination of reduced upfront tax/duty payments to construct the project and initial corporate tax payments.
Black Iron CEO Matt Simpson said that this is a very positive concrete measure initiated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to attract additional investment to Ukraine that is greatly welcomed by international investors, including Black Iron, and should prove to be very effective.
Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal and Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland discussed the expansion of the free trade agreement (FTA) and the liberalization of the visa regime.
“An important basis for the development of economic cooperation between Ukraine and Canada is the Free Trade Agreement, and currently, both parties face the ambitious task of expanding their impact on investment and services,” the government’s press service said.
Shmyhal stressed the importance of supporting free trade area in the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We believe that Canada’s policy of open international trade and export support, which is also pursued by Canada, is one of the measures to effectively counter the spread of the pandemic. I am convinced that these are the first steps on the path of work on the updated Free Trade Agreement,” the head of government said.
He expressed confidence that despite the difficult situation amid the fight against the pandemic, Ukraine and Canada will continue to actively develop bilateral cooperation.
“Trade and economic cooperation remain a priority of our cooperation. Each new challenge opens up new prospects for development, so we must consolidate our efforts to overcome the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic as soon as possible and continue to increase bilateral trade,” the prime minister said.
In turn, Freeland said that Canada is interested in expanding the Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine and is ready to work in this direction.
According to Shmyhal, Ukraine is completing the formation of its delegation for the relevant talks. The parties agreed that it is necessary to organize the work of an intergovernmental working group in the near future, which will draft a document.
In addition, the prime minister noted Ukraine’s high interest in visa liberalization and the readiness to host a group of Canadian experts in Ukraine to monitor the state of Ukraine’s compliance with Canada’s criteria.
Shmyhal told the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada about the “Crimean Platform” and invited Canada to join its activities.
In addition, the prime minister invited Freeland to Ukraine to celebrate the 30th anniversary of independence.
In 2021, Canada and Ukraine will modernize the free trade agreement (FTA), Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine Larisa Galadza said.
“This year will be important because its [the agreement] modernization, including services, is envisaged. Therefore, I look forward to working in this direction,” Galadza said at an online discussion at Kyiv Security Forum on Friday.
She said that Ukraine needs to continue to work towards reforming the justice system.
“This is extremely important for Ukrainian citizens and also for bilateral relations, if we want to strengthen them, especially trade relations,” Galadza said.
The ambassador also expressed her hope that in 2021 there will be an opportunity to simplify the process of travel between Canada and Ukraine. “Connections between people are exactly what shapes our bilateral relations. I mean those people who travel from Ukraine to Canada and vice versa. I think that over the next year we will have opportunities to simplify this process, clarify, something like a normal life after a year that has passed,” she said.
In addition, the diplomat said that on January 1, an agreement between Canada and Ukraine on the joint production of audiovisual products comes into force.
Galadza said that another area of bilateral cooperation between Ukraine and Canada is the continuation of work towards ensuring fairness, accountability, transparency regarding the shooting down of UIA flight by Iran.
“We must ensure justice, transparency for families, and we will continue to work together to make the skies safer for all people who fly and, unfortunately, who have to travel to conflict areas,” she said.
The ambassador said that Canada will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine.
“Ukraine can certainly rely on the fact that Canada will invariably and uncompromisingly support territorial integrity, not only through tactical exercises that we organize for the Armed Forces of Ukraine as they prepare to be deployed in Donbas, but also in the format of multilateral forums and initiatives, like the Crimean platform,” the diplomat said.
She said Canada will also continue to accompany Ukraine on the path of reforms.
The Government of Canada has officially informed the Ukrainian Embassy in Ottawa of the completion of domestic procedures necessary for the entry into force of the Agreement on joint production of audiovisual works between states.
According to the Embassy of Ukraine in Canada, subject to joint production, the agreement will allow Ukrainian producers to qualify in Canada for budgetary support, tax breaks and discounts on distribution. The agreement provides for similar preferences for Canadian artists who will shoot in Ukraine.
“It will be cheaper and easier for our TV crews and filmmakers to work in Canada and with Canadians. I’m glad we were able to explain in Ottawa the mutual benefits of such a partnership. We are waiting for the Ukrainian-Canadian Oscar!” Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada Andriy Shevchenko said.
The document was signed during President Zelensky’s visit to Toronto last year. The Verkhovna Rada ratified it in September 2020.The agreement will enter into force on January 1, 2021.