The Ukrainian delegation during the WTO ministerial conference held about two dozen bilateral talks on possible trade liberalization and removal of existing barriers, in particular, in trade in agricultural products, Deputy Economy Minister – Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka said.
“The main conclusion is that the world believes in Ukraine and is ready to open markets for Ukrainian products. This means that the world believes in our victory over the aggressor,” he wrote on Facebook after the conference.
Kachka also said that Ukraine has sent a request to the European Free Trade Association (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) to update the free trade agreement, and it will be considered next week within the framework of the EFTA institute.
According to the trade representative, he discussed further steps to liberalize trade, having carried out preparatory work right at the conference, with Canadian Minister of International Trade Mary Ng.
Kachka added that he agreed with the Minister of Trade of Australia in a few days after the conference to discuss in detail the possibilities of liberalizing bilateral trade (GSP and FTA).
The Ukrainian trade representative also said that he had discussed the conclusion of an agreement on digital trade with UK Secretary for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
“The same issue – trade liberalization and digital trade – were relevant in a conversation with the Minister of Trade of Singapore. Singapore is ready to become a hub for trade in Ukrainian products in Asia,” Kachka added.
According to him, at a meeting with the Minister of Trade of Senegal, he emphasized that Ukraine is doing everything to increase exports and feed Africa.
“Senegal is chairing the African Union this year and their understanding of the true causes of food problems is very important,” the Ukrainian trade representative said.
On Tuesday, June 7, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and Mitacs signed a Memorandum of Cooperation, according to which 60 students will do internships under the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship program this summer, Ukrainian Ambassador Yulia Kovaliv said.
“600 Ukrainian students and scientists will be able to do internships at Canadian universities. A memorandum of cooperation was signed today by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and Mitacs, and this summer 60 students will be doing internships under the Mitacs Globalink Research Internship program,” she wrote on Twitter on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday.
Kovaliv thanked the Government of Canada and Mitacs for supporting Ukraine and for the decision to stop scientific ties and cooperation with Russian institutions.
Canada will provide Ukraine with a loan in the amount of CAD 1 billion for a period of 10 years, a draft government decree testifies, and the terms of such a loan are being agreed.
As stated in Decree No. 639 of May 31, the interest rate on the loan will be equal to the base interest rate of the IMF, while the grace period will be 4.5 years.
Interest will be paid every six months after the end of the grace period, the document states.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Canada Christia Freeland at a meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bankers in Germany on May 20 announced an additional loan of CAD250 million ($ 195 million) to Ukraine through an account managed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Of Ukraine.
“We will continue to work to hold Putin and his henchmen accountable for their illicit war and to ensure that Ukraine has the resources it needs to win. This new loan is an important contribution to these important efforts,” the statement said. website of the Government of Canada word Freeland.
According to him, together with previous financial support, this loan brings Canada’s financial obligations to Ukraine to CAD1.87 billion this year. This funding is provided separately and in addition to substantial military assistance, humanitarian assistance and immigration efforts, the release said.
Canada has previously pledged up to CAD1 billion for an IMF-managed account for Ukraine in the 2022 budget in addition to CAD 620 million in bilateral loans earlier this year.
Since February 2022, Canada has also provided military assistance to Ukraine in the amount of more than CAD620 million.
Canada, which has allocated 1 billion Canadian dollars (about $780 million at the current exchange rate) of financial support to Ukraine in its next budget, remains the only country that intends to use a special account administered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to send this assistance.
“The account allows donors to channel further support to Ukraine securely, through loans or grants, using our fiduciary infrastructure. Canada has a billion in its upcoming budget. I am not aware of any other pledges or commitments at this time. We will keep you posted,” he said. IMF Representative Gerry Rice at a traditional briefing in Washington on Thursday.
When asked about the Fund’s exchange rate advice, in particular the advisability of adjusting the fixed rate policy chosen at the start of the war, the IMF spokesperson said that he “is not aware of any specific advice that we have given regarding the adjustment at this time.”
Rice also said that the Fund remains in very close contact with the Ukrainian authorities, almost daily, in particular, a few days ago there was another conversation between IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
As reported, on February 24, the National Bank suspended the work of the foreign exchange market of Ukraine, except for the sale of foreign currency, and fixed the exchange rate at the official level of that day – UAH 29.2549/$1, which led to the emergence of a “black” market, where in the first days the exchange rate reached 39-40 UAH/$1. Later, the regulator allowed the sale of currency in branches that are under the threat of capture by the invaders, by decision of their leadership.
The NBU made the next liberalization step on April 15, when it granted banks and non-banking financial institutions the right to sell cash currency throughout the country at a rate not higher than “official plus 10%”, but within the volume of the purchased currency. As a result, many banks declared the possibility of selling foreign currency at the maximum possible rate of UAH 32.17-32.18/$1 and at the same time raised the purchase rate closer to the selling rate. However, according to market participants, it is extremely difficult to freely officially buy cash currency. Nevertheless, the “black” market reacted with a slight strengthening of the hryvnia, as a result of which the dollar exchange rate on it was only about 2% higher. Now this difference has increased to about 14%.
Ukraine, at the request of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine, will receive 140 tonnes of buckwheat seeds, the vessel with the cargo was sent by the Canada-Ukraine Foundation (Canada), Ambassador of Ukraine to Canada Yulia Kovaliv wrote on Facebook on Monday.
The seeding rate of buckwheat is 80-100 kg/ha, respectively, Ukraine can sow 1,120-1,400 ha with seeds received from Canada.
According to the Ministry of Agrarian Policy, by May 12, Ukraine sowed 12,200 hectares with buckwheat, which is 14.9% of the 81,600 hectares planned for this year. Thus, thanks to assistance from Canada, Ukraine can sow 1.3-1.7% of the area planned for this crop.