Ukraine and Israel will complete the preparation of a free trade agreement (FTA) in the coming weeks, Verkhovna Rada Speaker Andriy Parubiy has said during a meeting with Speaker of the Knesset Yuli-Yoel Edelstein in Israel.
“Now the matter actually concerns weeks when the work on this agreement is technically completed and when both Ukraine and Israel are able to ratify this agreement. I am sure this will be a very important step in the economic relations between Ukraine and Israel. This is our near-term prospect,” Parubiy said.
According to the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, he and his Israeli counterpart agreed to make efforts for the parliaments of the two countries to ratify the document as soon as possible.
In addition, the speakers discussed cooperation of the two countries in the field of security and defensive weapons.
“This is one of the topics on which certain agreements were reached, which will be implemented after our meetings,” he said.
As reported, Parubiy is on an official visit to the State of Israel (Tel-Aviv) on May 29-31.
Ukraine and Turkey have discussed access to the market of agricultural goods and the services market during the 10th round of negotiations on the free trade area (FTA), as well as the provisions of the agreement related to telecom and e-commerce, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Trade Representative of Ukraine Natalia Mykolska has said. “The round was not an easy one, since we defend the opening of the most profitable opportunities of the Turkish market for Ukraine and Ukrainian exporters. So we used this opportunity to address the issues of access to agricultural markets,” she wrote on her Facebook page on Saturday.
She also pointed out significant progress in the above-mentioned issues: “We are moving intensely, as both sides have an understanding that the agreement is in the priority of the governments of the two countries.”
Earlier, the trade representative said that Ukraine and Turkey had agreed to complete negotiations on the FTA in the near future.
The agreement on free trade area (FTA) between Ukraine and Israel foresees the annulment of import duties for 80% of industrial goods from Ukraine to Israel and some agricultural products from the moment when the document takes force, Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Trade Representative of Ukraine Natalia Mykolska has said. “At the same time, import duties will be abolished within a range of quotas for a number of agricultural products, and there will be a gradual cancellation of import duties during the transitional periods – three, five and seven years. After these terms end, the duties will be leveled to nil,” she said at a press briefing after a government meeting on Wednesday.
According to Mykolska, a certain category of goods falls under partial liberalization. At the same time, jewelry is excluded from the list of goods to which the document applies.
“After the agreement comes into force, Ukrainian producers can export their goods to the Israeli market without taxes. Why is it so important? Because Israel is a fairly closed market with high import duty rates, particularly for agricultural products, for example, for some meat the bound import duty rate exceeds 280%,” she said.
In turn, Ukraine opens 70% of the industrial goods market for Israeli producers and also abolishes duties on a number of agricultural products immediately after the FTA agreement enters into force, for some products – within three or five years. In particular, Ukraine will partially reduce tariffs for certain seasonal vegetables and fruits from Israel, the trade representative said, responding to a question from Interfax-Ukraine.
“However, this list is not exhaustive. The FTA agreement is a long-term document,” First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Trade Stepan Kubiv said. At the same time, he said that Ukraine in the near future will start negotiations about the FTA with a new country, but he did not specify which state it is.