Next week Turkey is ready to receive a Ukrainian delegation to finalize the technical aspects of the draft agreement on a free trade area (FTA) between the countries, Turkish Trade Minister Mehmet Muş said.
“Our delegations have already fruitfully worked on the agreement. And next week we are ready to host a delegation from Ukraine to finalize the technical aspects of the draft agreement,” the press service of the Economy Ministry of Ukraine said, citing Muş, following his videoconference with First Deputy Prime Minister Oleksiy Liubchenko on Monday.
The Turkish minister said the delegations should intensify their work and in the near future submit a draft agreement on an FTA between the two countries.
“We have several positions left where we must find a balance in our trade relations. It should be noted that during the negotiations with our Turkish colleagues we came to constructive and progressive solutions that will allow us to protect domestic markets where necessary and prepare an agreement, which will contribute to the deepening of trade relations and the development of the economies of our countries,” Liubchenko said.
According to the Economy Ministry, the videoconference was held following a phone conversation between President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
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%).
Ukraine and Turkey intend to prepare a Free Trade Area (FTA) agreement for the meeting of the High Level Strategic Council of Ukraine and Turkey in 2020, Foreign Minister of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba has said. “We are really determined to hold the next meeting of the Strategic Council of our presidents this year and want to fill it with maximum content. And, of course, the FTA agreement is one of those tasks that should already be consecrated by our leaders,” Kuleba said after a joint meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister at a press conference in Antalya on Friday.
The foreign minister said that at the moment Ukraine is waiting for a certain positional document from the Turkish side in order to continue consultations on this issue.
“Of course, the potential of our trade is phenomenal. I can sincerely tell you that Turkish goods can be found in any store of any region of Ukraine… Unfortunately, Ukrainian goods are not yet represented on the Turkish market, but we also have a lot of things, what Turkish consumers and buyers will benefit from. And we can open this potential, achieve a fair and mutually beneficial balance in trade, and bring our trade to a new horizon by signing the FTA agreement. And today, my colleague and I agreed that we will apply maximum efforts in order to positively resolve this issue,” the Ukrainian minister said.
According to him, Ukrainian and Turkish experts involved in trade will continue negotiations on this issue, but political leaders, ministers of foreign affairs and trade of both countries will be ready to take part in them to settle the issues that will seem insoluble at the expert level.
“There is political will of both sides now to resolve all issues and reach a result, I emphasize, in the interests of business and economies, both Ukrainian and Turkish,” Kuleba added.
Ukraine and Canada will work on deepening economic cooperation and expansion of the bilateral free trade area (FTA) agreement to the sphere of services and investments, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said. “Trade, economic and investment cooperation have an important place in Ukrainian-Canadian relations, and we would like to strengthen it. Therefore, our sides will work to expand the scope of the bilateral free trade area agreement to services and investments,” he said in Toronto on Tuesday at a joint briefing with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after their meeting.
Zelensky said that in the near future these agreements will be translated into documents.
“This means that Ukrainian IT specialists and entrepreneurs from different industries will be able to better cooperate with Canada without leaving Ukraine. This means more jobs, better relations between our countries,” he said.
Ukraine and Israel will sign a free trade area (FTA) agreement at the end of November, Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman has said after a meeting with new ambassador of Israel to Ukraine Joel Lion in Kyiv on Tuesday.
“The document will significantly expand our economic cooperation and will increase trade, which now amounts to $1 billion a year,” the head of government said on his Facebook page.
Groysman also said that this month in Kyiv there will be a Ukrainian-Israeli innovative summit, the participants of which will be representatives of about 50 enterprises working in the field of high technologies.
“We consider cooperation in the sphere of innovations to be one of the most promising,” the Ukrainian prime minister said.
As reported, Ukraine and Israel completed negotiations on signing a FTA agreement in April and intend to sign it by the end of 2018. Early August, the sides finished a legal reconciliation of the text of the FTA agreement. The next step in preparing the agreement for signing is the translation of the agreed text into Ukrainian and Hebrew.
From the moment the document enters into force, Israel intends to abolish 80% of duties on industrial goods, as well as a number of agricultural products – within quotas. Import duties on the agricultural products specified in the agreement will be completely canceled during the transition periods for three, five and seven years. Partial liberalization is envisaged for a separate category of goods.
Ukraine, in turn, intends to open 70% of the industrial goods market for Israeli producers, as well as abolish duties on a number of agricultural products immediately after the entry into operation of the agreement, for some of them within three or five years. In particular, Ukraine plans to reduce tariffs for certain seasonal vegetables and fruits from Israel.
Israel will be the 46th country, with which Ukraine signs the FTA agreement.
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.