The Governments of Ukraine and China are working on the preparation of a visa waiver agreement between the countries, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Ukraine Fan Xianjun said.
“We are now actively working to sign an intergovernmental agreement on a visa-free travel between China and Ukraine,” the ambassador said at a press conference in Kyiv on Thursday.
He said the signing of such a document would provide maximum travel facilities for nationals of the two countries and would promote mutual understanding and mutually beneficial cooperation between the states.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has approved a draft agreement with the government of the Republic of Indonesia on the mutual cancellation of visa requirements.
The corresponding decision was made at a government meeting on Wednesday.
The draft agreement provides for the possibility of visa-free travel by citizens of the countries of the parties for up to 30 days during each visit of Ukrainian citizens to Indonesia and for up to 30 days within 60 days for travel of Indonesian citizens to Ukraine.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky said that visa liberalization for tourists from China and India should be carried out as soon as possible.
According to the presidential press service, the head of the state said this at a meeting with the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine members on Monday, July 13, at which Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that the government is actively working on the issue of liberalizing the visa regime for tourists from these countries.
Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal during the first telephone conversation with Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland discussed the liberalization of the visa regime and the extension of the free trade agreement between the two countries.
“Was happy to have the first conversation with a faithful friend of Ukraine — Deputy PM of Canada Chrystia Freeland. Visa liberalization and expanding of the free trade agreement was discussed. It’s vital for us to have such reliable partners. Grateful for the consistent support of Ukraine,” Shmyhal wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
The number of active cards in the Mastercard payment system in Ukraine in the fourth quarter of 2019 grew by 4.3%, to 25.97 million, while its key rival – Visa – had 6.9% less cards, to 10.52 million, according to the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU). According to the report, in October-December 2018, the number of active payment cards in Ukraine increased 0.8%, to 36.95 million, as a result, the share of Mastercard of the Ukrainian market increased from 67.9% to 70.3%, while the share of Visa decreased from 30.8% to 28.5%.
In the fourth quarter of last year, the Prostir national payment system managed to increase the number of active cards by 4.9%, to 459,000 (with a decrease in its cards in circulation by 6.6%, to 586,000). However, its share increased very slightly – from 1.19% to 1.24%, which is lower than the figure as of the middle of 2018 being 1.26%.
The number of cards of all other payment systems at the beginning of 2019 in Ukraine was extremely small – only 4,000 (out of 27,000 cards in circulation). In the last quarter of last year, it halved.
The National Bank also reported that in general, the number of payment cards in circulation in Ukraine in October-December last year decreased by 2%, to 59.39 million. Their growth was recorded only for Mastercard – by 1.7%, to 41.23 million cards, while Visa recorded a drop of 9.7%, to 17.55 million cards.
The NBU said that every ninth active payment card at the beginning of this year was contactless – 4 million cards, which is 44.3% more than at the beginning of 2018.
Ukraine is negotiating visa facilitation or the introduction of a visa-free regime with 22 countries, said Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin.
“As of today, we are conducting negotiations and consultations on further simplifying the visa regime, or on visa free travel with 22 countries. In the near future, in just a few months, negotiations will begin with several more countries,” Klimkin said at a press conference.
The minister noted that today citizens of Ukraine can visit 86 countries of the world without visas, of which 34 need a biometric passport.
Of the remaining 112 states, there is a simplified entry [e-visa or visa upon arrival] in 54 countries, and one need to obtain a visa at diplomatic or consular offices in another 58 countries, the Ukrainian foreign minister noted.