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UK and Ukraine sign Free Trade Agreement

The two nations also signed an agreement to strengthen political ties

Published on October 9, 2020

Ukraine Flag Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky and UK PM Boris Johnson sign the agreement. Picture by Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street

Yesterday, Thursday October 8, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a UK-Ukraine Agreement designed to strengthen the political and trade ties between the two countries.

The agreement includes a Free Trade Agreement which will come into force from January 1st, 2021, allowing UK and Ukraine businesses to continue trading even when the UK-EU Transition Period ends. According to the UK government, the agreement "delivers the same level of liberalisation in trade, services and public procurement that businesses currently enjoy under the existing EU-Ukraine Association Agreement".

Discussing the agreement, PM Boris Johnson said that "The UK is Ukraine’s most fervent supporter. Whether it’s our defence support, stabilisation efforts, humanitarian assistance or close cooperation on political issues, our message is clear: we are utterly committed to upholding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The Strategic Partnership Agreement we signed today signals the next chapter in our relationship. It’s a chapter that will bring increased security and prosperity for both the people of the UK and Ukraine."

Focusing on the Free Trade Agreement, Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss commented that "Free trade is an incredibly powerful agent of economic growth, opportunity and human progress. This agreement enables our two countries to continue working closely together, both on a political level and in the field of commerce. Thanks to this deal, the aircraft, automotive and pharmaceutical industries can continue to thrive and support jobs in Ukraine and across the UK."

Trade between the UK and Ukraine was worth £1.5bn in 2019, according to government statistics, with the top exports from the UK including aircraft (£79m), medicinal and pharmaceutical products (£61m) and cars (£52m). The top UK imports from Ukraine were cereals (£177m) and iron and steel (£182m).

At the same time as the signing of the agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Ukraine government and UK Minister for International Trade, Ranil Jayawardena, to "identify sectors that could benefit from UK Export Finance support and help increase trade between the two countries. The priority sectors highlighted are defence; agriculture; infrastructure; energy; and healthcare."

For more information on exporting to the Ukraine from January 1st, 2021, go to www.gov.uk/guidance/exporting-to-ukraine-after-eu-exit

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