CHELSEA, QUEBEC, CANADA — Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on July 14 that Canada and Ukraine have successfully concluded negotiations of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA).Canada and Ukraine launched free trade negotiations in 2010. Six rounds of negotiations were held from 2010-15. Negotiations concluded in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 9.

The CUFTA features chapters on market access for goods, rules of origin and origin procedures, trade facilitation, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, emergency action and trade remedies, intellectual property, government procurement, competition policy and monopoly and state enterprises, electronic commerce, labor, the environment, trade-related cooperation, and institutional provisions, including those related to transparency and dispute settlement.

Total bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Ukraine averaged C$347 million in 2011-13, and is expected to expand by 19% as a result of the implementation of this trade agreement. Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) would increase by C$29.2 million under this trade agreement; similarly, Ukraine’s GDP would expand by C$18.6 million.

Canada’s exports to Ukraine would increase by C$41.2 million. Canada’s export gains would be broad-based with exports of pork, machinery and equipment, transport equipment, other manufactured products, motor vehicles and parts, as well as chemical products leading the way.

Ukraine would also see an expansion in exports to Canada by C$23.7 million under this trade deal, but its export gains would be highly concentrated in textile and apparels as well as metal products.

By liberalizing trade, the agreement will support Canadian businesses, deepen trade linkages and further strengthen Canada’s bilateral relationship with Ukraine. CUFTA will also enhance cooperation, provide for increased transparency in regulatory matters and help reduce transaction costs for businesses.

Once the agreement is in effect Canada will eliminate 98% of duties on exports to Ukraine.

"We are excited to export sunflower oil, beer, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, confectionery and many agricultural commodities to Canada," said Natalia Mykolska, deputy minister of economic development and trade of Ukraine.

Canada and Ukraine have enjoyed close bilateral relations since Canada became the first Western nation to recognize Ukraine’s independence on Dec. 2, 1991. There are over 1.2 million Canadians of Ukrainian descent. The relationship between the two countries has developed beyond its historical and cultural roots to embrace cooperation in the political, security, development, and commercial spheres.

Canada and Ukraine will now complete their respective domestic processes, aiming to have the agreement in force as soon as possible, to the benefit of a stronger Canada-Ukraine economic partnership.