Canada and Ukraine in Free Trade Talks

The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, met today with Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada Dr. Ihor Ostash to discuss the free trade negotiations between Canada and Ukraine. The first round of negotiations took place in Kyiv from May 17 to 21.

Minister Van Loan and Ambassador Ostash discussed issues of mutual interest, such as trade in agriculture and energy, and the Canada-Ukraine Business Forum that took place in Edmonton from June 10 to 14. They also welcomed the progress made toward a free trade agreement.

“The Government of Canada is committed to expanding global opportunities for Canadians, especially during this time of economic recovery,” said Minister Van Loan. “A free trade agreement with Ukraine will build on our deep people-to-people ties and strengthen our economic relationship. It will open doors for Canadian businesses, expand trade, encourage economic growth and create jobs for Canadian workers.”

Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe, and home to a highly educated population of 46 million, a diversified industrial base and substantial natural resources.

A free trade agreement with Ukraine could further open markets for Canadian exports, ranging from agricultural and seafood products to machinery and pharmaceuticals. An agreement could also help to address non-tariff barriers.

The next round of negotiations is expected to take place in the fall. The Government of Canada consulted with Canadians in advance of launching negotiations, and found support for a Canada-Ukraine free trade agreement.

“The Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce works to facilitate trade and investment relations between our two countries,” said Zenon Potichny, President of the Chamber. “Our members believe that a free trade agreement would lead to even greater economic cooperation between Canada and Ukraine.”

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