During a meeting of Heads of government of member countries of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development GUAM in the framework of the summit, which takes place for the first time at the level of Heads of government in Kyiv at the initiative of Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman, the parties discussed ways of deepening cooperation between Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova in the economic and transport sectors.
Volodymyr Groysman stressed the prime importance of effective collaboration among the GUAM participating countries, particularly in economy and trade.
"Our objective is to enhance the efficiency of our cooperation. Economic partnership as a component of our cooperation is of great importance. The fact that today we must settle two major issues will be a serious, bold step forward enabling us to deepen our cooperation: first is to trigger to an overall implementation of The Free Trade Agreement and it concerns our cooperation in transport domain and realization of the idea of a transport corridor in the GUAM framework”, he emphasized.
The Ukraine’s PM noted positive growth in 2016 of the volume of trade in goods and services between Ukraine and the GUAM member countries that had amounted to USD 1.7 billion U.S. This figure does not demonstrate the full potential of trade relations between the countries, highlighted Volodymyr Groysman.
The Head of Ukrainian Government accentuated on the progress achieved this year in preparing of additional protocols to the Agreement of the establishing of a free trade area within the GUAM framework.
In this regard he called on the ministries of economy of the four countries to finalize and sign the necessary additional protocols in the near future, thereby providing the opportunity already in 2017 to launch a free trade mechanism among the GUAM countries.
"I believe that these actions will certainly bring about the improved performance of our trade partnership that will have a positive impact on the economies of our countries," he assures.
Moreover, the parties focused on the prospects of development of transport infrastructure of the countries, namely in the framework of the New Silk Road project.
"Transport link, transport corridors connecting our countries possess a special strategic significance”, said Volodymyr Groysman. “When we are capable to build efficient transport links – railway networks, roads, ports - we will improve the quality of our interaction".
The Head of Ukrainian Government also stressed on the significance of the Trans-Caspian International Transport route. In this context, he praised the increase of volumes of rail transportation in the last three years and expressed Ukraine's interest in participation in the Trans-Caspian International Transport route project.
"The fact that firstly at the time of the format we are holding today a summit of heads of government is a very clear signal that we pay due attention to our cooperation”, stressed the Prime Minister of Ukraine, adding such renewed format is significant for each party and emphasizes the interest of each participating country in deepening cooperation.
Representatives of the countries emphasized on the positive results of the first GUAM business forum which is held in the framework of the summit.
"Today's meeting can be regarded as a collective response of GUAM members to the specific challenges and opportunities opening up for our countries in economic cooperation, in particular in such key sectors as trade and transport. The implementation of the Free Trade Agreement, the concept of the GUAM transport transit corridor won’t just contribute to a more dense use of the potential of cooperation between the countries, but also to the use of geographical advantages for the benefits of the countries as a bridge connecting Europe and Asia, as well as the use of its huge transit potential", summed up GUAM Secretary General Altai Efendiev.