Today, July 28, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna held the First Dialogue with Ukrainian Business on the renewal of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
"Next year marks 5 years since the entry into force of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, which is the largest EU agreement with a third country. The free trade area with the EU has given us access to the largest market on the European continent, and now the EU is Ukraine's core trading partner and the major investor in the Ukrainian economy. Today, the EU accounts for about 42% of trade turnover," said Olha Stefanishyna.
Apart from that, Deputy Prime Minister added that the dialogue is aimed to launch an in-depth consultation process with the Ukrainian business community regarding the needs and expectations from the updating of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The result of such dialogues will be a generalized position of business to be taken into account during the preparation of Ukraine's negotiating position in the framework of the renewal of the Agreement.
"The position of the Government of Ukraine should be based on the expectations and needs of Ukrainian business, a national producer," emphasized Olha Stefanishyna. "For the first time, business players have the opportunity to consciously and transparently assess the effectiveness of the free trade area with the EU, identify existing barriers to trade, defend their interests and increase their capabilities."
The Deputy Prime Minister reminded that the provisions of the Agreement had ben developed back in 2010, standards and requirements in both the European Union and Ukraine, in particular in trade, have changed over 10 years, so they require other approaches. Therefore, the renewal of the Association Agreement, in particular the modernization of the trade part of the agreement, is a necessity and a driving force for the deepening of Ukraine's European integration.
"Under the Agreement, we have the opportunity to assess the effectiveness of implementation, as provided for in Article 481 of the Agreement. This tool of political dialogue between the Ukrainian and European sides will allow us to weigh up every element of the implementation of the Agreement and identify those areas and sectors where greater progress can be achieved through the adjustment process," said Olha Stefanishyna.
The Deputy Prime Minister added that a special group of advisers had been set up within the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine to organize systemic work in this direction.
"A special group of advisers will work at my Office, those responsible for interaction with business in the process of renewal of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement. They will carefully process all the proposals that will be received, so I urge businesses to be active and send relevant data. To ensure that each important opinion has been taken into account while forming the general negotiating position of Ukraine on this issue", Olha Stefanishyna noted.
The highlights while ensuring the renewal of the Agreement include the following areas: updating of the Annexes - deepening of sectoral integration; renewal of trade (tariff and non-tariff) parameters - increase of duty-free exports to the EU market and elimination of non-tariff measures restricting trade with the EU.