An important basis for the development of economic cooperation between Ukraine and Canada is the Free Trade Agreement, and currently, both sides face the ambitious task of expanding their impact on investment and services. This was emphasized by the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal on January 22, during a telephone conversation with the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance of Canada Chrystia Freeland.
Denys Shmyhal stressed the importance of supporting free trade in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that Ukraine had lifted the ban on trade in personal protective equipment and other goods regarding which there were restrictions on excessive exports.
"We believe that Canada's policy of open international trade and export support, which is also pursued by Canada, is one of the measures to effectively counter the spread of the pandemic. I am convinced that these are the first steps on the path of work on the updated Free Trade Agreement," the Prime Minister said.
Denys Shmyhal expressed confidence that despite the difficult situation amid the fight against the pandemic, Ukraine and Canada will continue to enhance bipartite collaboration.
"Trade and economic cooperation remain a priority of our cooperation. Each new challenge opens up new prospects for development, so we must consolidate our efforts to overcome the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic as soon as possible and continue to increase bilateral trade," said the Prime Minister.
For her part, Chrystia Freeland noted that Canada is interested in expanding the Free Trade Agreement with Ukraine and expresses readiness to work in this direction.
According to the Prime Minister, Ukraine is completing the formation of its delegation for the relevant talks. It will be headed by Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture Ihor Petrashko. The parties agreed that it is necessary to organize the work of an intergovernmental working group in the near future, which will draft a document.
In addition, the Prime Minister noted Ukraine’s high interest in visa liberalization and stressed its readiness to receive a group of Canadian experts in Ukraine to monitor Ukraine’s compliance with Canada’s criteria.
"The Ukrainian people maintain friendly relations with Canada and the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada. Therefore, visa liberalization would be a historic and strategically important step for us," the Head of Government stressed.
The Prime Minister of Ukraine told the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada about the "Crimean Platform" and invited Canada to join its activities.
Denys Shmyhal also invited Chrystia Freeland to Ukraine to attend the celebration on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of independence.