January 21, 2019, First Vice Prime Minister/Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv signed the Free Trade Agreement between Ukraine and Israel.
"The Free Trade Agreement between Ukraine and Israel encapsulates new and better opportunities for Ukrainian exporters. Since the entry into force of the Agreement, import duties for about 80% of Ukrainian industrial goods will be abolished. Also, due to the cancellation of nearly 70% of import duties for Israeli industrial products, it will be possible to import high-tech products. This will contribute to modernization of industrial production in Ukraine and increase of the value added products made in Ukraine," Stepan Kubiv emphasized.
The First Vice Prime Minister noted that the Free Trade Agreement with Israel seeks to preserve and expand traditional exports items for Ukraine, in particular, agricultural products, and to open new opportunities for the export of high added value goods.
"Since January 1, 2019, Ukraine has become a member of Regional Convention on pan-Euro-Mediterranean preferential rules of origin (PEM Convention), which enables us to create the EU-Ukraine-Israel free trade triangle. This means that Ukrainian producers will be able to import raw materials and goods from Israel, recycle them in Ukraine and export them at a preferential rate to the European Union. This creates additional incentives for placing production with high added value in Ukraine. For Ukrainians, this will mean new jobs, decent wages and better life", the First Vice Prime Minister stressed.
Stepan Kubiv added that the Agreement with Israel will allow to boost trade turnover and investment cooperation. Exports of Ukrainian goods to Israel are increasing. According to the results of 2016 Ukrainian export to Israel was worth $ 488.5 million, in 2017 this figure already reached $ 604.6 million. During 11 months of 2018, export to Israel exceeded $ 535 million, while imports of Israeli goods for 11 months of 2018 made up only $ 186 million.
In addition, as of October 1, 2019 Israel investments in the Ukrainian economy made up $46.7 million.
"We anticipate growth of Israeli investments in the development of the agro-industrial complex, creation of new and modernization of existing agricultural productions, in particular using the latest technologies and IT, as well as increase of high-tech industries in other sectors of our economy," Stepan Kubiv underscored.
Negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement between the Governments of Ukraine and Israel were kicked off in 2013, however, the most intensive work was carried out over a period of 2016-2018. The Ukrainian delegation held seven rounds of talks, which ended in March 2018. The Agreement was initialled in April of 2018, further legal proceedings were underway until November. On November 21, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the draft Free Trade Agreement between Ukraine and Israel and authorized First Vice Prime Minister/Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv to ink it.