The signing of the agreement was agreed upon on November 30, 2022 by First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yuliia Svyrydenko and UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade Kemi Badenoch.
The parties expect the agreement will support Ukraine’s economy in the face of the full-scale russian invasion and lay the foundations for further successful post-war reconstruction.
Earlier, in spring, the parties agreed to abolish all tariffs and quotas in mutual trade, and later also agreed to simplify mutual access to the public procurement market. Thus, by signing the digital trade agreement, the countries reaffirm their intention to further develop the legal framework that will facilitate bilateral trade and strengthen ties between Ukrainian and British businesses.
“The UK-Ukraine Digital Trade Agreement lays the foundations for free trade in digital goods and services between the two countries. We believe that an open and free framework for the digital economy is the best investment in development and the future. The agreement also illustrates that Ukrainian IT companies operating in Ukraine are in demand all over the world despite all the challenges of war,” said Yuliia Svyrydenko.
“The landmark digital trade deal agreed today between our two countries paves the way for a new era of modern trade between us. This agreement will mean our businesses and governments can collaborate even more and ensure Ukrainians have access to essential goods and services digital trade opens up. This will help protect jobs, livelihoods and families now and in Ukraine’s post-war future,” said Kemi Badenoch.
The parties stressed that digital trade is especially important in the current context, when hostilities and destruction of infrastructure make physical trade much more difficult.
In addition, there is a critical need for people to be able to use digital solutions to identify themselves despite the loss of important documentation or to cross borders. The agreement therefore also sets out a framework for the UK and Ukraine to work together to ensure that digital identification systems of the two countries are consistent.
The agreement will cover all modern areas of the economy and social life – digital trading systems, free data exchange, consumer protection, open digital markets, financial services, technical cooperation.
In particular, the agreement provides for:
Currently, more than two-thirds of British export services to Ukraine are already provided digitally. In the future, a single window for traders and government agencies will be created, trade in services is expected to grow and proper protection of personal data will be introduced. Access to public resources of both countries should also improve.