On July 11, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine ratified the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Israel. Under the terms of the Agreement, Israel will open for Ukraine the market canceling about 80 percent of import duties for Ukrainian industrial goods, while Ukraine drops about 70 percent of import duties on Israeli industrial products. For the rest of the goods, separate transition periods are envisaged.
It should be noted that Israel enters top 20 markets in focus for Ukraine in the Export Strategy.
Export of Ukrainian goods to Israel is constantly growing. Thus, on the outcomes of 2016, Ukraine exported goods to Israel to the tune of USD 488.5 million, in 2017 this figure amounted to USD 604.6 million.
In 2018, exports of goods from Ukraine to Israel amounted to USD 580 million, and in the first three months of 2019, exports to Israel amounted to USD 192.2 million, which is by 7.4% or USD 13.2 million more than during the similar period in 2018.
The Israeli market is characterized as rather closed, with high import duties on different product groups. Thus, the Free Trade Agreement with Israel opens the way for Ukrainian exporters to have better opportunities and benefits for trade, including trade in the format Ukraine-EU-Israel.
According to the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the Free Trade Agreement with Israel allows maintaining and expanding traditional exports to Ukraine, in particular for agricultural products, and opening up new opportunities for exports of goods with high added value.
Negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement between the Governments of Ukraine and Israel began in 2013, but the most intense work was carried out in 2016-2018. The Ukrainian delegation conducted 7 rounds of negotiations, which ended in March 2018. The Agreement was initialed in April 2018, further legal proceedings continued until November. On November 21, 2018, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine endorsed the Agreement and authorized Stepan Kubiv to sign it.
On January 21, 2019, the First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine Stepan Kubiv signed the Free Trade Agreement between Ukraine and Israel.