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September 22, 2009 (3:15 p.m. EDT)
No. 267

Minister Day Announces Free Trade Talks with Ukraine

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced the launch of talks between Canada and Ukraine on a free trade agreement (FTA).

“Our government is once again taking action to open doors for Canadian business in new markets,” said Minister Day. “Canadian companies are steadily building a deep business presence here in areas like aerospace, communications technologies and in agriculture. Free trade negotiations could help to extend our deepening partnership. We know the support is there—on both sides.”

Minister Day made the announcement with Ukraine’s Minister of Economics, Bohdan Danylyshyn, right after the negotiations with the Ministry of Economics. Both Canada and Ukraine have agreed to meet in the coming months to discuss a range of trade and investment issues to facilitate economic relations and fight protectionism.

An FTA with Ukraine could further open markets for Canadian exports ranging from agricultural and seafood products to machinery and pharmaceuticals. It could also help to address non-tariff barriers.

Free trade agreements also help to strengthen the Canadian economy, to create new jobs and to lower prices for Canadian consumers.

Ukraine is the largest country in Europe, and is home to a highly educated population of 46 million, a diversified industrial base and substantial natural resources. Canadian merchandise exports to Ukraine in 2008 totalled $229.7 million, an 80-percent increase from the year before and a 400-percent jump from 2004. In 2008, agricultural and aerospace machinery topped the list of Canadian exports.

More details about Minister Day’s trip to Ukraine can be found at Minister Day will visit Ukraine, Kazakhstan and India.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada