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Joint statement on the launch of negotiations to modernize the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement

January 27, 2022 – The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development and Yulia Svyrydenko, Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, today marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Canada by announcing the launch of negotiations to modernize the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA).

Canada and Ukraine have long enjoyed close bilateral relations which are reinforced by strong diplomatic, commercial and people-to-people ties between our two countries. Today, the ministers underscored the mutual benefit for workers, businesses, and consumers of the two nations that a modernized, comprehensive, and inclusive CUFTA presents.

Canada-Ukraine two-way bilateral merchandise trade in 2020 was approximately $305 million CAD (approximately $283 million USD). The CUFTA has enabled Canadian and Ukrainian exporters to take greater advantage of opportunities by improving market access conditions and creating a more predictable and transparent trading environment.

Canada and Ukraine will seek to negotiate new obligations in areas including services, investment, digital trade, labour, and the environment, while advancing an inclusive approach to trade that aims to facilitate new opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises and traditionally underrepresented groups in trade, including women and Indigenous peoples. Integrating these provisions into CUFTA will diversify and expand preferential access between Canada and Ukraine, ensuring that the benefits of trade are more widely shared and reinforcing a collective commitment to lasting economic growth and prosperity.

Canada will continue to strengthen its relationship with Ukraine, and this is another step in supporting Ukraine’s long-term security and stability. The ministers committed to bring further opportunities to Canadian and Ukrainian businesses and workers in order to drive a strong, sustainable, and inclusive economic recovery.  Consequently, they have instructed officials to hold the first round of negotiations virtually as soon as it is feasible.

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