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Canada’s Commitment to Economic Development Efforts in Ukraine

The Maidan revolution (revolution of dignity) of 2013-14 provided Ukraine with a historic opportunity to make a real break with its Soviet-influenced past and transform itself into a country governed by democratic values and the rule of law. Ukraine’s new government has since committed to implementing additional, much-needed reforms to increase its prosperity.

Making connections and commitments

As a trusted partner of Ukraine, Canada has placed itself at the forefront of international efforts supporting sustainable economic growth and advancing democratic governance in Ukraine. Against this backdrop, more than 400 business representatives and prominent members of the Ukrainian-Canadian community gathered at the Canada-Ukraine Business Forum on June 20 and 21, 2016, in Toronto.

The Forum also attracted political leaders from the two countries. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of International Trade Chrystia Freeland met with Stepan Kubiv, First Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Economic Development and Trade. Kubiv led a Ukrainian delegation comprising the ministers of finance, agriculture, infrastructure and ecology. Their participation in the Forum demonstrates the commitment that Ukraine is making to adopt a positive, forward-looking vision to the world.

Canada-Ukraine Business Forum

The Canada-Ukraine Business Forum promotes Ukraine to Canada’s private sector as a place to invest and to do business through facilitating business-to-business exchanges and establishing linkages between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from both countries.

These kinds of links are intended to emphasize the importance of vibrant SMEs in fostering sustainable economic growth in Ukraine. For example, a young couple from Ukraine who own and operate a company specialized in growing garlic attended the Forum, where they promoted their products and explored potential export activities in Canada through business-matching activities and site visits in the Toronto region.

The Forum was organized by the governments of Canada and Ukraine, in partnership with the Conference Board of Canada and the Canada-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce. Its program focused attention on four key sectors: agriculture, energy efficiency and renewables, innovation, and information technologies.

The Canada-Ukraine Business Forum was organized as part of the Canada-Ukraine Trade and Investment Support (CUTIS) project, an initiative announced in December 2015 by Minister Freeland and International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau. By strengthening SMEs involvement in trade and their ability to attract foreign investment, as well as by increasing their productivity, the CUTIS project will help to generate sustainable economic growth, employment and reduce poverty in Ukraine.

More benefits of Canada’s CUTIS project

The CUTIS project will also help the Ukrainian government develop investment attraction and diversification strategies and conduct market research to facilitate increased trade and investment between Canada and Ukraine. In addition, Canada will provide technical assistance to help Ukraine’s public and private sectors to identify and take advantage of new trade opportunities resulting from the implementation of the Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA).  The agreement was signed during Prime Minister Trudeau’s visit to Ukraine on July 11, 2016, and will come into effect in the near future.

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