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The Government of Ukraine will soon make a decision on Ukraine’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Deputy Economy Minister, Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka told Interfax-Ukraine.
On the sidelines of the U.S.-Ukraine Partnership Forum, organized by the American Chambers of Commerce of the two countries last week in Washington, he said that after this appeal, a response decision to start these negotiations could be made in the summer.
According to Kachka, the modernized bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with Canada, agreed during the visit of the Ukrainian government delegation on April 11, 2023 will greatly help in the upcoming work.
The trade representative said it took the UK two and a half years to join the CPTPP, but Ukraine expects to get there faster thanks to a worked out agreement with Canada.
He said some 19 new sections have been added to the updated FTA with Canada, in particular, on digital trade, investment protection, and services.
In general, commenting on the government’s work towards updating existing agreements in order to increase market access, Kachka pointed to the agreement with Moldova ratified last week, which introduced the possibility of issuing movement certificates EUR.1.
“Plus, we have the ratification of the agreement with North Macedonia next in line. All the committees have passed, we will ratify next week. There is a spread of market access plus EUR.1,” the trade representative said.
According to him, additional consultations are also underway on the ratification of the agreement with Turkey and negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UAE.
“It is obvious that we will also talk with the European Union about making this unilateral zeroing (of duties) bilateral, permanent. But this is now a very sensitive issue, because we see what is happening at the borders,” Kachka said.
He also said another area of work is the extension of the agreements concluded last year for a year on the removal of barriers to Ukrainian products. According to him, this issue has already been resolved with the UK: a trade committee was held in London and it was announced that the agreement would continue to work.
“With the EU, the exit decision, I hope, nothing will interfere,” the trade representative of Ukraine said, pointing out that the current crisis on the border with agricultural products is no longer caused by rational, but by emotional and political arguments.
According to him, there are good prospects for such an extension in the case of Canada and the United States (in the United States it applies only to steel), the relevant negotiations were held the other day.
There are currently 11 countries in the Pacific region that are members of the CPTPP, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei.