FTA to expand access for Ukrainian agricultural products to Israeli market - ministry

FTA to expand access for Ukrainian agricultural products to Israeli market - ministry

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Ukrinform
The signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between Ukraine and Israel opens up new opportunities for those who are already working in this market, as well as for companies that are only going to do so, Ukrainian Deputy Agrarian Policy and Food Minister Olha Trofimtseva has said. 

"Israel is currently a stable member of the top 20 countries with which Ukraine has the largest share of trade in agricultural and food products. In 2017, Ukrainian exports of agricultural and food products to Israel amounted to $411.4 million. The signing of the free trade agreement between our countries, thanks to the agreements reached, will expand access for Ukrainian agricultural products. However, we will be able to announce concrete figures and volumes only after the official signing of the agreement," the Agrarian Policy and Food Ministry's press service quoted her as saying. 

According to her, agricultural and food products occupy the largest share in the structure of exports from Ukraine to Israel.

"Negotiations on the FTA were intense and uneasy. Due to the diligent work of the Economic Development and Trade Ministry and the Agrarian Policy and Food Ministry, considerable attention was paid to the issue of liberalizing access to the Israeli market for as many agricultural and food products as possible, given the high level of protection of the Israeli market through the application of high import tariffs and requirements imposed on products in connection with religious aspects," Trofimtseva said.

As Ukrinform reported, on March 28, Ukraine and Israel approved a plan for signing and ratifying the FTA agreement in the shortest possible time.

The free trade agreement provides for the abolition of import duties on 80% of industrial goods from Ukraine to Israel, as well as for a number of agricultural products, after the document comes into force.

According to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, in 2017, trade in goods and services between Ukraine and Israel amounted to $973.4 million and increased by 13%, or $112.1 million, year-over-year ($861.3 million in 2016). At the same time, exports reached $781.4 million and grew by 18.6%, or $124.6 million ($658.8 million in 2016), whereas imports amounted to $192 million and shrank by 6.1%, or $12.5 million ($204.5 million in 2016).

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