“Over the past five years, the exports of Ukrainian goods to the EU have increased by 60%. Already this year, the exports of Ukrainian products to the European Union may reach EUR 20 billion. The European Union is Ukraine's largest trading partner. More than 40% of all trade accounts for the EU,” Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal posted on Facebook.
He noted that seven years ago, on June 27, 2014, the economic part of the Association Agreement with the EU had been signed. Over the past five years, this agreement has been fulfilled by 54%. “And this is a really good indicator, which shows that we are half a step away from the key EU rules in various areas,” Shmyhal commented.
The Prime Minister noted that one of the main priorities of Ukraine in the past year was to get ready for the renewal of the trade part of the Association Agreement. In particular, a dialogue is being conducted with Ukrainian business in order to take into account its needs as much as possible and to boost the access of Ukrainian goods to the European markets.
“Moreover, in the next few years, we plan to agree with the European Union on five ‘visa-free regimes’ in various areas. These are ‘industrial visa-free regime’, ‘aviation visa-free regime’, ‘digital visa-free regime’, ‘energy visa-free regime’, and ‘customs visa-free regime’,” Shmyhal explained.
Thus, the ‘industrial visa-free regime’ (Agreement on Conformity Assessment and Acceptance of Industrial Products) provides for the establishment of the Ukrainian system of technical regulation and conformity assessment at the level of the European one. It allows industrial producers to obtain the necessary certificates in Ukraine instead of going to the EU in search of an official representative. Shmyhal expects the ACAA to be signed in the coming year.
According to the PM, the “aviation visa-free regime” (the Agreement on Common Aviation Area) will allow Ukrainian airlines to gain expanded access to the EU market while European companies will enter Ukraine. Therefore, competition will help reduce air ticket prices. “This agreement is also likely to be signed this year,” the Head of Government added.
“Customs visa-free regime” involves the exchange of customs data between Ukraine and European countries which means less room for customs valuation fraud, as well as simplified customs procedures for legal business. According to Shmyhal, Ukraine may begin the process of acceding to the Convention on a Common Transit Procedure in 2022.
“Energy visa-free regime” with the EU provides for Ukraine’s disconnection from the energy system with Belarus and Russia and accession to the European network ENTSO-E. The electricity market will become more competitive and transparent. We will be part of a large European energy system with clear and understandable rules of the game. This is an important stage for our energy independence.
We plan that the accession will take place in 2023,” the Prime Minister noted.
“Digital visa-free regime” is joining the EU Digital Single Market. Shmyhal stressed that the positive effect of joining this market was estimated by experts at several billion dollars for Ukraine’s economy. In 2020, the Ministry of Digital Transformation drafted a roadmap for integration into the EU Digital Single Market, he reminded.
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