Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is in Kyiv today to discuss the progress in putting into practice the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine, in particular the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area. During her visit, Malmström is meeting Prime Minister Groysman, Deputy Prime Minister Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin, and Minister of Agriculture Taras Kutovyy, as well as parliamentarians and business representatives. In Kyiv, Malmström is also announcing the EU’s readiness to offer further market openings to Ukrainian agricultural and industrial products, on top of what is already offered under the Association Agreement. The European Commission is proposing to increase the quantities of duty-free imports from Ukraine for agricultural products such as honey, cereals and processed tomatoes. This one-way measure would also significantly improve the conditions for Ukrainian exports of fertilisers, footwear, certain metals and electronic equipment. Commissioner Malmström said: “We hope this can give a positive boost to the Ukrainian economy. Our progress so far is clear, but much work still remains to unleash the full potential of our free trade area.” The Ukrainian economy is growing again. Its exports to the EU increased by 5% in the first months since the Association Agreement with came into effect, and the EU has reinforced its position as Ukraine’s biggest trading partner. Issues that require more effort include the fight against corruption, the creation of more transparent and predictable legislation, as well as the removal of measures that hinder trade and go against Ukraine’s international commitments, such as certain food safety measures and the export ban on wood. Commissioner Malmström blogged today about her visit to Ukraine.
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