The Canadian government took advantage of the visit of Ukrainian Prime Minister in Ottawa to announce the successful conclusion of free trade negotiations between the two countries.
When the agreement comes into force, after ratification by both parliaments, Canada will eliminate tariffs on 99.9% of its current imports. Ukraine will do the same for 86% of his.
Ukrainian Customs duties no longer apply on industrial products, forest products, fish and seafood. For Canadian exporters, there will be no fees payable either on beef, legumes , cereals, canola oil, processed foods and animal feeds.
Trade between Canada and Ukraine totaled 347 million on average between 2011 and 2013, according to Canadian government officials, but slowed to 244 million last year, while Ukraine was experiencing political turmoil and armed conflict in southern and eastern parts of the country. Canada also supplied to Ukraine 400 million in loans at low interest rates since the beginning of the political crisis in 2013.
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Prime Minister Stephen Harper praised the agreement as support for democratic transition and economic reform in Ukraine, a country that struggles against Russian ambitions.
Before the cameras convened at the Wilson House, a place that had served as the negotiations of the Meech Lake Accord failed, Harper has taken that message under the gaze of his Ukrainian counterpart Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
“There is another objective here. For us, it is to assist Ukraine in its desire to have a real transition. Ukrainians do not want the Soviet past, the past of oppression. They want to live in a free society oriented towards the West and towards democracy and prosperity. And for that reason it is a great achievement, “he has said about the outcome of these free trade negotiations.
The Conservative government multiplies gestures help to Ukraine, granting loans, even sending a military training mission this summer, denounced at every opportunity “Russian aggression”. The large number of Ukrainian voters in several key districts is no stranger to this policy, while the federal election campaign approach.
Mr. Harper has chosen Gatineau Park scenery to be photographed alongside Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The two men smiled at the cameras and arriving home Wilson, Chelsea, in the Outaouais. But it is in a room where walls and windows were covered with black curtains they witnessed the signing of documents linking the two countries in a free trade agreement. The two leaders did not answer any questions, reporters have not been invited to the event.
“(The agreement) will increase economic opportunities for Canadians and Ukrainians,” also said Mr. Harper.
Beyond its potential economic value, the free trade agreement solidifies Canadian aid to the objective of Ukraine to move away from Russian influence, said Mr. Yatsenyuk, when he thanked Harper for his determination to reach this agreement.
“You are, together with our international friends and partners, the flagship in supporting Ukraine in its quest and its fight against terrorists led by Russia,” said Ukrainian Prime Minister, before a handshake between the two men.