Ukrainian ex-minister Evgeniy Chervonenko said that Ukraine would collapse economically without Russia, and that Ukraine’s duty-free quotas to Europe stopped at the end of January 2019. “I think that today, without Russia, we would have an economic collapse”, the politician concluded. “Life shows the truth (…). January ends, and quotas to Europe end as well”.
In 2016, the EU became Ukraine's largest trading partner, accounting for more than 40% in 2016. In 2017, the overall trade between the EU and Ukraine has increased by 24%. In 2018, the trade turnover of only agricultural goods between Ukraine and the EU increased by 11.4% and reached 9 billion USD. In 2014-2017, Ukrainian companies exported 265 new products to the EU that had not been exported before, among them are butter, poultry, lard, image projectors, snowmobiles, and washing machines. The EU is also the largest investor in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Agrarian Business Club reported that “as of January 21, Ukraine closed the quotas for duty-free export to the EU of honey, wine and apple juice, as well as the main and additional quotas for corn ... Despite the exhaustion of duty-free quotas, the export of these products will continue in the future”. In addition, the list of products for which Ukraine has duty-free quotas for export to the EU is much bigger, therefore, it cannot be argued that quotas have been closed in January. The goods that cannot be exported duty-free will be exported on a regular basis.
The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine notes that, in 2018, additional trade preferences were opened in the European market for honey, grape juice, processed tomatoes, barley groats, flour and oats.
The vice-president of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis said in an interview with “European Pravda” that “it is already noticeable that the Ukrainian economy is beginning to recover. Last year, the GDP growth rate was 2.5%, we expect acceleration to 3.5% next year”.
In addition, Ukraine’s trade with other countries is also growing, new agreements are emerging. For example, the trade turnover between Ukraine and China increased by $1.1 billion compared to 2017.
In early 2019, Ukraine also signed the Free Trade Agreement with Israel.The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine expects growth to $ 63.5 million compared to previous years thanks to the new agreement.
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