The Liberal government plans to introduce legislation to implement an updated free trade agreement with Ukraine.
International Trade Minister Mary Ng gave notice of the plan to introduce the bill to implement the updated deal on Oct. 12, meaning it could be tabled in the House of Commons as soon as Monday.
Work began on an updated Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement (CUFTA) last year, running from May 2022 to April 2023. The original agreement was ratified in Kyiv on July 11, 2016, and took effect over a year later on Aug. 1, 2017.
Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine changed the scope of the negotiations, with the modernized agreement focusing on supporting Ukraine’s long-term security, stability and economic recovery.
The agreement has a provision that commits the countries to review CUFTA every two years after it initially came into force. The focus is to look at new areas not necessarily included in the original agreement.
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The updated agreement includes new dedicated chapters on financial services, investment, temporary entry for businesspersons and trade and gender. Updated sections include digital trade, anti-corruption provisions and government procurement.
The war resulted in a 31 per cent drop in Canada’s exports to Ukraine, but trade between the two nations last year was still valued at more than $420 million.
Canada’s top exports to Ukraine last year were armoured vehicles and their parts, fish and seafood, pharmaceuticals, machinery and private donations.
In return, Canada’s main imports from Ukraine included animal and vegetable fats and oils, iron, steel and electrical machinery.
In an April joint statement following ratification of the updated agreement, the two countries say this is an important milestone in the Canadian-Ukrainian relationship.
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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