Peace, Ukraine’s recovery, investments in our country’s economy, European integration and strengthening of economic cooperation were discussed during the meetings of the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine Yuliia Svyrydenko on January 18 in the framework of the work of Ukrainian delegation to the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Thus, during the meeting with EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni, the issues of extending the “economic visa-free regime” and Ukraine’s involvement in the EU economic governance system were raised.
“The European Union remains Ukraine’s largest trading partner with a share in trade in goods of up to 55% of Ukraine’s total foreign trade. The entry into force of the EU’s decision on trade liberalization and other trade concessions contributed significantly to this. The new rules help Ukrainian producers and exporters to withstand the burden of the war and strengthen their positions in the European market. Thus, it is extremely important for us to extend its validity until the end of 2024. We also look forward to discussing the necessary steps for integration into the European Single Market.
One of our most important tasks is to further institutionalize Ukraine’s convergence with the EU system and to start membership negotiations. To this end, we would welcome involvement in the EU’s economic governance system to the extent possible in accordance with our candidate status,” said Yuliia Svyrydenko.
At the meeting with the Director-General of the World Trade Organization Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the key topics discussed were achieving a balance of interests of WTO members in the context of the organization’s reform and food security. According to Yuliia Svyrydenko, Ukraine’s top priorities are a fully functioning WTO dispute settlement system, revitalization of the negotiating function, increased transparency, stricter notification requirements under WTO agreements, and responding to current challenges of multilateral trade.
Speaking about food security, Yuliia Svyrydenko informed Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala about the implementation of the “grain initiative” and the Grain from Ukraine initiative of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“Despite the terrible war unleashed by russia, Ukraine, for its part, remains committed to its obligations and is ready to continue shipping agricultural products to ensure global food security and price stability on the international market,” emphasized Yuliia Svyrydenko.
The issue of food security was also discussed during the meeting of the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine with the Minister for Foreign Trade of the United Arab Emirates, H.E. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi. In terms of sectors, cooperation between Ukraine and the UAE is currently most successful in the field of agricultural trade. Thus, the potential of this and other areas is far from exhaustive. A powerful impetus for strengthening economic cooperation could be the conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates (CEPA), which was launched at the end of last year.
“The conclusion of the Agreement will make our economies complementary. We look forward to working together to promote trade, digital economy and investment cooperation between Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates,” said Yuliia Svyrydenko.
The First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine also thanked the UAE for its assistance to Ukraine, in particular, for providing 2,500 household generators worth USD 100 million to civilians affected by the war.
Yuliia Svyrydenko invited the United Arab Emirates to participate in reconstruction projects, including projects in agriculture, transport, tourism, construction, defense, energy, pharmaceuticals, IT, etc.
During the meeting with Federal Councillor, Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research Guy Parmelin, the main topics included peace, investment in Ukraine’s economy and strengthening of sanctions against the terrorist state.
Yuliia Svyrydenko expressed her hope that Switzerland would support President Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula, which is designed to put an end to russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine. She also thanked for the assistance to Ukraine, including the allocation of an additional CHF 100 million for urgent reconstruction projects and support for critical infrastructure. She noted that further humanitarian aid, economic and technical support to Ukraine, as well as active participation in recovery projects were the best non-military investment in the security and prosperity of Europe.
“Ukraine is grateful to Switzerland for supporting the UN General Assembly Resolution, which recognizes russia’s responsibility for its aggression against Ukraine and recommends the creation of a mechanism that would allow the legal confiscation of russia’s frozen foreign exchange reserves and assets abroad to compensate the victims of the aggression. Therefore, we invite Switzerland to take part in the process of discussing and developing the elements of such a mechanism,” said Yuliia Svyrydenko.