Monday, October 27, 2008

Ukraine, EU continue talks on creating free trade area

The creation of a free trade area meets the interests of Ukraine, but requires much domestic work in the country, including the harmonization of national legislation and the achievement of political stability. Ukrainian Deputy Economy Minister Valeriy Piatnytsky was speaking after the fourth round of talks on the creation of a free trade area between the European Union and Ukraine.

Major directions for cooperation, including trade in goods and the protection of intellectual property rights, were considered during the negotiations.

Valeriy Piatnytsky said that the effectiveness of domestic work on bringing national laws in conformity with European legislation is the most burning issue for Ukraine. The expansion of the Union's economic activities eastwards, in particular, to Baltic countries and other Ukraine's traditional trade partners, means that Ukraine will either be able to accept European rules of the game or will run the risk of losing its markets.

He said that the fact that the European market is larger than the Ukrainian one should prompt the country to action. He said that following the creation of a free trade area, Ukrainian entrepreneurs would have more opportunities in Europe, than Europeans in Ukraine.

Piatnytsky praised the constructive talks with the EU and refused to predict the date for their completion. Another meeting between Ukrainian and European delegations will take place in early 2009.

Talks on the creation of a free trade area between Ukraine and the European Union started in February 2008. The creation of a free trade area should become a key clause in a new Agreement of Association between Ukraine and the EU.