Brexit win as UK signs bumper deal with Ukraine to drive trade past £2billion a year
US 'doesn't want to restart trade negotiations' says Trevelyan
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In response to a specific request by President Volodymyr Zelensky, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the International Trade Secretary, met with Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister and Ukraine’s Minister of Economy of Ukraine, and Mykhailo Fedorov, Vice Prime Minister and Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation, via video link to reiterate the UK’s unwavering support for Ukraine and begin talks. The digital trade deal, agreed in the presence of Vadym Prystaiko, Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK, yesterday, will aim to support Ukrainian businesses by cutting red tape, enabling them UK more efficiently through technology such as electronic transactions, e-signatures, and e-contracts.
It will also make it easier for UK companies to work with Ukrainian businesses and support with their country’s economic recovery.
Total trade between the UK and Ukraine in 2021 was valued at £1.9billion in 2021 and UK exports of digitally delivered services accounted for 73 percent of all UK services exports to Ukraine in 2020.
International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Putin’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has had devastating human consequences.
“The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine and will use trade as a force for good to help the country rebuild its modern economy after this barbaric war.”
She added: “Our partnership with Ukraine will help them seize the brighter days ahead, and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect Ukrainian jobs, livelihoods and families.”
Mr Prystaiko said: “The United Kingdom has shown unwavering support throughout this illegal invasion and the ties between our governments have never been closer.
“While we fight fearlessly for the freedom of our nation, many Ukrainians also look ahead to how we will rebuild our country.
“Strengthening our economic ties through this landmark digital trade agreement will support our IT industry, which is set to become a major driver of economic growth for our businesses and cities.”
The announcement comes as a result of a direct request from Mr Zelensky’s government.
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The Ukrainian government has identified supporting the digital economy as one of its areas of focus for the recovery and reconstruction of the country, with the UK, as a global leader in digital trade, is well placed to help with that.
In May, the UK removed of all tariffs under the existing UK-Ukraine free trade agreement in May, supporting Ukrainian businesses and producers to export goods and rebuild their economy.
A new digital trade agreement would further strengthen the trading relationship between the two nations, providing additional and much-needed economic support for businesses in Ukraine.
In July, Ms Trevelyan launched a new UK-Ukraine Infrastructure Taskforce, which is building partnerships between UK and Ukrainian businesses to help repair damaged and destroyed infrastructure including bridges and homes in and around Kyiv.
The UK has also introduced one of the largest and most severe packages of economic sanctions against Russia.
Measures cover over £18billion worth of products that were traded with Russia in 2021, as well as more than 1,000 individuals and more than 100 entities in key sectors such as defence.
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