In 2016 we passed an important stage in the process of bringing Ukraine closer to the EU in the framework of dialogue and cooperation on issues of internal reforms. Yes, Ukraine has fulfilled all the necessary 144 criteria and is awaiting the EU decision to lift the visa regime for its citizens. For domestic producers the European market of dairy products was opened. It became possible to save 9 bln. UAH of taxpayers’ money through introduction of transparent public procurement system. These issues were discussed at an international conference devoted to evaluation of the implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU in 2016 and to discussion of future plans for its implementation. Participants comprehensively analyzed the problem areas and formed clear priorities for the future.
The President of the Ukrainian CCI Gennadiy Chyzhykov stated at the conference that these results are not the limit. He is convinced that the potential of Ukraine is much more powerful - we just need to actively use it. And a leading role in this have to play the small and medium businesses. For SMEs constitute 80% of all firms engaged in export and produce more than a third of all exports of the EU member countries. According to the survey, which was conducted the UCCI recently, most managers of small and medium enterprises are supporting EU-Ukraine Agreement.
Gennadiy Chyzhykov noted that export does not begin with registration of export documents but rather with development and manufacture of products, supply of services. It is therefore important to create conditions for the development and prosperity of SMEs, facilitate their access to funding, to help take advantage of the European market, promote innovation, to provide financial and other incentives to those who produce and export goods with high added value. The chambers system constantly draws attention to the need to change the mentality of our producers, trying to inform them about the specific features of the European markets. To this end, we conducted a number of events - conferences, seminars in all regions.
January 1, 2016 became the beginning of provisional application of the trade part of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU. What results have been achieved?
First, the EU has become our largest trading partner: 37,1% of total Ukrainian exports of goods go to the EU countries. Significant share in it belongs to sunflower oil, auto parts, electrical equipment, wood products and so on. There is progress in obtaining permits to export most goods of animal origin to the EU.
As to the use by Ukraine of its export quotas for agricultural products it should be noted that domestic exporters used to full extent only 26 out of 40 existing ones. The most popular of them are quotas for honey, juices, processed tomatoes, flour, cereals. Also in 2016 we began to use quotas for sugar corn, sugar and dairy products, starch, bran, garlic and so on.
"The process of implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU is a pointer to the internal changes that are needed to change our lives. Over 2016 only 36 of 126 needed legislative acts were implemented; 23 - in full, 13 - partially. The report on the implementation in 2016 of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU allows us to comprehensively analyze the situation with the implementation of obligations by Ukraine, to determine bottlenecks in this process and establish clear priorities for the current and subsequent years ", - said Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine.