Azarov calling to increase trade with Canada

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April 13, 2012, 6:01 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov

Ukraine and Canada need to work to increase bilateral trade to make full use of the potential of both countries, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has said. At a meeting with Canada's International Cooperation Minister Beverley Oda, the Ukrainian prime minister said that trade between the two countries grew by 35.8% last year, the government's press service reported.

"This is a good figure. At the same time, the increase was only $500 million," Azarov said.

The trade between Ukraine and Lithuania, for instance, was $1.5 billion, which is three times as much as with Canada, the premier said.

"I believe that we still have to work to do," Azarov said.

He also urged the Canadian business to invest in the Ukrainian economy.
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Roman Dawydiak April 15, 2012, 6:13 p.m.    

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his Government must understand that their counterparts in Canada and its 1.2 million strong Ukrainian diaspora in particular have the very best of intentions for Ukraine and its people. In this regard it should be noted that Canada was the second country in the world after Poland to recognize Ukrainian independence in 1991. This was not a coincidence. Canadians are very much concerned that Ukraine succeed as a properous and democratic state and are more than willing to help achieve this goal. Nevertheless, it is imperative that the Ukrainian Government and its business sector create conditions that will allow for improvements in its administration and economy. Corruption, the proper rule of law and a real commitment to basic human rights must be at the top of their agenda. Should the Ukrainian authorities at least make a concerted effort in this regard the results could be staggering. This would invite capital investment and the Canadian Government would most certainly follow suit and assist in any way that was possible. The spin off effect would also allow for an equally generous response from other western democracies. In essence this would be a win-win scenario. In short, all that is needed is a different mindset, integrity and determination. Is this a tall order? Yes. Can it be done? Yes. Will it be done? That is up to the Government and the citizens of Ukraine.

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