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More than 270 lawmakers of the Ukrainian parliament voted for ratification of a free trade agreement between Ukraine and Canada on March 14.

Ukraine’s Economic Development and Trade Minister Stepan Kubiv called it the first major trade agreement success since the ratification of a deal with the European Union in January 2016.

Ukraine-Canada trade has lots of room for improvement. Neither country a major trade partner for each other. According to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, Ukraine exported $28 million worth of goods to Canada and imported $217 million. But the volume is low compared to the overall trade volume of Ukraine, which exported $36 billion worth of goods worldwide in 2016. In fact, Russia remains Ukraine’s single largest trade partner in exports and imports. Distance is a big barrier to Ukraine-Canada trade. So is the disparity in wealth between the two nations – Canada’s gross domestic product was $1.5 trillion in 2016 while Ukraine clocked in at only $82 billion, despite having nearly 10 million more people.

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There cannot be enough stress placed on the vital need for Ukraine to both diversify its import-export market and the importance of greatly reducing its reliance on Russia as a trading partner. In doing so, Ukraine stands to benefit for two primary reasons which include; 1) A huge improvement in the quality of goods (via competition) coming into or exiting Ukraine, and, 2) By reducing or even eliminating trade with Russia (with the possible exception of vital commodities), Ukraine can deter any future attempts by Russia to use economic blackmail as an instrument of power. Therefore, the free trade agreements between Canada and the EU with Ukraine should be viewed as major steps forward in the ultimate prosperity for the Ukrainian nation.

this is indeed good news and there is lots of room for expansion on both sides other pond .

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