KYIV, Ukraine, July 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
The Ukraine-EU Association Agreement will provide long-term economic advantages for both Ukraine and the EU, reckoned Lithuanian foreign minister Linas Linkevičius while talking to the BTB TV channel. Following the document signing, the EU companies are expected to experience certain growth, obtain opportunities of investment in the Ukrainian business, and enjoy absence of custom duties, said the official.
45-million Ukraine constitutes one the largest consumer markets in Europe. In 2012, most investment inflow to the country was attracted by industrial, infrastructure, and agricultural projects. The current turnover between Ukraine and the EU constitutes EUR 40 billion, which is believed to significantly increase after the AA is in force. Namely, the former PACE President Mevlut Cavusoglu estimated the turnover would double after the comprehensive free trade area is introduced, as he stated in June 2013.
Signing of the AA would also be beneficial for Ukraine. Ukrainian producers would gain access to 500 million consumers, which is bound to influence Ukraine's GDP growth, according to Lithuanian foreign minister Linas Linkevičius. The AA would also provide for more investment and implementation of new standards in the country. Moreover, the document did not imply breaking up Ukraine's traditional market connections, for example, with Russia, emphasized Linkevičius. He added that Ukraine belonged to Europe not only geographically, but in all other respects.
Linkevičius has previously expressed hope that the EU-Ukraine AA would be signed at the Eastern Partnership summit in November 2013 in Vilnius, as reported by lithuaniatribune.com. Just in early July 2013, the Visegrád Group stated their interest in Ukraine's successful European integration, namely the AA signing at the Eastern Partnership summit. In June 2013, Luxembourg and Ireland also supported the November signing.
The European Commission has already adopted the proposals for decisions of the Council of the EU on the signing and provisional application as well as the conclusion of the EU-Ukraine AA. The proposals technically enabled the EU to move ahead with the required preparatory arrangements for the signing. At the time, the Commission highlighted that the AA was "the first of a new generation of Association Agreements between the European Union and the Eastern Partnership countries," unprecedented in the number of areas covered.
SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine