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Ukraine Joins Regional FTA

by Tatiana Smolenskaya,, Moscow

21 August 2012

Ukraine has become the third nation to ratify a multilateral free trade agreement that would liberalize regional trade and introduce the use of procedures developed by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to resolve trade disputes and prevent the use of trade-restricting measures between members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The free trade agreement envisages that import and export tariffs be markedly reduced on a range of goods. Nations will also agree to reduce non-tariff barriers, increase market access for services, and apply international trade laws, drawn up by the WTO, to govern the use of subsidies, countervailing measures, anti-dumping duties and other trade measures that may inhibit regional trade. Sectors that are expected to particularly benefit include the food industry, due to the removal of a number of non-tariff barriers and anti-dumping measures; and manufacturing industries that depend upon imported metals, due to the removal of export duties and improved market access, among others.

The pact, which was earlier ratified by Russia and Belarus, was drawn up by Russia's Economic Development Ministry in 2008, and takes into account the impact of Russian commitments made as a result of its accession to membership of the WTO. It is envisaged that the pact will boost regional economic growth annually by around 2.5% of gross domestic product.

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) comprises of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Ukraine and Turkmenistan are included in the pact despite not officially being members of the CIS.

TAGS: Russia | Turkmenistan | tax | Kyrgyzstan | export duty | law | tariffs | anti-dumping | World Trade Organisation (WTO) | Armenia | food | manufacturing | trade disputes | Azerbaijan | Belarus | Kazakhstan | Moldova | import duty | trade | Tajikistan | Ukraine | Uzbekistan | free trade zone | services

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