16:11 15.05.2017

Ukraine, Israel working to sign FTA agreement by 2018

Ukraine and Israel want to extend bilateral economic cooperation and are working on signing the Free Trade Area (FTA) Agreement by the end of this year, Ukrainian and Israeli prime ministers, Volodymyr Groysman and Benjamin Netanyahu, said.

"I am glad that the general trade in commodities has been growing over the past few months, we are working together to create a free trade area between the countries," the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine quoted Groysman as saying after a meeting with the Israeli prime minister.

Groysman said he hoped the relevant negotiations will finish by the end of 2017.

In addition, the Ukrainian prime minister called on the Israeli counterpart to consider additionally the possibility of liberalizing access to the Israeli market for agricultural products, especially cereals, dairy products, fish, meat, honey, vegetable oil, vegetables and industrial products.

In turn, Netanyahu stressed that Israel is interested in speeding up the talks on the establishment of the FTA with Ukraine. "We want to speed up the negotiations on the signing of an agreement on a free trade area, develop commerce, trade, tourism, economic exchanges between our countries," the Cabinet's press service quoted Netanyahu as saying.

Groysman also reported on the steps taken by the government to improve the investment climate in Ukraine and urged Israeli companies to invest in Ukraine. He invited representatives of the Israeli business to take part in the privatization of state-owned companies in Ukraine.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in a telephone conversation with the prime minister of Israel also expressed the hope the negotiations on concluding the FTA agreement will be completed by end of 2017.

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