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Ukraine and UK announce digital trade deal

Written by Thu 8 Dec 2022

In a bid to support the Ukrainian economy, the UK government has recently agreed a new Digital Trade Agreement (DTA) in principle with Ukraine.

Building on the existing UK-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement, which cut all tariffs on goods from Ukraine to zero, the DTA is expected to give a boost to Ukraine’s IT industry.

While the physical trading of goods has been made extremely difficult from the damage to infrastructure around the country, digital trading is still possible and offers a much-needed lifeline to both Ukrainian people and companies. Despite the war, IT workers in Ukraine are in high demand and financial inflows from their work are an important source of income at a time when physical activities are limited.

According to UK Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch MP, this deal will be the first step on the journey towards a new era of modern trade between the UK and Ukraine.

“This agreement will mean our businesses and governments can collaborate even more and ensure Ukrainians have access to essential goods and services digital trade opens up. This will help protect jobs, livelihoods and families now and in Ukraine’s post-war future,” she said.

One of the key areas this agreement is expected to improve is the digital identity ecosystem. Due to the current conflict, many people have lost access to identity documents and gaining access to digital solutions that enable people to prove their identity is critical.

By streamlining digital border processes, Ukrainian businesses will be able to better access the digitally delivered goods and services they need to succeed. They will also be able to trade more efficiently and cheaply with the UK through electronic transactions, e-signatures, and e-contracts.

“The UK-UA Digital Trade Agreement has enshrined core freedoms for trade in digital goods and services. Ukraine believes that an open and free framework for the digital economy is the best investment in future oriented development,” said First Deputy PM and Minister for Trade and Economy, Yulia Svyrydenko.

In practice, the agreement will cover a range of issues including cybersecurity, electronic transactions and cross-border payment flows.

“This agreement provides the framework for easy flow of critical goods and services, by ensuring the free flow of data and cybersecurity cooperation. It comes at a crucial time for our friends in Ukraine and it will open up new opportunities for cooperation in tech and digital between our two countries,” said techUK CEO, Julian David.

This deal is only the second achieved by the UK, with a similar agreement reached with Singapore earlier this year. As Ukrainian society and its economy begin to chart a path of recovery, this deal will support the transition to a more stable country.

“We are committed to working with our members and the UK and Ukrainian governments to make the most of this agreement and support the Ukrainian economy at this difficult time,” added David.

In May this year, the UK removed all tariffs under the existing UK-Ukraine free trade agreement, supporting Ukrainian businesses and producers to export goods and rebuild their economy.

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Written by Thu 8 Dec 2022

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