Ukraine’s current free-trade agreements represent only 10% of market accessible after EU accession

Olha Stefanishyna
Olha Stefanishyna

Ukrainian businesses can anticipate access to three billion consumers worldwide if the country joins the European Union and becomes part of its trade agreements, Deputy PM for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olha Stefanishyna, said at the NV Formula for Success event.

Competitiveness in the European market requires businesses to operate "like adults," without expecting state subsidies, Stefanishyna advised Ukrainian entrepreneurs, as she advised them to change their mindset in preparation for the country's EU accession.

Read also: Ukraine’s EU accession path and potential hurdles — expert interview

"After accession, there will be other opportunities for business,” she added.

“First, it's about scale. After transitioning to European single market opportunities, everything you've built in Ukraine can instantly be scaled to a market of 500 million. All export-oriented companies gain access to an almost three-billion consumer market because we become part of the free trade zones, all trade agreements, and arrangements of the European Union.”

The EU is currently negotiating free trade zones with Latin American countries, where Ukraine can showcase itself primarily as a large agricultural state.

Read also: Over 60% of Ukrainians believe in EU accession within a decade — survey

"The current [Ukrainian] agreements with Canada, the UK, the EU, etc., represent only a tenth of the access we will have later. So, these are significant opportunities.”

Full certainty of "red lines" that Ukraine should not cross in protecting its producers upon entering the European market will be established in 2024.

The European Commission recommended starting accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova to the EU on Nov. 8. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated that Ukraine has completed "over 90%" of the necessary steps outlined last year, particularly highlighting judicial reforms and efforts in combating corruption.

Brussels expects Ukraine and Moldova to conclude their reform efforts by March 2024.

Read also: EU nations consider contingency plan if Hungary vetoes aid to Ukraine — report

NV is hosting the major ‘Formula for Success’ event on Nov. 11. Prominent political and business leaders discuss what can be changed in the country during wartime.

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