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(Geneva/ Kyiv) Companies in Ukraine will soon have increased capacity to identify trade opportunities with the European Union and within the Eastern Partnership region as part of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Trade Helpdesk project. On 1 June, the International Trade Centre (ITC), in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine and the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine, organised the first stakeholder meeting on the EaP Trade Helpdesk project.

Launched in late 2019, the EaP Trade Helpdesk project is being implemented by ITC, a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. It is supported by the European Union as part of its EU4Business initiative. The five-year project aims to boost the economic and trade relations between the Eastern Partnership countries and the European Union and within the EaP region. As a result of the project, companies in the EaP countries will have increased access to comprehensive, verified and transparent trade information on the region and the EU through the EaP Trade Helpdesk portal. The online Helpdesk, available via the portal, will allow them to report on the export- and import-related issues and get practical solutions offered by relevant national authorities. In addition, the project will identify regulatory and procedural trade obstacles through national surveys of non-tariff measures, and provide sector-specific guides on exporting to the EU. Relevant national institutions will be better prepared to collect and process trade in services data for selected sectors, while companies and business support organisations will receive customized capacity building on market analysis to identify new opportunities in the region and the EU.

The main goals of the national stakeholder meeting were: to inform participants about the objectives and expected impact of the project; to present ongoing and planned activities in Ukraine and to determine synergies with existing national initiatives. The meeting brought together representatives of the Ministries, government agencies, business support organizations, the EU Delegation to Ukraine, ITC experts, and specialised educational academies.

Ms. Oleksandra Nechyporenko, Deputy Director of the Department for International Cooperation on Economy, Trade and Agriculture of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine: “We hope that the platform will contribute to increased trade among the EaP countries as well as between them and the EU, in particular by improving SMEs’ access to more detailed trade and market information and establishing new regional value chains. Ukrainian enterprises need a beacon in the sea of different resources and we hope that project once implemented may come in handy to get better and easier access to the EU market in order to benefit further from Ukraine-EU DCFTA opportunities.”

Ms. Jana Herceg, Head of Trade and Economic Section of the EU Delegation to Ukraine: “It is our strong wish to see more Ukrainian companies making use of the opportunities offered by the DCFTA. The European Union has been providing support to improving capacity and competitiveness of the Ukrainian businesses. The EaP Trade help desk is one of the practical tools that will contribute to this end. It will link business partners in Ukraine and the EaP region as well as reduce existing information gaps on EaP and EU trade.”

Mr. Paul Kelly, The EaP Trade Helpdesk project manager at the International Trade Centre: “It should be noted that Ukrainian export potential in export to the EU is still large, almost at 10 billion USD according to the ITC estimations. Alike, there is still a large potential in the Eastern Partnership region for the country – counting up to almost 600 million USD, or quarter of Ukrainian trade in the region. This indicates multitude of possibilities for Ukrainian small and medium exporters, and we are aiming at helping realise this potential.”

The EaP Trade Helpdesk portal will provide users with detailed information on trade statistics, export potential data, tariffs, preferential trade agreements, as well as export and import regulations and business contacts. The user-friendly platform will serve as a comprehensive guide for entrepreneurs in Ukraine aiming to increase exports to the EU markets. 

For more information about the project please contact:

Mr. Paul Kelly, project manager, kelly@intracen.org

Visit the project page on ITC website https://www.intracen.org/EaP/

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