“The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement: Opportunities and Challenges”
The tenth annual conference of “Kiev Dialogue” was on the topic of “Ukraine in times of existential crisis: Ways to political and economic renewal”. Ca. 200 civil society activists, politicians, journalists and scientists were invited to the two day conference. Their aim was to discuss the current situation in Ukraine and think through possible scenarios for its future.
Dr. Ricardo Giucci of the German Advisory Group reported on the Opportunities and Challenges created by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) between Ukraine and the European Union.
“Who is to benefit from the DCFTA? Agriculture, food industry and textile industry will definitely profit from the DCFTA. It will also have a positive impact on the general business climate, the number of foreign production sites for instance is expected to increase. Also foreign investments will rise.
We can clearly tell that mechanical engineering and chemicals industry are likely to come under pressure. But we should not forget that long adaption periods were agreed. Thus, there will not be a shock from one day to the next because we are talking about a process. For this adaption process up to ten years are planned, in some sectors like the automotive industry even up to 15 years. It makes absolutely no sense to talk of a sudden collapse of Ukraine’s economy like it was partially done recently.The government incurs implementation costs, in the administration or for the review of the standards. Business will incur theses costs as well, but one should understand them as investment, and this is a difference.”
Consultant Dr. Alexander Knuth presented the results of a study on small and medium business in Ukraine in a working group. The study was conducted by Berlin Economics on behalf of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.
The conference was again well attended in its anniversary year. Among the guests were several deputies of the European Parliament, Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada as well as numerous representatives from the Ukrainian and German civil societies, media, and science.