UK and Ukraine sign digital trade agreement
Britain and Ukraine have signed a ‘digital trade deal’ aimed at helping the east European country recover from Russia’s invasion.
It is Ukraine’s first such agreement and was described as particularly valuable because of the limitations that war damage has imposed on trading physically.
The agreement was struck at a meeting in London between UK Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch and Ukraine’s Minister for Trade and Economy Yulia Svyrydenko.
It comes as Ukrainian businesses and infrastructure face attack from Russian hackers.
It will also help those who have lost documentation or been forced by the war to travel to other countries to prove their identity. It will streamline digital border processes, cross-border data flows, electronic transactions and e-signatures.
Ms Badenoch said: “We have now reached agreement in principle on a deal that supports Ukraine’s economy and the country’s reconstruction and further cements the UK’s position as a global leader in digital trade.
“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.”
William Bain, head of trade policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “UK companies will be keen to assist in the reconstruction of Ukraine and the first priority is going to be the economy.
“To have a strong digital trade agreement in place from the get-go will provide a boost to e-commerce trade in both directions between our two countries.
“This agreement should allow businesses and consumers in Ukraine to more easily buy the products and services they need. E-commerce comprises a growing share of the UK’s net trade so we hope companies will get user friendly advice from the Government to make the most of today’s agreement.”