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Open For Business | 19 November 2021
Tunisia ready to start talks on FTA with Ukraine
Tunisia is ready to start the negotiation process on concluding an agreement on a free trade area (FTA) with Ukraine, negotiations may begin in the first quarter of 2022, Ukrainian Ambassador to the Republic of Tunisia Volodymyr Khomanets has said.
“Tunisia views Ukraine as a strategic partner, and this has been declared. Tunisia confirmed its readiness for the negotiation process during consultations in July this year,” Khomanets said during the presentation of the study “Evidence-based Policy Making – Economic Impact Assessments of Potential Free Trade Agreements of Ukraine,” held in Kyiv on Thursday.
He noted that Tunisia seeks to diversify the geography of foreign economic activity.“They have experience of concluding FTA agreements with partners such as Turkey, Great Britain. They are somewhat disappointed in this, therefore, Ukraine is considered as a more reliable and promising trading partner,” the ambassador said. He emphasized that the FTA with Tunisia will also open up the markets of its two neighbors, Algeria and Libya, for Ukraine. Khomanets also recalled that Tunisia is part of the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean convention.
Ukraine is interested in Tunisia from the point of view of opening the European market for itself, and the Tunisian side, according to him, is ready to introduce liberal rules for trade on a quota basis.
As noted by Scientific Director of the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting Veronika Movchan, presenting an assessment of the potential impact of the FTA with Tunisia, grain and ferrous metals are the basis of Ukrainian exports to this country. From Tunisia, Ukraine mainly exports soles for shoes, to a lesser extent – electronics and textile clothing. According to her, modeling the introduction of the FTA with Tunisia assumes an increase in Ukrainian exports to this country by 115%, which is due to a low comparative base, and imports to Ukraine – by 53%. “Sectorally, metallurgy will mainly benefit, as well as crop production,” Movchan said.