UK signs digital trade deal to support Ukraine’s IT industry

Agreement intended to cut red tape was signed in response to a request from government in Kyiv

The UK has announced plans to put in place a digital trade deal with Ukraine which it claims will help protect jobs and rebuild the country’s economy following the Russian invasion.

The agreement is intended to remove red tape for Ukrainian tech firms wishing to trade with the UK. A key means of achieving this will be the implementation of technological processes such as electronic transactions and documents, according to the government.

Work on the deal has begun following a direct request from the government of Ukraine, led by president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Talks on the terms of the agreement began this week, in a meeting which brought together Ukrainian minister of digital transformation Mykhailo Fedorov and minister of economy Yuliia Svyrydenko, who connected via videoconference with UK international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who was joined in London by Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK Vadym Prystaiko.

“While we fight fearlessly for the freedom of our nation, many Ukrainians also look ahead to how we will rebuild our country,” the ambassador said. “Strengthening our economic ties through this landmark digital trade agreement will support our IT industry, which is set to become a major driver of economic growth for our businesses and cities.”

The tech-focused trade deal comes in light of the UK government’s removal of all tariffs on Ukrainian goods and services, as part of an amendment made in May to the wider free-trade agreement between the two nations.

Trevelyan said: “Putin’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has had devastating human consequences. The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine and will use trade as a force for good to help the country rebuild its modern economy after this barbaric war. Our partnership with Ukraine will help them seize the brighter days ahead, and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect Ukrainian jobs, livelihoods and families.”

Sam Trendall

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