The Australian Federation of Ukrainian Organisations (AFUO) calls on its close partner, Australia, to include Ukraine in its system of tariff preferences.
These preference schemes give eligible countries access to lower or “free” rates of customs duty for certain imported goods.
For many years, Australia and Ukraine have enjoyed friendly relations, deep-rooted in the common values of democracy, freedom of choice and commitment to the rule of law. As good and reliable partners, Australia and Ukraine have developed close cooperation in political, economic, scientific, cultural and security fields.
AFUO co-chairs Kateryna Argyrou and Stefan Romaniw have written to Australian Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Dan Tehan.
“The AFUO commends the Australian Government’s steadfast support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” their letter states.
“It acknowledges Australia’s prominent voice against Russian aggression in Crimea
and eastern Ukraine. Australia and Ukraine also remain united in supporting the international investigation into the tragic downing of MH17 and bringing perpetrators to justice.
“The AFUO believes that both countries have ample opportunities to further expand cooperation, especially in bilateral trade and investment. One of the instruments that can increase bilateral trade volumes is Ukraine’s inclusion into the Australian system of tariff preferences.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many Australian companies to reassess supply chains, and highlighted a growing need for geographical diversification to mitigate risks associated with a central manufacturing point.
The AFUO, Australia-Ukraine Business Council and Australia-Ukraine Chamber of Commerce are receiving a growing number of requests from Australian companies interested in goods and services from Ukraine.
“Businesses from both countries are eager to explore bilateral cooperation opportunities across different industries, particularly metallurgy, coal, chemical and railway, pharmaceutics, agriculture and IT,” the AFUO letter states.
“Ukrainian companies are searching for new export markets to diversify away from Russia, accounting for approximately one-third of exports. Ukraine’s export market has become remarkably diversified in recent years, while its trade with Russia has swiftly dwindled because of the many trade sanctions currently in place.”
Ukraine is rich in natural resources and has a creative workforce, offering great opportunities to its partners, from a full-scale aerospace industry to a fast-growing consumer market.
Ukraine is already recognised as being eligible for the generalised system of trade preferences by many leading countries, notably the US (status was resumed 2020), Canada and Japan.
Information: Stefan Romaniw: 0419 531 255