Ukraine mulls free trade with West Africa

Ukraine mulls free trade with West AfricaUkraine’s Foreign Ministry requested the Economy Ministry to consideration setting up a free trade regime between Ukraine and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), according to Rustam Azhdar, head of the ministry’s Africa division of the Department of Near and Middle East and Africa.

"Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Economy has initiated consideration of the creation of a free trade regime between Ukraine and the states of the Economic Cooperation of West Africa", said Azhdar at a Kyiv International Economic and Investment Forum titled "Ukraine - Middle East and Africa" on Thursday.

The official noted that there is strong demand for Ukrainian agricultural products in Africa. According to Azhdar, Ukraine could expand its presence on the African markets, in particular through the organization of the trading houses, which would register in Africa and import Ukrainian products.

According to recent reports of Ukraine’s State Statistics Service, in January-July 2015, Ukraine exported goods worth $190 million to the ECOWAS, while all Ukrainian exports totaled $21.7 billion in the same period. As for imports from West African countries, it amounted to $3.9 million against $20.3 billion of total imports.

The ECOWAS is composed of Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Cote d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

Source: UNIAN
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