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Olena Omelchenko Delivered a Speech at 13th Europe-Ukraine Economic Forum

News date: 11 February 2020

Olena Omelchenko, Partner and Head of International Trade Practice at Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm, participated in the discussion panel entitled “EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Could there be a win-win strategy?” within the program of the 13th Europe-Ukraine Economic Forum held on 4-5 February 2020 in Rzeszow, Poland. The forum is organized by the Foundation Institute for Eastern Studies.

Olena Omelchenko pointed out that the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement stipulates for the possibility to revise the preferential trade terms and makes it possible to improve bilateral access to the markets of the parties from 2021. However, certain global trends, such as the increase of protectionist movements and current problems with the functioning of the World Trade Organization (WTO), will likely exert a deterrent effect onto the bilateral negotiations.

“By joining the WTO, Ukraine has substantially opened access to its internal market for all the organization members, and the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU has allowed to minimize tariff and non-tariff protection of Ukraine. Under such initial conditions, it is very difficult to get an additional opportunity for Ukrainian exporters, – said Olena Omelchenko. – The only solution for Ukraine is to adapt its own rules to European standards and further become an EU member country, which will allow to get full access to the EU market and improve trade rules with third countries”.

The key topic of the 13th Europe-Ukraine Economic Forum was the modernization and development of Ukraine’s economic potential. The forum was attended by over 800 participants from Poland, Ukraine, neighboring countries and the USA – diplomats, representatives of the government authorities, commerce, local self-governing bodies, European institutions, international organizations, as well as experts and analysts.

The Europe-Ukraine Forum has been held starting from 2007. The event is aimed at exchanging contacts and holding discussions on economic and infrastructure topics from the perspective of Ukrainian-European relations.