Foreign Minister highlights importance of Czech and Ukrainian ties

31 Jan 2019

flagForeign Minister Tomáš Petříček has underlined the significance of trade ties between Ukraine and the Czech Republic, Czech Radio reports.

When speaking at a press conference following a meeting on Monday with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin, Petříček praised recent economic cooperation between the two countries. He said that mutual trade grew by 16% in 2018 and that Ukraine is one of the Czech Republic’s top 20 trading partners.

Disputes in the eastern regions and Ukraine’s revolution had greatly impacted bilateral trade – with the value of goods traded dropping significantly. In 2013, goods traded with the Czech Republic were valued at €1.24 billion but dropped to €500 million just two years later.

However, trade ties began to grow again from 2016, with trade now valuing at almost €2 billion per year. The optimistic result had partially been boosted by a 2017 deal between the EU and Ukraine which allows visa free travel for Ukrainian citizens to EU.

There are now over 200 Czech businesses located in Ukraine, with three of the most successful being car rental company Eurocar, nuclear power technology business Škoda JS and IT services provider Unicorn.

Czech businesses also spoke of the potential to advance trade ties between the two countries if some challenges – such as over-bureaucratisation and poor payment discipline on the part of some Ukrainian partners – were to be tackled.