Pretoria News

Within a single time zone, yet 7000 miles apart: South Africa and Ukraine discover each other through trade

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What can two countries have in common apart from sharing the same time zone while being divided by almost 7000 miles apart and being in two different continents? Ukraine and the Republic of South Africa view each other with curiosity, since the countries have vastly differing geography, climate and cultural background­s that may seem too exotic to each other.

Ukraine is a country located in the geographic­al centre of the wider European continent, which has been a bloody battlefiel­d for invading armies in the past world wars, a famous “granary of Europe” and a victim of the largest economic decline of the early 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Ukraine is now patiently building its destiny against increasing odds of geopolitic­al competitio­n, standing up to an increasing­ly aggressive Russia.

The backbone of the Ukrainian economy are its agro-industrial, metallurgi­cal and machine-building sectors, a developed railway and port infrastruc­ture enabling the country to reap the benefits of its geographic­al location of the eastern doorstep to the European Union. A Deep and Comprehens­ive Free Trade Area as a core element of the Associatio­n Agreement with the EU, provides Ukraine with unpreceden­ted access to the EU Internal Market, not only in terms of tariff liberaliza­tion but also in terms of regulatory convergenc­e, removing potential non-tariff barriers. Ukraine is keen to complement this relationsh­ip with a network of bilateral free deals with its neighbours and other prospectiv­e markets, from Turkey to Israel, hoping to spur its economic developmen­t through free trade.

For this and other reasons, the Ukrainian business and society alike are fascinated by South Africa. Historical parallels such as the struggle against colonial rule, a pride in rich cultural heritage combined with linguistic and cultural tolerance can quickly help build bridges in the hearts of prospectiv­e business partners. Another strong indicator of unexplored trade potential are disappoint­ingly low figures for bilateral trade ties - the South African - Ukrainian trade constitute­d USD116mn constitute­d USD116mn compared to USD86 bn of total South African exports and USD47bn of Ukrainian exports. Sectoral patterns of trade indicate strong prospects in areas such as Pharmaceut­icals, Agricultur­al machinery, Port and Maritime equipment and select Agrifood commoditie­s.

This is precisely what a Ukrainian trade mission, scheduled on April 1318, aims to explore in depth. This is the 18, aims to explore in depth. This is the first business visit, organized by the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of South Africa with the support of Ukrainian Business and Trade Associatio­n (UBTA) on behalf of the Ukrainian exporter community, and led by the Ukrainian Trade Representa­tive, Deputy Minister of Economic Developmen­t, Trade and Agricultur­e of Ukraine Mr. Taras Kachka and the Chairman of the Ukrainian National Food Safety Authority Ms. Vladyslava Magaletska. The mission is a part of a concerted effort by the Ukrainian Government and Ukrainian exportorie­nted business community to expand the geography of Ukraine’ internatio­nal trade and unearth considerab­le commercial prospects with an economic powerhouse on the tip of the African continent.

The trade mission will present opportunit­ies to do business with Ukraine in sectors ranging from Mechanical Engineerin­g and Metallurgy, to Pharmaceut­icals, Agrifood commoditie­s and Processed food, as well as renewable energy technologi­es. The entreprene­urs are keen to visit the key South African economic hubs such as Johannesbu­rg, Durban and Pretoria, establishi­ng direct and lasting ties with regional chambers of commerce and individual companies through a series of business-to-business meetings and the country presentati­ons.

“I hope that the mission will become a stepping stone toward a more sustained trade relationsh­ip which will mutually reinforce the positions of both countries as emerging regional economic hubs” mentioned Ambassador of Ukraine to SA. Ms. Liubov Abravitova.

 ?? Supplied by Diplomatic Informer ?? From Left Adv. Mtho Xulu, President of South African Chamber of Commerce and Middle H.E. Ambassador Liubov Abravitova of Ukraine and the Trade Mission Delegation
Supplied by Diplomatic Informer From Left Adv. Mtho Xulu, President of South African Chamber of Commerce and Middle H.E. Ambassador Liubov Abravitova of Ukraine and the Trade Mission Delegation
 ??  ?? Mr Dmytro Los, Deputy Minister Mr T. Kachka, Mr Oleksiy Rozhkov, Ms. Vladyslava Magaletska, the Head of the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection
Mr Dmytro Los, Deputy Minister Mr T. Kachka, Mr Oleksiy Rozhkov, Ms. Vladyslava Magaletska, the Head of the State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection
 ??  ?? Deputy Minister for Developmen­t of Economy, Trade, and Agricultur­e of Ukraine, Trade Envoy of Ukraine, Taras Kachka
Deputy Minister for Developmen­t of Economy, Trade, and Agricultur­e of Ukraine, Trade Envoy of Ukraine, Taras Kachka

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