The UK has signed a digital trade deal with Ukraine to support the country’s economy.

The Department for Business and Trade hosted a number of Ukrainian ministers, as well as 200 UK and international businesses and officials, at Mansion House for an event geared towards enhancing the countries’ trade and investment relationship.

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch, alongside Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Yulia Svyrydenko, virtually signed a new digital trade agreement that will help Ukraine support its economy through the current crisis and lay foundations for its recovery and revival.

It follows a rapidly agreed deal in December.

“The historic digital trade deal signed today paves the way for a new era of modern trade between our two countries,” said Badenoch. “We are also extending tariff free trade on imports from Ukraine to early 2024, providing much needed support to Ukrainian businesses.

“These initiatives will help protect jobs, livelihoods and families now and in Ukraine’s post-war future.”

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The UK says the deal will give Ukraine guaranteed access to the financial services crucial for reconstruction efforts through the deal’s facilitation of cross-border data flows. Ukrainian businesses will also be able to trade more efficiently and cheaply with the UK through electronic transactions, e-signatures, and e-contracts.

“This digital trade agreement illustrates that Ukrainian IT companies operating in Ukraine are in demand around the world despite all the challenges of war,” said Svyrydenko.

“The UA-UK Digital Trade Agreement has enshrined core freedoms for trade in digital goods and services. Ukraine believes that an open and free framework for the digital economy is the best investment in future-oriented development.”

The UK’s total military, humanitarian and economic support pledged since 24 February 2022 now amounts to over £4 billion. It intends to extend the removal of tariffs on Ukrainian products until March 2024.

The UK also continues to support Ukraine through decisive sanctions against Russia. The UK and its allies have introduced the most severe economic sanctions ever imposed on a major economy, including on £20 billion (96%) of UK-Russia goods trade from 2021.

Sanctions are having deep and damaging consequences for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ability to wage war. Since the start of the invasion, UK goods imports from Russia have fallen by 99% and goods exports to Russia have fallen by 80%, according to the government.

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