The UK and Ukraine have agreed a new Digital Trade Agreement (DTA) that aims to help Ukraine rebuild its economy and support livelihoods following Russia’s illegal invasion.

Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch MP and Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Economy Yulia Svyrydenko met in London to agree the deal. 

It is the UK’s second such trade deal following the agreement with Singapore earlier this year.

The Ukrainian government highlighted the important role a digitally focused trade agreement could play in bolstering the country’s economy, given that damage to Ukrainian infrastructure and warfare makes it much harder to trade physically. 

The UK government said digital tools and technologies will help Ukrainians access everyday vital goods and services during the war.

For example, there is a critical need for people to be able to use digital solutions to prove they are who they say they are, despite the loss of critical documentation or displacement across borders. The agreement provides a framework for the UK and Ukraine to cooperate to promote compatibility between their respective digital identity systems to help address this.

“The landmark digital trade deal agreed today between our two countries paves the way for a new era of modern trade between us,” said Badenoch.

“This agreement will mean our businesses and governments can collaborate even more and ensure Ukrainians have access to essential goods and services digital trade opens up. 

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

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

“The UK-UA 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.”

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Ukraine will have guaranteed access to the financial services crucial for reconstruction efforts through the deal’s facilitation of cross-border data flows. It also establishes greater cooperation between the UK and Ukraine on cybersecurity and emerging technologies, helping to keep UK and Ukrainian businesses and people safer.

By streamlining digital border processes, Ukrainian businesses will be able to better access the digitally delivered goods and services they need to succeed. They will also be able to trade more efficiently and cheaply with the UK through electronic transactions, e-signatures, and e-contracts.

As a global leader in digital, the UK is ideally positioned to aid Ukraine’s post-conflict transition to a digital economy, with over two-thirds of our services exports to Ukraine already digitally delivered.

techUK CEO Julian David said: “techUK welcomes today’s agreement in principle on a UK-Ukraine Digital Trade Agreement. It comes at a crucial time for our friends in Ukraine and it will open up new opportunities for cooperation in tech and digital between our two countries.

“This agreement provides the framework for easy flow of critical goods and services, by ensuring the free flow of data and cybersecurity cooperation.

“We are committed to working with our members and the UK and Ukrainian governments to make the most of this agreement and support the Ukrainian economy at this difficult time.”

In May this year, the UK removed all tariffs under the existing UK-Ukraine free trade agreement, supporting Ukrainian businesses and producers to export goods and rebuild their economy.

Work is also underway, through the UK-Ukraine Infrastructure Taskforce, to build partnerships between companies from both countries which help repair damaged and destroyed infrastructure including bridges and homes in and around Kyiv.

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