On 21 January 2019, Ukraine and Israel formally concluded a free trade agreement. The final deal, which was the culmination of seven years of negotiations, was signed by Stepan Kubiv, the Ukrainian Minister of Economic Development and Trade, and Eli Cohen, Israel's Minister of Economy and Industry.
The full text of the FTA is not yet publicly available, but according to Kubiv, the deal includes the following points:
- the annulment of Israeli import duties for approximately 80% of Ukrainian products and the annulment of Ukrainian import duties for approximately 70% of Israeli products;
- anticipated increase in the amount of Israeli investment into the Ukrainian industrial, agricultural, high-tech and IT sectors;
- establishment of a new free trade triangle: Ukraine-EU-Israel;
- enhancement of Ukrainian-Israeli cooperation within the transport, automotive engineering and aircraft industries.
Joel Lion, Israel's Ambassador to Ukraine, stated that the agreement is expected to increase trade turnover between the countries by 15% over the next five years to approximately USD 1 billion.
Both officials and analysts view the deal as a significant step forward in cooperation between Ukraine and Israel in a host of sectors including technology, agriculture, healthcare, aerospace and science.
To go into force, the deal still needs to be ratified by the parliaments of both countries: the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada and the Israeli Knesset.