Representatives of the Ukrainian-Chinese Business Council and AUCC Took Part in the Meeting of the Working Group on Cooperation with China under the Ministry of Economic Development
On November 12, 2015, the meeting of the Working Group on Cooperation with the People's Republic of China within the Council of Exporters under the Ministry of Economic Development of Ukraine was held, where a range of problematic issues of bilateral trade, economic and business relations that are of concern to Ukrainian business and need to be resolved at the interstate level were addressed.
The meeting was attended by about 120 Ukrainian exporters, representatives of business societies and associations, relevant ministries and departments (Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Agrarian Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Fiscal Service, Ministry of Infrastructure, State Veterinary and Phyto Service, etc.).
The meeting of the Working Group from the Ukrainian Section of the Ukrainian-Chinese Business Council (UCBC) and the Association of Ukrainian-Chinese Cooperation (AUCC) was attended by Deputy Chairman of the UCBC Ukrainian Section Igor Litvin, as well as members of the UCBC Coordinating Committee - Vitaly Oliynik (Chairman of the AUCC Presidium) and Mykola Yurchak (Director of LLC Granum Invest). In addition, Vice Chairman of the UCBC Ukrainian Section, Vice President of the CCI Valery Korol represented the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ukraine at the meeting.
It should be noted that a number of relevant issues were brought to the attention of the Working Group following the proposal and presentation of the UCBC and AUCC, including: visa facilitation for Chinese citizens, solving problems of access to the Chinese market and customs clearance of Ukrainian goods, opening a trade mission in China, promoting tourism development, restoration of full operation of the Consulate General of Ukraine in Shanghai and Guangzhou, organization of the National exposition of Ukraine in Beijing.
Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine, Trade Representative of Ukraine Natalia Mykolska chaired and moderated the Working Group's meeting, noting that the Chinese market is of great interest to Ukraine, and that China is a strategic partner of Ukraine based on current priorities of searching for new markets for domestic products. "Taking into account the signing by Ukraine of the Association Agreement with the EU and the creation in the future of a free trade zone with the European Union, Ukraine gets additional advantages and directions of cooperation with China," noted Natalia Mykolska.
She informed the participants about the results of the meeting of the Trade and Economic Cooperation Sub-Commission which was held on September 28-29, 2015 in Beijing, as well as analyzed the current state and promising directions of bilateral trade. “Our task is to create a platform for communication of Ukrainian and Chinese business with the governmental support. Our next plans are to hold a business event within the 3rd meeting of the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the PRC Cooperation Commission in December 2015 in Kyiv," summarized Natalia Mykolska.
Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Vladislava Rutitska devoted her speech to the issues of access and promoting Ukrainian agricultural products to the PRC market. According to her, Ukraine has already achieved very good results in cooperation with China in the agricultural sector and has considerable prospects for its expansion.
For example, exports of agricultural products to the People's Republic of China for the 9th Moon in 2015 amounted to USD 1 billion 055 million. While for the corresponding period last year this figure amounted to more than USD 440 million. So we have a more than two-fold growth! Exports of vegetable oils, such as sunflower, rapeseed and soy are well under way. The export of soybean oil to the Chinese market this year has already set a record - for 9 Moon in 2015, domestic producers exported 54.1 thousand tons worth of USD 38,500,000.
"This year Ukraine officially received permission from AQSIQ to export dairy products to China. The first domestic companies have already made pilot deliveries. In addition to permission to export sunflower meal, we are working towards opening the PRC market for Ukrainian wheat, sorghum, vegetables, berries, fish, and poultry. The question on the export of Ukrainian soybeans remains open, but there are price criteria and issues of GMO soybeans in the way," said the Deputy Minister.
In addition to general issues of Ukrainian-Chinese trade and economic relations and promotion of agricultural products to the PRC market, exporters were informed about the Chinese initiative to build the "Great Silk Road Economic Belt" and processing the format of Ukraine's participation in this project. Also during the session, representatives of domestic business and officials actively discussed problems in the field of transport logistics, certification and quality control of visa and customs regime, tourism exchange, export to China not only raw materials, but also finished and high-tech products, information and organizational and legal support of Ukrainian exporters.
Speaking during the discussion, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ukraine Valery Korol urged the Government representatives to involve the Chamber of Commerce and Industry more closely in the conduct of bilateral Ukrainian-Chinese events, in particular the exchange of business delegations, meetings of specialized sub-commissions, business forums, conferences, as well as to actively use the potential of the Ukrainian-Chinese Business Council which is highly respected by the Chinese part.
Deputy Chairman of the UCBC Ukrainian Section, former Ambassador of Ukraine to the PRC Igor Litvin noted in his speech that the constantly operating platform for communication of business circles of Ukraine and China did not require to be found or re-created. It has been in force since 2010, when the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chinese CCPIT signed an agreement on the establishment of the Ukrainian-Chinese Business Council in pursuance of the decision of the presidents of the two countries. In any case, UCBS works, meetings are held between the Ukrainian and Chinese Sections, regular contacts and exchanges of information take place, and practical assistance is provided to businessmen of both countries in finding business partners. "As a representative of the Ukrainian-Chinese Business Council, I am always in Beijing, I support all the necessary contacts from the Chinese part and together with my UCBC colleagues I am ready to accept requests and provide the necessary assistance to all Ukrainian exporters," said Igor Litvin.
He said that the opening of a full-fledged trade office in the PRC was an extremely urgent task for Ukraine. If the authorities, given the objective difficulties and budgetary constraints, are unable to do so on their own, then public-private partnerships should be pursued. That is to involve the Business Council, CCI, business associations, leading exporters which will help organize everything and will take over the maintenance of trade representative offices.
Also, Igor Litvin believes that interregional cooperation at the level of the PRC provinces and Ukrainian regions should be supported and encouraged. After all, it is not only tourist or cultural exchange, but also cooperation on local investment projects, interaction of specific local enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses. In addition, the question of the maintenance and functioning of the Ukrainian Consulate in Shanghai and Guangzhou can thus be resolved.
"With regard to visa problems, there is no justification or rational explanation for their existence. Ukraine and China are strategic partners. There is a Large Friendship and Cooperation Treaty between us, there is another necessary contractual framework, there is a mutual interest and an urgent need to expand bilateral ties in all areas. Therefore, all outdated requirements and unjustified visa barriers should be removed with determination and as soon as possible. All civilized countries have long changed the visa practice and made it as cheap as possible and widely use outsourcing and online access. We should also follow this path, especially with regard to strategic partners such as China," he stressed.
Summing up the meeting of the Working Group, Natalia Mykolska said, "We are grateful to those present for supporting our initiative to hold today's meeting and are ready for a direct dialogue with everyone who will come to us.." I call upon exporters and officials to establish direct contacts to address issues arising from entering the Chinese market. We are ready to provide assistance to those who address specific issues and proposals."
It was agreed that all proposals and comments made during the meeting would be reviewed and consolidated for further action at the interministerial or intergovernmental level. Representatives of exporting enterprises and business associations were invited to communicate more actively with the Ministry of Economic Development, directly ask problematic issues and send them to a special address [email protected].