The Ukrainian Part of the Intergovernmental Commission Determined the Ukrainian-Chinese Cooperation State and Prospects
On January 29, 2016, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine chaired by Vice Prime Minister - Minister of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine Gennady Zubko held a meeting of the Ukrainian Section of the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the PRC Cooperation Commission.
It was attended by representatives of more than 30 bodies, institutions and organizations, such as ministries, state agencies and services, other central and local executive authorities, state companies and banks, as well as specialized associations. The Ukrainian Section of the Ukrainian-Chinese Business Council and the Association of Ukrainian-Chinese Cooperation was represented at the meeting by their heads - Robert Brovdi (UCBC Co-Chairman, Chairman of the AUCC Board), Igor Litvin (UCBC Deputy Chairman, AUCC First Deputy Chairman and AUCC Beijing Permanent Representative) and Valery Korol (UCBC Vice Chairman, Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ukraine).
The agenda included a whole range of issues related to the preparation for the next joint meeting of the Government of Ukraine and the Government of PRC Cooperation Commission, the progress of the initiated Ukrainian-Chinese investment and credit projects, as well as the development and implementation of promising areas of Ukrainian-Chinese cooperation in the PRC's transcontinental economic initiative - the new "Silk Road".
Following the opening speech of the Head of the Ukrainian Section of the Commission Gennady Zubko, the particulars of the progress of agreements reached during the 2nd session of the Commission (02.04.2013) were reported by the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Agrarian Policy and other departments, and the outcomes of the sessions in August-October 2015 of the three Sub-commissions and the signing of bilateral protocols, preparation and timing of the 3rd Joint Session of the Commission were presented.
The special features and problematic issues of the implementation of the Ukrainian-Chinese projects initiated since 2012 were the subject of careful analysis and discussion. It was in particular about the actual grain contract under the Chinese loan of USD 1.5 billion accomplished by PJSC State Food and Grain Corporation of Ukraine and energy projects under the loan agreement between NJSC Naftogaz and the PRC State Development Bank in the amount of USD 3,650,000,000, as well as infrastructure-related loan and investment projects (Air Express), alternative energy and housing construction.
Particular attention was paid to the project initiated by the People's Republic of China to create a new “Silk Road” from Asia through Ukraine to Europe. "This is a very important and mutually beneficial project for us and our Chinese partners. By the time of the bilateral commission in April, we have to prepare this project roadmap and enlist the support of Chinese partners in implementing it," highlighted Gennady Zubko. In this context, with a view to increasing Ukrainian exports, the Commission agreed on the possibility of attracting Chinese loan and investment resources for the development of domestic river and rail transport as well as port infrastructure.
Thus, the Commission session confirmed the priority of the forthcoming prospective Ukrainian-Chinese projects whose implementation could bring bilateral trade and economic relations to a level consistent with the strategic partnership between Ukraine and the PRC:
in the area of infrastructure and construction: the above infrastructure project for the establishment and operation of the New Silk Road Economic Belt;
in development of the mortgage market and construction of affordable housing: implementation of memorandum between the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine, CITIC Chinese State Corporation and the State Mortgage Institution of Ukraine with ССЕС Chinese Company on housing construction activities and potential rental housing construction, etc.;
in the energy sector: modernization of gas production processes to increase the volume of Ukrainian gas production, as well as transfer of state and municipal TPPs to coal with the aim of developing local coal mines, including in the Lviv region;
in agriculture: increase in exports of Ukrainian agricultural products to the PRC, as well as the possibility of accrediting the relevant RPC product quality control bodies.
Following the consideration and discussion of the above-mentioned issues, the draft agenda and the Final Protocol of the 3rd session of the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the PRC Cooperation Commission were approved for further transmission to the Chinese partner. It should be noted that the UCBC together with the AUCC prepared and submitted for consideration to the Ukrainian Section of the Commission their proposals to the agenda and the Final Protocol which were adopted in full and included in the relevant draft documents.
Among them is the issue of visa liberalization, establishment of mutual tourist exchange (mass and group tourism), opening of representative offices of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Ukraine and the Chinese CCPIT in Beijing and Kyiv, the Mutual Insurance Society of the National Expositions of Ukraine and China in 2017, restoration and further development of effective cooperation at the level of regions and provinces of the two countries, implementation of a set of measures to celebrate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and China.
In addition, the Ukrainian Section of the Commission instructed the UCBC and AUCC to take an active part in the organization and holding of the Ukrainian-Chinese Business Forum which is traditionally held as part of the Intergovernmental Commission meetings. It is expected that the 3rd Joint Meeting of the Government of Ukraine and the Government of the PRC Cooperation Commission will be held in Kiev in Q2 2016.