Lithuania wants to boost trade as EU-Ukraine agreement enters into full force

Foto: DELFI / Audrius Solominas

Lithuanian and Ukrainian officials announce their intentions to increase bilateral trade as Viktoras Pranckietis, the speaker of the Seimas, continues his visit to Ukraine.

Possibilities for boosting trade between Lithuania and Ukraine were discussed as the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement fully entered into force on Friday. The part of the agreement that liberalizes trade took effect back in January, but some business people say that Ukraine's political rapprochement with the EU may give a fresh boost to investments and trade between the country and the bloc.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman said as he met with Pranckietis on Thursday that Ukraine and Lithuania should increase their annual trade volume to a billion euros.

"We would like to set a mutual trade target of 1 billion (euros)," he said.

Trade between the two countries last year amounted to 811 million. Lithuania's exports to Ukraine include oil products, food, steel and iron, wood, and machinery and mechanical equipment.

Rimantas Šegžda, Lithuania's commercial attaché to Ukraine, thinks that it is realistic to reach the target in several years' time.

"(Trade between the countries) may return to a billion (euro level) in two years' time and grwoth further," he said.

Virginijus Sinkevičius, chairman of the Lithuanian parliament's Committee on Economics, told BNS that he and Groysman had discussed Ukraine's planned tender for the modernization of railway locomotives, in which subsidiaries of Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) could participate.

"Lithuania has experience with modernizing Soviet-built locomotives and it could really help Ukraine," the Lithuanian politician said.

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