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Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has instructed the interagency working group chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Yuriy Boyko to develop within two months the negotiating Ukraine's positions regarding the EU Association Agreement, and a Free Trade Zone, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine informs.
According to Azarov, the Cabinet finalized simulating practical scenarios of the Free Trade Zone with the EU. This issue was the subject of numerous meetings with the representatives of various industries and agricultural sector.
“So, preliminary sectoral risk analysis has been performed for the domestic economy under these conditions. It gives certain conclusions as to the Agreement implementation conditions we have to negotiate with the European partners,” Azarov said.
Experts say there are several risks for agriculture under these conditions. “The domestic agricultural production is developing dynamically and we have no right to trip it,” the prime minister said.
Agricultural experts say that despite the fact that Ukraine reduces its customs duties by over six times — from the average 9.24% to about 1%, Ukrainian farmers cannot immediately experience the benefits of that on the supplies to the EU because their products do not conform to the EU product quality and safety standards. In this case, the dairy and meat industry and the sector of fruit and vegetables may be jeopardized.
It is therefore necessary to identify the sources of resources and technical support for the rapid modernization of these industries. Today, the government subsidies to farmers in the European Union are by 10 times greater than in Ukraine and amount to 300-400 EUR per 1 hectare on the average. This figure in Ukraine is about 43.6 EUR per 1 hectare.