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UK and Ukraine announce a ‘new era of modern trade’ with new deal

Image credit: Foto 155428847 © Ruletkka |

The UK has signed an "historic" digital trade deal to support Ukraine’s economy during and after the war with Russia.

Kemi Badenoch, the UK's business and trade secretary, alongside Yulia Svyrydenko, Ukraine’s first deputy prime minister and minister of economy, virtually signed a new 'Digital Trade Agreement' (DTA) to help Ukraine support its economy through the current crisis. 

The Department for Business and Trade today hosted a number of Ukrainian ministers, along with 200 UK and international business representatives and officials, to celebrate the signing of the digital trade deal between the two nations. 

The digital trade agreement is expected to support Ukrainian businesses by cutting red tape and helping them to trade with the UK more efficiently, as well as make it easier for UK companies to work with Ukrainian businesses and support their economic recovery.

Under the deal, Ukrainian businesses will have guaranteed access to the financial services crucial for reconstruction efforts through the deal’s facilitation of cross-border data flows. Ukrainian businesses will also be able to trade more efficiently and cheaply with the UK through electronic transactions, e-signatures and e-contracts.

It will also give Ukrainian firms access to UK financial services through provisions on cross-border data flows.

“The historic digital trade deal signed today paves the way for a new era of modern trade between our two countries," Badenoch said. “We are also extending tariff-free trade on imports from Ukraine to early 2024, providing much-needed support to Ukrainian businesses.

“These initiatives will help protect jobs, livelihoods and families now and in Ukraine’s postwar future.”

Ukraine’s economy minister Yulia Svyrydenko said: “This digital trade agreement illustrates that Ukrainian IT companies operating in Ukraine are in demand around the world despite all the challenges of war.”

Digital tools have become a fundamental part of the war effort in Ukraine, allowing people in war-torn areas to access everyday vital goods and services. The agreement provides a framework for the UK and Ukraine to cooperate to promote compatibility between their respective digital identity systems.

The agreement, first announced in August 2022, is based on a similar agreement signed between the UK and Singapore earlier this year and it follows the government’s decision to cut tariffs on all goods from Ukraine to zero in May 2022. 

In 2021, total trade between the UK and Ukraine was valued at £1.9bn, with UK exports of digitally delivered services accounting for 73 per cent of all UK services exports to Ukraine in 2020. However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has disrupted commercial activities between the two countries. 

In November, the UK government revealed it has been supporting Ukraine’s cyber-security efforts against Russia with a £6.35m package designed to protect some of its critical national infrastructure.

The UK’s total military, humanitarian and economic support pledged since 24 February 2022 amounts to over £4bn, according to government figures.

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