An EU-Ukraine Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) has been provisionally implemented. It will be fully operational once all 28 EU countries agree to it.
The DCFTA offers Ukraine a framework for modernising its trade relations and for economic development by opening up markets and harmonising laws, standards and regulations in various sectors. This will help align key sectors of the Ukrainian economy with EU standards.
Foreign trade is vitally important for both the Ukrainian and the EU economies, in terms of growth and jobs, lower prices, better quality and greater choice for consumers through increased competition, and so on. The EU is one of the most open economies in the world and was a strong supporter of Ukraine's accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Snapshot of trade statistics
In 2014, Ukraine was the EU's 25th largest trading partner and 22nd largest export market (1.0 %).
The EU is Ukraine's largest trading partner: over the first 9 months of 2015, 32.9 % of all Ukrainian goods exported went to the EU, while 39.1 % of goods imported came from the EU. EU-Ukraine trade in goods reached €20.4 billion over the first 9 months of 2015.
The main goods Ukraine exports to the EU are ferrous metals, iron ore, electric machinery and cereals. The main goods the EU exports to Ukraine are machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, textile and clothing, and agricultural products.
In April 2014, the EU adopted Autonomous Trade Measures (ATM) by which it liberalised exports from Ukraine to the EU in line with the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Most Ukrainian goods can now be sold duty free on the EU market.
The EU is the largest foreign investor in Ukraine. Foreign direct investment (FDI) by EU countries has steadily increased over the past decade.
This looks set to continue under the DCFTA, as problems such as corruption, harassment by tax authorities and other issues will be addressed to help improve the investment climate in the country.