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New Canada-Ukraine Deal To Expand Immigration Post COVID-19

An agreement announced Wednesday should see Ukrainian immigrants have easier access to Canada once the COVID-19 pandemic’s travel restrictions are lifted.

The newly- established Canada-Ukraine Mobility Working Group was announced on Wednesday to identify and improve opportunities for Ukrainians seeking to come to Canada.

“Through generations of Ukrainians who have made Canada their home, the Ukrainian-Canadian community continues to make immense contributions to Canada’s economy, our society and our diverse cultural fabric,” said Canada immigration Minister Marco Mendicino.

“The unique partnership that we are unveiling today will serve to further strengthen the deep-rooted, people-to-people bond between our two countries.”

There are about 1.3 million Canadians of Ukrainian origin.

The mobility working group is to allow the two countries (Canada-Ukraine) to share best practices on migration management, promote Canada’s economic immigration programs, increase recruitment, and further strengthen co-operation on immigration-related matters.

Youth Mobility Agreement With Ukraine To Be Unveiled Soon

The agreement unveiled this week is also expected to only be the starting point for another deal between both  countries, a youth mobility agreement that will provide Canadian and Ukrainian youths with opportunities to travel, later this year.

“The people of Canada and Ukraine have a strong relationship that will only be deepened and strengthen by the announcements made today,” said Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau.

“Our people-to-people ties, but also our commitments to Ukraine’s sovereignty, is very clear and Canada will continue to stand by Ukrainians as reforms takes place in the country.”

Ukraine’s Reforms In Last Few Years Boost Trade

Ukraine has undertaken reforms that have opened up new markets for the Ukraine businesses, increasing the country’s trade with the European Union. In 2017 alone, more than 500,000 Ukrainians travelled to the European Union under the visa-free regime and about 7,200 academic exchanges also took place.

“Ukraine has advanced in a number of important and demanding reforms over the past year, including pensions, healthcare, public administration, decentralisation, public procurement and the environment,” stated Johannes Hahn, the commissioner for European neighbourhood policy and enlargement negotiation at the European Commission.

That was the year, Canada entered into a free trade agreement with Ukraine, lifting tariffs on eighty-six (86) per cent of Canadian merchandise exported to that country.

Canada-Ukraine Trade Hits $300m In 2019 

Two years on, in 2019, two-way trade of goods between Canada and Ukraine hit roughly $300 million.

That year, Canada played host to the third Ukraine Reform Conference, which brought together foreign ministers from the European Union, NATO countries and G-7 to Toronto in July to support Ukrainian government  and help them meet their ambitious democratic and economic reforms program and Euro-Atlantic goals.

Canada and Ukraine work together as part of several international organizations, including the United Nations, and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.