Ukraine needs to choose between two trade policy models – WTO’s ex-Director General Pascal Lamy

21 September 2013

Ukraine has to make a choice between the two world’s major trade policy models.  Whatever choice it makes, Ukraine’s development will depend on the situation inside the country and its capability to resist external pressure and external challenges. This was the opinion voiced by former Director General of the World Trade Organisation, President of Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute, Pascal Lamy, during a discussion at the 10th Annual Meeting of the Yalta European Strategy ongoing in Livadia Palace, Yalta.

Ukraine has to make a choice between the two world’s major trade policy models.  Whatever choice it makes, Ukraine’s development will depend on the situation inside the country and its capability to resist external pressure and external challenges. This was the opinion voiced by former Director General of the World Trade Organisation, President of Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute, Pascal Lamy, during a discussion at the 10th Annual Meeting of the Yalta European Strategy ongoing in Livadia Palace, Yalta.

“Ukraine has to choose between two major trade models. The first is what EU and Eurasian communities have chosen to follow. This is a system in which you transfer the trade sovereignty of your country to a supra-national body.  The second is what countries such as Mexico, Norway, Switzerland, Canada and other countries have chosen to follow.  In this model you preserve trade sovereignty in your own country and makes a series of free trade agreements with many other countries, said Pascal Lamy.

In his opinion, the second model is optimum for Ukraine.   His arrived at this opinion for a number of reasons.   Firstly, Ukraine has a specific mix of economical dominance that is unlike other EU/Eurasian Community countries, secondly, the commodity turnover of Ukraine is divided in approximately equal proportions between the EU and Eurasia. Finally, out-of-tariff barriers influence trade in Ukraine.

“Ukraine is situated in a good position between the two unions where differing standards are in operation. However, it is my opinion that the standards will converge at some point in the future.  ”.

Therefore, the best scenario for Ukraine is to follow the example set by Mexico, which is now a party to free trade area agreements both with the USA and the EU and develops analogous agreements with the Asian countries.

“Whatever strategy Ukraine chooses, the main point is what is inside the country. The matter of real importance is whether economic policy is adaptable to economic pressures and challenges of the modern world”, he said.

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Yalta European Strategy (YES) is the largest social institution of public diplomacy in Eastern Europe, providing an open and equal dialogue on global issues affecting the European Union, Ukraine, Russia and other countries. This non-partisan organisation was established in 2004 by the Ukrainian businessman and public figure Victor Pinchuk.

The YES Annual Meetings held in Yalta’s Livadia Palace have become an open platform to discuss and look for new ideas and views on paths to European, Ukrainian and global development. Every year these meetings bring together over 200 politicians, diplomats, statesmen, journalists, analysts and business leaders from more than 20 countries.  The dialogue on global challenges broadens the vision on the situation inside Ukraine and the prospects for the country’s development in the modern world. It is also an incentive to find common ground between countries, common interests and values.

At the YES Annual Meetings the world's top opinion leaders present their visions of current and future trends which impact all spheres of life of society. In 2010, 2011 and 2012 the events were opened by Presidents Viktor Yanukovych, Bronislaw Komorowski, Shimon Peres and Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. YES Annual Meetings key speakers have included Mykola Azarov, Kofi Annan, Egemen Bagis, Carl Bildt, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Richard Branson, James Wolfensohn, Newt Gingrich, Herman Gref, Arkadiy Dvorkovich,  Robert Zoellick, Bill Clinton, Paul Krugman, Alexei Kudrin, Leonid Kuchma, Yuri Milner, Condoleezza Rice, Lawrence Summers, Radoslaw Sikorski, Javier Solana, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Shashi Tharoor, Strobe Talbott, Niall Ferguson, Vladimir Filat, Joschka Fischer, Stefan Fule, Gerhard Schroeder, Muhammad Yunus and many others.

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