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At the opening of the 4th German-Ukrainian Business Forum in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she sees great potential in Ukraine and that Germany will support Ukraine in its reform work. 

Germany is one of Ukraine’s largest trading partners, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes that the trade between the two countries can grow even more. She said so at the opening of the 4th German-Ukrainian Business Forum in Berlin, where Ukraine and Germany representatives met to discuss economic cooperation. 

“Ukraine is an important trading partner, and it is also a place into which you should channel your investments. We appreciate it. Two thousand German companies and their representative offices actively work in Ukraine now,” said Merkel and adding that Ukraine has a “huge potential” but needs laws to protects investors’ investments. 

“Ukraine has highly qualified personnel in the industrial sphere, primarily in mechanical engineering and aircraft construction, as well as in the agricultural sector. IT also plays an increasing role,” Merkel said, according to Ukrinform. 

Germany is a significant trading partner

According to the Ukrainian Government, the EU is Ukraine’s largest trading partner, and Germany’s share among EU countries is 17.6 percent. The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says that Germany is essential for Ukraine. 

“Ukraine’s strategic course towards European integration remains unchanged. We strive to synchronize and integrate our economy into the economic system of the European Union. Cooperation between Ukraine and Germany – the driving force of European integration – is of particular importance on this path,” Zelensky said, according to Ukrinform, and added that Germany is important for several reasons where economic development is one of them and the support for the war in Donbas – another.

Ukraine exports to Germany was 2.21 Billion dollars during 2018, according to Tradingeconomics. You can see the Ukrainian export below. 

It is still not clear what deals have been signed or will be signed shortly between Germany and Ukraine after the business forum. However, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna has said to Ukrinform that Germany will invest 1.67 billion dollars in the Ukrainian economy. 

“This year, Ukraine and Germany are expected to agree on a program of a ‘fair transition’ and start implementing it through four pilot projects next year,” she said, “We are talking about hydrogen, cooperation in the field of battery economy, etc.”

Germany: Reforms are needed

While both sides talked about the great potential for future cooperation and trade, Marco Wanderwitz, who is Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in Germany, said that it all depends on Ukraine. 

“Ukraine is one of Germany’s most important economic partners in the region, and Ukraine has made great progress in reforms lately, even in recent months. If you continue to follow this path, we will see a significant increase in the German presence in Ukraine in the coming years. This goal unites us. I am very glad that Ukrainian business and business ties between our countries have not been affected much by the coronavirus pandemic,” Wanderwitz said, according to Ukrinform. 

“Ukraine has great advantages, it is a digital ‘champion’, and therefore the IT sector in Ukraine is becoming increasingly important for German business. This is exactly the place where we can produce our products… We believe that we have a lot of potential in economic relations with Ukraine. First, it concerns the opening of the German market for Ukraine, and vice versa, the development of infrastructure, production of equipment for industry…,” he said.