Ukrainian premiere sees potential for ties with China

Updated: 2011-04-13 13:14
Large Medium Small

KIEV -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov sees great potential for cooperation with China in various fields.

"Bilateral relations between Ukraine and China have a huge development potential, which is yet to be unlocked," Azarov told Chinese reporters ahead of his trip to China.

"We could find opportunities for cooperation virtually in every field, such as transport, roads, aviation, space, scientific research and minerals."

Azarov will be in China for the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), dubbed the Asian equivalent of the World Economic Forum in Davos, on Wednesday and Thursday.

"I am very happy to visit China -- a friend of us -- to see its huge achievements and progress," said Azarov.

"We will tell other forum participants about our country and about the ongoing reforms being held there, while awakening businessmen's interest in Ukraine," he said.

Azarov stressed that his country has a quite liberal tax law system, which exempts tax on profits in some specific industries like energy conservation, energy efficiency, shipbuilding, aircraft manufacturing and textile industries.

Besides, Ukraine has concluded free trade agreements with almost all of its neighbors and is currently negotiating a free trade deal with the European Union, he said.

"As soon as we enter into this agreement, Ukrainian businesses will have a very good trade regime with such countries as Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and other European countries."

Azarov admitted that his country was badly stricken by the global economic crisis. To return to its economy to good shape is his government's top priority, said the prime minister.

He said he is interested in China's experience in handling the economy.

In recent years, China has realized sustained and rapid economic development, with huge improvement in people's livelihood and social security, he said.

Ukraine-China relations are at their best, said Azarov, noting that the heads of state of the two countries met twice last year.

As regards the European Football Championship 2012 to be jointly held by Ukraine and Poland, Azarov said the preparations are now on the final stage.

"Last year we built more than 1,000 km of roads. Now we are building airports, stadiums, hotels. We are developing infrastructure. We have no doubt that Ukraine will be well prepared to host this extremely important event," he said.