Israel and Ukraine have agreed to set up a joint working group which will negotiate a free trade agreement between them, in view of Ukraine’s imminent admittance to the Word Trade Organization (WTO), according to Globes Online. Trade between Israel and the Ukraine totaled $334 million in January-September 2006, 19% higher than in the corresponding period in 2005.

      At present, Israel and Ukraine have a anti-discrimination agreement that sets out customs tariffs for each product, based on the rate of customs tariffs that Israel imposes on goods coming in from countries with which it does not have a free trade agreement. Ukrainian customs tariffs on Israeli exports are high but Israel faces other problems when dealing with Ukraine, most notably excessive bureaucracy, lack of transparency, payment of commissions and bribes, logistical difficulties, and individual demands from different authorities.