China, Ukraine sign deal to strengthen infrastructure cooperation
Published: Jul 04, 2021 02:32 PM
A view of Kiev, Ukraine Photo: Unsplash

A view of Kiev, Ukraine Photo: Unsplash

China and Ukraine have signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation in the infrastructure sector, accelerating economic ties between the two countries, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said on Sunday.

The two countries will encourage domestic enterprises and financial institutions to actively cooperate on road, bridge and rail transit projects, and provide necessary help and support for the implementation of cooperative projects, which are expected to have broad development prospects, according to the agreement.

The agreement was signed by Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao and Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Oleksandr Kubrakov on June 30.

The deal shows that both sides have made enormous efforts to push ahead with pragmatic cooperation based on mutual understanding and support despite some disruptions, experts said.

In January, the Ukrainian government decided to sanction four Chinese companies and three Chinese citizens who participated in a deal involving Ukrainian aerospace company Motor Sich, which drew strong opposition from China. 

The US, which blacklisted the Chinese firm involved, has sought to undermine the deal, creating pressure on Ukraine. At the end of last year, Chinese investors in Motor Sich sought international arbitration against Ukraine with a demand for compensation of $3.5 billion.

"If Kiev can recognize the situation and get rid of the country's dependence on the West, the prospects for China-Ukraine cooperation are good," Song Kui, president of the Contemporary China-Russia Regional Economy Research Institute, told the Global Times on Sunday.

On June 25, Ukraine withdrew its signature from a joint statement on the human rights situation concerning Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, a move that was welcomed by China. 

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the action reflected Ukraine's spirit of independence and its respect for facts, and it conforms to the purposes of the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations.

Economic and trade relations between China and Ukraine have developed smoothly, and cooperation in infrastructure has shown good development momentum, experts noted.

New contracts signed by Chinese companies in the Ukrainian engineering market have exceeded $2 billion for two consecutive years, making positive contributions to the country's economic development, data from the MOFCOM showed. 

The Ukrainian government is investing in large-scale construction in the Dnipropetrovsk region, with priority given to air, road and rail transport, in addition to strengthening connections between urban centers. 

This policy will help release the full potential and broad prospects of China-Ukraine cooperation in infrastructure construction, according to the MOFCOM.

"Cooperation is undoubtedly beneficial to Ukraine's economic development. Now, infrastructure is the cooperation focus. I believe that in the future, more cooperation will be carried out in industry and high technology," Song said.

Global Times