Interview with D. Zorgach in Swedac’s newsletter

m87_0_uaDmytro Zorgach: “The accreditation agency is important to the new Ukraine”

- The accreditation agency plays a key role in the reforming of Ukraine’s economy. So says Dmytro Zorgach,head of the National Accreditation Agency of Ukraine, NAAU. In February, he visited Sweden to participate in the international training programme on the WTO’s SPS agreement, which Swedac was assigned by Sida to arrange. Swedac has also taken part in an EU financed twinning project, where efforts were aimed at developing NAAU and adapting their organisation to EU requirements. The first step is the bilateral agreement between NAAU and the European co-operation for Accreditation, in the field of certification of persons.

  •  What are the practical outcomes of the agreement?

- The agreement itself may not make that much a difference, as it is limited to certification of persons. But the entire system of free trade is based on trust, and this agreement means that we have received our first international acknowledgement as an accreditation agency. Hopefully, this will open the door to the EU for other government agencies and ministries in Ukraine.

  •  How important are Ukraine’s contacts with the EU?

- For historical reasons, Russia is our main trade partner. But trade with the EU is becoming increasingly more important, even if the global financial crisis has hit our economy hard. Ukraine is a country with large supplies of raw materials such as iron and steel. But we also have plenty of arable agricultural land, and foodstuff s are among our main export commodities.

However, in order for exports to increase substantially, we need to make more adjustments to our quality infrastructure. The accreditation agency is a first step, but we also need agencies for, for example, metrology so that laboratories are able to certify their traceability.

  •  In February, Ukraine had their presidential election and Viktor Janukovytj was elected the new president after Viktor Jusjtjenko. How will this affect Ukraine’s contacts with the EU?

- Although Viktor Janukovytj has declared that he wants to strengthen our bonds with Russia, I’m convinced that he realises the importance of a continued co-operation with the EU. One of Ukraine’s long-term goals is to join the EU. Therefore, the presidential shift will not lead to any dramatic changes for us. We will continue on the established road of adapting our activities according to the EU requirements. We recently hired eight new employees to increase our competence.

  •  So far the NAAU has signed a bilateral agreement with EA. What’s next on the agenda?

- The next step is to reach similar agreements in other fields such as management systems, testing, calibration and inspection. I hope that we receive support from our European colleagues, including Swedac, as they have been of great help.