Georgia, Hong-Kong sign free trade deal, 28 Jun 2018 - 14:21, Tbilisi,Georgia

Hong Kong and Georgia have signed a free trade agreement (FTA) today which will provide legal certainty and boost market access and investment flow between the two countries.

Georgia will eliminate import tariffs on 96.6 percent of its tariff lines for Hong Kong products and will give Hong Kong investors special treatment and other safeguards that are the same as those enjoyed by its local investors.

Georgian Deputy Economic Minister Genadi Arveladze and the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong Kong, Edward Yau signed the free trade agreement in Hong Kong today.

Yau said that this is the first free trade agreement between Hong Kong and a country in the Caucasus.

Georgia is a close trading partner of Hong Kong in the Caucasus and an emerging market with great potential for further growth. The FTA is comprehensive in scope, encompassing trade in goods, trade in services, investment, dispute settlement mechanism and other related areas. It will provide a platform for both parties to take their bilateral economic and trade relations to a new level, while offering ample opportunities for Hong Kong businessmen to tap the Georgian market and the Caucasus covered under the Belt and Road Initiative” Yau said as reported by Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (GovHK).

 The FTA signing ceremony in the Belt and Road Summit that was held today in Hong Kong. Photo: Georgia's Ministry of Economy.

The document will enter into force by the end of the current year. Consequently, its implementation will promote trade turnover between the countries and give Georgian entrepreneurs a chance to supply their products and services to high-end consumer market without additional bureaucratic barriers.

As GovHK reported the total merchandise trade between Hong Kong and Georgia was HK$320 million in 2017. Georgia ranked 121st among Hong Kong's worldwide trading partners for trade in goods in 2017. Reciprocally, Hong Kong ranked 26th among Georgia's trading partners for trade in goods in 2016.

Georgia’s Ministry of Economy said that Georgia’s main export items to Hong Kong are cheese, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, canned fruit and vegetable, hazelnut, fruit, honey, textile and other products.

So far Georgia has free trade deals with the EU, China, Hong-Kong, European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Turkey and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Negotiations on the establishment of free trade regimes are underway with India, Israel and the United States.