Georgia participates in first Eastern Partnership trade meeting

The trade increase between the EU and Georgia was praised at the first Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting on Trade. Photo by N. Alavidze/, 08 May 2015 - 12:49, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia has participated in the first Eastern Partnership (EaP) ministerial trade meeting, where European Union (EU) Trade Ministers met their counterparts from Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine and explored ways to develop each nation’s trade industry.

EU and EaP trade ministers met on May 7 in Riga, Latvia. The event was organised by the Council of the EU (currently under Latvian presidency), in close cooperation with the European Commission on Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting on Trade.

"Trade is an essential dimension of our partnership with our eastern neighbours,” said Latvia’s Foreign Minister and Council president Edgars Rinkevics.

"This meeting was a first step in a process that will contribute to strengthened cooperation, taking account of the diverse interests of our partners with regard to their trade relations with the EU," he added.

The ministers discussed each country’s preparation for the May 21-22 EaP Summit in Riga, and also made an ongoing review of the EU's European neighbourhood policy.

The achievements of the six EaP countries in the trade sector were acknowledged, and the opportunities and challenges facing the six countries as they further developed their trade sectors were also discussed.

The various officials exchanged views on current trade relations between the EU and the EaP countries, and the participants acknowledged the importance of trade and increased market opportunities for creating jobs and market growth.

Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova’s initial implementation of their Association Agreements (AA) with the EU was praised, and the EU side encouraged these three countries to continue their reform processes.

The EU side also noted trade between the EU and Georgia, and the EU with the Republic of Moldova had increased after the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTAs), which are part of the AA deals, came into force.

EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: "From the Commission’s side we will be continuing to support Moldova and Georgia to fully implement fully the agreements. There are good figures coming out so far and we will be looking forward to the provisional application of this FTA with Ukraine on 1 January,” she said.