Georgia negotiates with EFTA to establish free trade area

  • Geostat said the country's trade deficit equalled $3,036m in January-July 2015. Photo by N. Alavidze/, 2 Sep 2015 - 14:03, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is taking another step forward cementing its relationship with the European Union (EU) and fulfilling its obligations regarding the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) to establish a free trade area with European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries.

To see Georgia’s DCFTA progress, representatives of EFTA member countries Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are visiting Georgia to hold the first round of negotiations between Georgia and the EFTA.

Started yesterday the negotiations will continue until September 4 and aimed to create the proper foundations for Georgia to sign a Free Trade Area Agreement with the EFTA.

As a result of the agreement, the markets of four countries combining more than 13 million consumers, will be opened for Georgian products. One of the priorities of the Government of Georgia is promotion of export through diversification of export markets and flows,” said Georgia’s Ministry of Economy today.

This will be the first international agreement Georgia will sign with Lichtenstein and Iceland, noted the Ministry in its statement.

Georgia signed an Association Agreement with the EU on June 27 last year. Immediately following the signing the DCFTA part of the agreement went into force.

A decision to begin about the establishment of a free trade area with Georgia was made by the EFTA Council of Foreign Ministers on November 17, 2014.

Later, on February 4, 2015 Georgia and the EFTA agreed to hold the first round of agreement negotiations in Tbilisi at the beginning of September 2015 to discuss establishment of a free trade area between Georgia and the EFTA.

Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained the Free Trade Area Agreement with the EFTA was a "comprehensive agreement that provided for trade liberalisation measures and the possibilities to deal with non-tariff barriers”.

"The establishment of a free trade area with EFTA countries envisaged granting goods and services a preferential access to foreign markets and contributed to the growth of bilateral trade.”