World Trade Ogranisation reviews Georgia’s trade policy

The 2016 Economic Growth Forecast by Bloomberg ranked Georgia in 23d place among 93 countries after the country gained 3% economic growth. Photo by N.Alavidze/, 20 Jan 2016 - 11:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian officials are paying an official visit to Geneva to present a report on the Trade Policy Review of Georgia to the World Trade Ogranisation (WTO) experts.

The second review of the trade policies and practices of Georgia takes place on January 19 and 21, 2016. The basis for the review is a report by the WTO Secretariat and a report by the Government of Georgia.

Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countries' trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. 

Trade Policy Review by the Georgian Government said Georgia continued the trend of trade liberalisation activities during the reporting period [2009-2014 years].

The report said tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade were largely eliminated, and export and import procedures were simplified as a result of the subsequent and coherent reform measures.

Liberal trade policies, preferential trade regimes, and access to the EU market in the long run will create a solid foundation for strengthening and developing local industry, facilitate exports and foreign direct investment,” said the report.

Furthermore, liberal economic reforms and improved business environment have been well reflected in various international ratings. Georgia’s rating in the Ease of Doing Business 2014 Survey was 15th place. Georgia was among top 10 countries in the following areas:

  • Registering Property (1st place);
  • Dealing with Construction Permits (3rd place);
  • Starting a Business (5th place); and
  • Getting Credit (7th place).

Following from the above, according to the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC), Georgia was15th most attractive place to do business worldwide. Based on "Economic Freedom of the World 2015” (Fraser Institute) Georgia was ranked 11th among 157 countries.

The report said the basic objectives of Georgia’s trade policy were defined as follows:

  • Integration into the world economy, including the implementation of WTO membership obligations and obligations under other international agreements;
  • Trade policy liberalisation, including simplification of export and import procedures and tariff and non-tariff regulation;
  • Diversification of trade relations by establishing preferential regimes with main trade and regional partner countries; and
  • Enhancement of transparency in the policy-making process.

The report said Georgia has positioned itself as an attractive destination for foreign direct investment by undertaking numerous economic reform initiatives and ensuring a strong legal system to protect investor rights.

The government’s priorities are now focused on further improving investment climate and strengthening investor confidence to attract more foreign investment and boost economic growth,” said the report.

One of the priorities of the Georgian Government was the diversification of export markets as well as products, according to the report.

Since the last trade policy review of 2009, Georgia signed a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with European Union and currently Georgia enjoys free trade with the markets of more than 800 million people, including the EU, CIS and Turkey. Georgian Government continues active work on enhancement of trade regimes with other partners as well.

Georgia has been a member of WTO since June 14, 2000.