Third round: Georgia-China make progress in free trade talks

The Georgia-China Free Trade deal is expected to come into play by the end of this year. Photo by Georgia's Ministry of Economy., 25 Jul 2016 - 13:58, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia and China are one step closer to establishing a free trade regime, which will facilitate increased business and trade turnover between both nations.

We made important progress in negotiations and only several points need some extra attention,” said Deputy Economy Minister Genadi Arveladze after the third round of Georgia-China free trade talks, held in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi on July 18-22.

After last week’s discussion both sides decided not to hold the fourth round of negotiations but continue the talks in a smaller format in September.

Arveladze said taking into account the recent progress of the free trade talks, Georgia and China expected to finalise the deal by the end of 2016.

In the third round of talks Georgia and China exchanged offers about the trade of goods and trade in services. The two countries made important progress to agree on customs procedures, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers in trade, trade security measures, competition, protection of intellectual property and trade in services.

A free trade deal with China will be extremely beneficial for Georgia as it will facilitate increased business and trade turnover between the nations, said the Georgian Government.

With this deal Georgia will be able to export its products to China – a market of 1.4 billion customers - without additional customs fees.

Georgia and China began discussing the possibility of a free trade regime at the beginning of this year. The first round of talks were held in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi on February 22-23, while China hosted the second round of negotiations in May.

When the talks are completed and an agreement has been reached, Georgia will be the first country in the region to have this type of deal with China.