The European Union and Georgia “successfully concluded” on July 22 negotiations for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), the European Commission said.
The DCFTA will be included in the Association Agreement and signed as soon as internal EU and Georgia procedures are completed, it said.
“The comprehensive FTA, negotiated in just 17 months and seven rounds, will see Georgia gaining better access to the EU market for its goods and services. The FTA also sets a path for further reforms in trade-related policies, such as hygiene standards for agricultural products and the approximation of regulations for industrial products. This will boost access for Georgian goods to the EU market whilst also increasing consumer safety in Georgia. The Agreement is expected to boost the inflow of European direct investment to Georgia thanks to an open, stable and predictable policy-making environment,” the European Commission said.
EU and Georgia launched DCFTA talks in February, 2012.
Georgia hopes to initial - a step before the official signature, Association Agreement with the EU, which also includes DCFT, by the time of the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius in late November.
Foreign Minister of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius, whose country holds EU’s rotating presidency, wrote on his Twitter: “I welcome conclusion of Georgia free trade talks. Important EaP phase completed. We should seek more beyond Vilnius” summit.
Štefan Füle, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood, wrote on his Twitter that concluding of the DCFTA talks would now pave the way for initialing of the Association Agreement at the Vilnius summit.
Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment, a report carried out for the EU, forecasts that the DCFTA has a potential to increase Georgia’s exports to the EU by 12% and imports from the EU by 7.5%.