EFTA States sign Free Trade Agreement with Georgia

Published 27-06-2016
Ministers from the Member States of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – and from Georgia signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) today. The FTA will further strengthen the economic ties and promote trade and investment between the two sides.

The EFTA-Georgia FTA was signed by Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research; Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Iceland; Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liechtenstein; and Monica Mæland, Minister of Trade and Industry of Norway, on the EFTA side and by Dimitry Kumsishvili, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.

Building on a Joint Declaration on Cooperation signed by the EFTA States and Georgia in Gstaad in June 2012, the negotiations started in September 2015 and concluded in February 2016 following three rounds. The EFTA-Georgia FTA has comprehensive coverage, including trade in goods (industrial and agricultural goods, fish and other marine products), rules of origin, trade facilitation, SPS, TBT, trade in services, investment, competition, protection of intellectual property rights, government procurement and sustainable development. A Joint Committee will oversee the implementation of the FTA. The Agreement will enter into force after completion of the necessary internal procedures for ratification by the Parties.

Economic relations between the EFTA States and Georgia

Merchandise trade between the EFTA States and Georgia has increased at an average annual rate of 19 % between 2005 and 2015. In 2015, total merchandise trade between the EFTA States and Georgia was valued at USD 53.3 million, with EFTA’s exports to Georgia amounting to USD 49.4 million and exports from Georgia to the EFTA States reaching USD 3.9 million. EFTA’s key exports to Georgia were pharmaceuticals, fish and watches while EFTA’s imports mainly consisted of apparel and hazelnuts.

EFTA as a trade partner

With a combined population of around 13 million, and a combined GDP of USD 1.2 trillion, the EFTA States are the world’s 9th largest merchandise trader and the 5th largest trader in commercial services, as well as significant actors in the area of foreign direct investment. They now have 27 FTAs with a total of 38 partners outside the European Union.

High-resolution pictures from the signing


From left: Mr Kristinn Árnason, Secretary-General, EFTA;  Mr Girogi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister, Georgia; Mr Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, President of Switzerland and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research of Switzerland; Ms Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Iceland; Ms Aurelia Frick, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Liechtenstein; Ms Monica Mæland, Minister of Trade and Industry, Norway; Mr Dimitry Kumsishvili, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Georgia.

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