EFTA and Georgia hold first round of free trade negotiations

Published 07-09-2015
A first round of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EFTA States and Georgia was held from 1 to 4 September 2015 in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Mr Mikheil Janelidze, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, led the Georgian delegation, while Mr Jan Farberg, Director-General of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries of Norway, acted as the EFTA Spokesperson.
 
Expert working groups convened to discuss draft texts in areas such as trade in goods (including rules of origin, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade remedies and trade facilitation), trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition, trade and sustainable development, government procurement, and legal and institutional issues. The negotiations were held in a very constructive and efficient atmosphere and substantial progress could be achieved in all areas.
 
The negotiations towards an FTA were preceded by the signing of a Joint Declaration on Cooperation (JDC) between the Parties on 28 June 2012, as well as discussions in September 2014 and February 2015 on the modalities of negotiations in the framework of the Joint Committee established under the JDC. The date for the second round of negotiations will be agreed shortly.
 
The total value of commodity trade between the EFTA States and Georgia has almost doubled since 2010, peaking at USD 66 million in 2013. The stock of foreign direct investment in Georgia’s economy originating from the EFTA States has also grown significantly, reaching USD 411 million in 2012.
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