The second round of negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EFTA States and Georgia was held from 1 to 4 December 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Mr Genadi Arveladze, 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 technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and trade remedies), trade in services, investment, competition, 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 third round of negotiations will be held in the first quarter of 2016 in Georgia.
The total value of commodity trade between the EFTA States and Georgia has more than doubled since 2009, reaching USD 60 million in 2014. The stock of foreign direct investment in Georgia’s economy originating from the EFTA States has also grown significantly, and stood at approximately USD 400 million in 2012.
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