A Step Forward: Second Round of Georgia-China Free Trade Negotiations

Representatives of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and the Special Administrative Unit of the Republic of China noted that both sides are ready to complete free trade agreement negotiations by the end of 2016 with the deals to come into force in early 2017.

The Georgian and Chinese parties met in the framework of the second round of free trade talks in Beijing on May 9-13. The first round was held in Tbilisi on February 22-23, 2016. After the meeting it was announced that the third round of negotiations will take place in Tbilisi this July.

The second round of talks between the parties focused on the exchange of offers on trade in goods and services. According to the Ministry of Economy, significant progress has been made in customs procedures, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers in trade, trade security measures, competition, intellectual property protection, as well as trade in services.

“The free trade agreement with the Republic of China is another step forward in terms of diversification of export markets, which is one of the priorities of the government. After the enactment of the agreement, an additional market of 1.4 billion customers will open to us, significantly increasing the investment attractiveness and reflecting positively on Georgia’s economic development,” stated the Ministry of Economy.

Alongside the next round of negotiations in July, Georgia and China intend to conduct consultations every two months.

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

Eka Karsaulidze

23 May 2016 19:26