Georgia, China Sign Free Trade Agreement

Georgia and China finalized free trade negotiations by signing an agreement on May 13 in Beijing, China.

The agreement was signed by Giorgi Gakharia, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, and Zhang Shan, Minister of Commerce of the People's Republic of China.

After the Free Trade Agreement with China takes effect, the world's largest market, which unites approximately 1.4 billion customers, will be opened to the goods and services of Georgia. As per the rules of the agreement, 94% of Georgian goods imported to China will be free from any import taxes. Wine, nuts, honey, mineral water, beer, non-alcoholic beverages, jams, juices, vegetables, fruits, chocolate products, tea, fish, and other sea products will be on the list of Georgian goods for export to China.

“We see a lot of potential in signing a free trade regime with countries like China, because we believe that Georgia should be the most favorable, comfortable and attractive platform for trade between large economies,” Minister Gakharia said. “Georgian producers will have the opportunity to import products onto the Chinese market without any additional customs fees”.

The first Vice-Premier and Finance Minister of Georgia, Dimitry Kumsishvili also attended the signing ceremony.

“We have advanced the relations between the two countries to a new level. I want to congratulate both Georgian and Chinese businesses on this important agreement,” he said.

So far Georgia has signed free trade agreements with the European Union, Turkey, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and the European Free Trade Association. Negotiations are also underway to make an agreement with India.

China has signed 14 free trade agreements with more than 24 states and regions of the world.

Free trade negotiations between Georgia and China were launched in 2015. The Memorandum of Free Trade Agreement was signed in October 2016 and after seven months the deal has been finalized, which makes Georgia the first country in the region to have such an agreement with China.

Thea Morrison

15 May 2017 17:59