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Armenia Receives EU Trade Support

by Tatiana Smolenskaya,, Moscow

05 September 2012

The European Union has announced EUR60m (USD75.4m) in funding for Armenia to support the implementation of a new free trade agreement, and ongoing judicial reform.

Free trade negotiations officially commenced on February 29, 2012, aimed at improving trade relations between the two territories. Armenia already benefits from preferential access to the European Union market through the EU Generalized System of Preferences. As a result of this arrangement, taxes on cross border trade and already significantly reduced. The pact will therefore focus mainly on the removal of prohibitive trade regulations and other non-tariff barriers to trade, although it may also include additional import tax reductions.

Funds granted to Armenia will support authorities with preparations towards, and the implementation of, the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, which is being negotiated alongside additional agreements including a visa facilitation and re-admission agreement. The funds will also be used to provide training and export advice to national institutions, and to establish education facilities to train local laywers, judges and prosecutors to support Armenia in its efforts towards judicial reform.

The European Union said the package aims to allow Armenia to fully maximize the benefits it can derive from the new opportunities a free trade agreement presents.

Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Stefan Fule stated: "This is a further sign of the strengthening of our political and economic ties. Launching DCFTA negotiations is one more step towards closer economic integration which is one of the cornerstones of our relations with countries of Eastern Partnership."

Bilateral trade in goods amounted to EUR960m in 2011.

TAGS: tax | export duty | training | law | tariffs | Armenia | agreements | education | import duty | regulation | trade | European Union (EU) | free trade zone | Europe

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