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EU-Georgia Free Trade Deal Boosting Trade Flows

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

01 December 2016

Trade flows between Georgia and the EU increased 16 percent in 2015, the first full year since the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) was provisionally applied.

The EU-Georgia Association Agreement, which includes a DCFTA, was provisionally applied from September 2014. It fully entered into force on July 1, 2016.

The provisional application of the DCFTA led to the removal of customs tariffs and quotas. According to the Commission, "It offered Georgia a framework for boosting trade and economic growth with the aim to facilitate Georgia's progressive integration with the EU single market."

The Commission said that Georgian exports to the EU increased by 16 percent in 2015 and, "as a direct result of the DCFTA, new Georgian products are being exported to the EU, such as kiwis, blueberries, nuts, garlic, and wine."

"There have also been sizable increases of exports to the EU of copper and petroleum oils," it added.

However, the Commission also observed that Georgia's trade "remains fragile." It noted that while Georgia is making use of the opportunities afforded by the DCFTA and has begun exporting certain non-traditional food products to the UK, "substantial challenges lie ahead in terms of strengthening and expanding Georgia's production base and export capacity."

The Commission acknowledged that the requirement on Georgia to approximate certain EU regulations under the DCFTA has been spread over a number of years. This will mean that "export opportunities to the EU market will also take some time to fully materialize," it said.

TAGS: European Commission | free trade agreement (FTA) | tariffs | trade treaty | food | agreements | Georgia | regulation | trade | European Union (EU) | Europe

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