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EU Advances Trade Relationships With Georgia & Moldova

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

09 December 2013

Deals initialled last week by the European Union (EU) with Georgia and Moldova will establish Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas (DCFTAs).

Negotiations toward the two Association Agreements began in 2010, and were completed earlier this year. The EU's aim in concluding treaties of this kind is to accelerate its political and economic relationships with partner countries. They foresee cooperation in over 25 different sectors, including the environment, agriculture, tourism, education, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and transport.

The DCFTAs set up under the Agreements will liberalize trade to the fullest extent possible, by reducing tariffs, facilitating improved customs procedures, and introducing rules of origin and trade defence instruments. Also included in the Agreements are stipulations on competition and transparency, the protection of intellectual property rights, and the adaptation of domestic public procurement laws within the EU.

Precautions have been made to ensure that only eligible goods can qualify for preferential treatment. Existing customs tariffs and regulatory barriers will be phased out, to increase the variety and quality of the products and services available. It is hoped that this will in turn encourage specialization, lower costs, and prompt further innovation.

It is estimated that Georgian exports to the EU will rise by 12 percent, and its EU imports by 7.5 percent. The country's gross domestic product (GDP) could increase by 4.3 percent in the long term, provided that the DCFTA is implemented and its effects sustained. Moldova's anticipated change in national income stands at 5.4 percent, while its EU-related exports and imports could go up by 16 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

The Agreements will be signed next year. All parties have confirmed their intentions to implement the provisions as soon as possible.

TAGS: environment | tax | law | intellectual property | gross domestic product (GDP) | tariffs | trade treaty | agreements | education | tax rates | Georgia | Moldova | tax reform | trade | European Union (EU) | services | Europe

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