Exactly 2 years after signing the DCFTA with the EU, Georgia has concluded the Free Trade Agreement (the FTA) with European Free Trade Association (EFTA) that encompasses Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Iceland.
The document was signed today in Bern within the frames of the Prime Minister’s visit to the Swiss Confederation and the EFTA Ministerial by the first Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development DimitriKumsishvili as well as Federal President of the Swiss Confederation, the head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and ResearchJohann Schneider-Ammann and Ministers of the EFTA member-states.
“This happened exactly two years after signing an Agreement on the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the EU. I would like to note that we still believe in the EU and are enthusiastic about its future.
“Georgia and the EFTA countries share a common understanding of the value and importance of free trade. It is the very principle upon which the EFTA was created. With the conviction that free trade is a means of achieving growth and prosperity, EFTA has since the 1960s been a standard bearer for international exchange”, -Prime Minister indicated.
“This is particularly true regarding the trade sector: Georgia has a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area agreement with the EU, free trade with Turkey and the CIS countries, a preferential export regime (GSP) with the US, Canada, Japan, and we expect to sign a FTA with China by the end of this year.
This means that Georgia will soon have a web of free trade deals covering more than 2 billion consumers. We have been driven in all our actions by a firm determination to become a free, thriving and dynamic economy, which attracts investors and businesses alike. Today, we are a country with stable democratic institutions, low corruption a simplified tax system and business-friendly legislative environment. I am very proud to say that we have been ranked 9th in the world for ease of doing business by the World Bank and according to the World Economic Forum investors coming to Georgia can enjoy 24th lowest tax burden in the world.
Pursuant to the head of the Government, the FTA signed today is significant as it expands the scope of Georgia’s web of free trade agreements. It is also a significant step forward for Georgia to exchange freely with some of the most advanced and free economies in the world.
“An instrument of further deepening relations” – Federal President of the Swiss Confederation, the head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and ResearchJohann Schneider-Ammann assessed signing the FTA with these words. Pursuant to him, the negotiations were initiated in September 2015 and finalized by February 2016.
The agreement trade with goods and services; sanitary and phytosanitary measures; technical barriers to trade; rules of origin, trade promotion and cooperation in customs matters; investments; intellectual property rights; public procurement; competition; trade protection measures and sustainable development.