The Free Trade Agreement between Georgia and EFTA (Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Lichstentein) has entered into force!
This agreement between Georgia and the EFTA States covers a wide range of sectors. It includes trade in goods, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade in services, protection of intellectual property, government procurement, competition, trade and sustainable development, dispute settlement.
As from 1 May 2018, in the field of trade in goods, all customs duties on imports and exports of industrial products, including fish and other sea products, originating in an EFTA State or Georgia shall be abolished.
In addition, the agreement provides for new tariff bases on agricultural and processed products.
The framework of the EFTA-Georgia Agreement will allow Georgian exports to benefit from preferential treatment, which will lead to an increase in the volume of trade in goods and services, as well as an improvement in the quality of traded products.
The EFTA Free Trade Agreement with Georgia will strengthen economic cooperation between the Parties and establish a framework supporting the expansion and diversification of trade and investment flows between Georgia and the EFTA States.
What are the consequences of this FTA for Georgia?
The FTA will strengthen economic ties and promote trade and investment between the EFTA States and Georgia.
With a population of about 14 million and a GDP of 1.2 trillion dollars, the EFTA States are important players in the field of Foreign Direct Investment. These extremely stable markets are now open for Georgian entrepreneurs.
The EFTA Free Trade Agreement will facilitate the modernisation and development of the Georgian economy through technical assistance and financial assistance from related institutions. The long-term economic effects will be positive. Through the implementation of the EFTA Trade Agreement, Georgia will benefit from a more competitive market, a more stable and transparent legal framework, a better investment climate.
Conference in Tbilisi
On 7 June, the Georgian Swiss Business Association, in cooperation with the EFTA Secretariat and the Swiss Embassy in Georgia, is organising the "EFTA-Georgia Trade Promotion Seminar". The event is also supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.
The seminar will bring together representatives from the private and public sectors, the diplomatic community, professional associations, research institutes and NGOs, who will have the opportunity to listen and interact with experts from the EFTA Secretariat.
The seminar will address key practical issues and provide an overview of the EFTA-Georgia Free Trade Agreement and its benefits, customs issues and rules on Designation of Origin, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade in agricultural products in the EFTA States. Experts from the EFTA Secretariat will guide participants on how to export to EFTA countries. The seminar also includes a round table where representatives of the private sector will have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with examples of Georgian companies operating in the Swiss market.
What projects will be implemented in Georgia?
The Georgian Swiss Business Association (GSBA) is organising a Georgia-Switzerland Round Table in Zurich at the end of October 2018. This roundtable focusing on the business climate between Georgia and Switzerland will bring together representatives of the public and private sectors, as well as representatives of the diplomatic community and chambers of commerce to discuss key developments to facilitate and accelerate the expected growing trade volumes.
The free trade agreement between EFTA and Georgia will foster the investment climate and the creation of new opportunities for local and foreign SMEs in Georgia; for agriculture and food processing; the wine industry; transport infrastructure; ports and railways; the energy sector; banking and financial services; new technologies; tourism and hospitality.
During this forum, the Georgian Swiss Business Association will organise B2B meetings between Georgian and Swiss companies. As part of the implementation of the EFTA Agreement, GSBA plans to launch a series of masterclasses on the FTA and its practical advice for SMEs in Tbilisi and Georgia's regions.
One of the main projects currently implemented by GSBA is the empowerment of women entrepreneurs. This project aims to encourage innovation in gender equity and inclusion through vocational training and education programmes.
GSBA will provide technical assistance and advisory services to women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs in Georgia's regions.
From July 12 to 13, Georgia's National Intellectual Property Center, Sakpatenti, in cooperation with WIPO and GSBA, is organizing a conference that will cover recent developments in Georgia's intellectual property protection system and IPR enforcement mechanisms, counterfeiting in the health industry and the recent development of artificial intelligence.
The conference will be accompanied by workshops in which participants will have the opportunity to be informed in detail about the damage caused by infringements of intellectual propert