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EU Association Agreement comes into force

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, September 2
Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Alex Petriashvili, claims that the current government does its best to support Georgian businesses. He stresses that various steps are being taken in order for Georgian products to be exported to the EU market.

80 percent of the Association Agreement, including the section on the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) has come into effect from September 1.

Within the agreement, almost all Georgian products will be exempt from taxes.

The Association Agreement (AA) aims to deepen political and economic relations between Georgia and the EU, and to gradually integrate Georgia into the EU Internal Market-the largest single market in the world. This includes the setting up of the DCFTA, which is a core part of the agreement.

This ambitious agreement represents a concrete way to exploit the dynamics in EU-Georgia relations, focusing on support to core reforms, on economic recovery and growth, governance and sector cooperation in areas such as energy, transport, environment protection, industrial and small and medium enterprise cooperation, social development and protection, equal rights, consumer protection, education, training and youth, as well as cultural cooperation.

“The AA is especially important for Georgia. We will do our maximum to help entrepreneurs to meet the high standards,” Petriashvili said.

The United National Movement accuses the Georgian Dream in the deterioration of the economic climate in the country. They emphasize that since the coalition took office, internal and foreign economic activeness and investment have declined in Georgia.

Economic analyst Demur Giorkhelidze thinks that Georgia will require a 7-10 year preparation period before it will be able to enjoy the benefits envisioned by the DCFTA.

He suggests that currently, Georgian companies are not ready for deep integration into the EU market.

“This is a future chance. The country, which is dependent on imported products, should not have ambitious pretensions concerning the EU market,” Giorkhelidze said.