On October 5, Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng met with the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili, witnessed by whom, Gao signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Substantially Concluding China-Georgia FTA Negotiation with Dmitry Kumsishvili, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sustainable Development of Georgia on behalf of the government of the two countries.
China-Georgia FTA negotiation was launched in December 2015, followed by three rounds of formal negotiations and three informal consultations. This is the first FTA negotiation of China in Eurasian. In September 2015 and during the Summer Davos in Tianjin, Premier Li Keqiang met with Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili and reached consensus on speeding up the initiation of China-Georgia FTA negotiation. In June this year, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli visited Georgia, and had fruitful meetings with President Giorgi Margvelashvili of Georgia and Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili. The two parties reached wide consensus on bilateral relations, especially on accelerating China-Georgia FTA negotiation, greatly bolstering the process of FTA negotiation.
In terms of the liberalization level of the agreement, a majority of trade in goods products of the two sides realized duty-free mutually, made high-quality market liberalization commitments to the service departments, optimized trade rules and clarified the major fields to strengthen cooperation. The agreement covered 17 chapters including trade in goods, service trade, intellectual property and rules. It also included new issues like e-commerce, competition and environment. China-Georgia FTA negotiation realized the goals of comprehensive contents, high level and balanced interests. The signing of the agreement will consolidate and promote China-Georgia economic and trade relation, promote the welfare of the people of the two countries, and is also of great significant to the implementation of the initiative “Belt and Road” and China’s FTA strategic layout in the region.
After that, the Ministry of Commerce will fulfill the follow-up work like legislation review, initial signing, translation of the agreement, submitting to the State Council for authorization, formal signing and domestic approval.