On May 13 2017, Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan met with the visiting Georgian First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dimitry Kumsishvili, and jointly signed the Free Trade Agreement between the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Georgia (referred to as the FTA) with Georgian Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Georgy Gakhariya. Vice Minister Wang Shouwen also attended the meeting.

In September 2015, Premier Li Keqiang met with the then visiting Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, and the two sides agreed to launch the China-Georgia FTA soon. In June 2016, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli visited Georgia, and reached consensus with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili and Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili on accelerating the FTA negotiations. High concern from heads of both sides has stepped up the negotiations. The China-Georgia FTA negotiations started in December 2015 and were substantially completed in October 2016. With less than one year, intensive talks and negotiations have been made. It has become the first free trade agreement negotiation that China has completed in Eurasia region.

The agreement consists of 17 chapters covering trade in goods, trade in service, rule of origin, Customs procedures and trade facilitation, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, trade remedy, and IPR cooperation areas. On opening-up, Georgia will carry out zero tariff on 96.5% Chinese products immediately, covering 99.6% of Georgia’s total imports from China; China will levy zero tariff on 93.9% products from Georgia, covering 93.8% of China’s total imports from Georgia. Among these, zero tariff will be implemented on 90.9% products (taking up 42.7% of China’s total imports from Georgia) , and the rest 3% products (taking up 51.1% of China’s total imports from Georgia) will have a transitional period of five years. Regarding trade in service, both sides commit to opening up various service departments at a high level. Among these, the Georgian side solved the Chinese concern in finance, transport, movement of natural persons, and traditional Chinese medicine areas, and the Chinese side also solved the Georgian concern in tourism, shipment and legal areas. Besides, the agreement further improves trade rules and regulates that no one shall use the third party surrogate price during the anti-dumping investigation and clarifies the major areas for bilateral cooperation in the future.

The signing of FTA will open a new page for China-Georgia trade and economic relations. It’s conducive to comprehensively upgrading bilateral pragmatic cooperation, benefiting people of both sides and boosting the implementation of the Belt and Road initiative and advancing FTA strategies. After the official signing, both sides will pace up to fulfill their own domestic procedures and strive to make the FTA come into force at the end of 2017 or in early 2018.

Approved by:MINISTRY OF COMMERCE,PRC     Supported by:China International Electronic Commerce Center