By way of further developing the country's economy,
facilitating trade and liberalising its tax regime, Georgia has
signed an agreement with China on the creation of free trade
zones in Georgia.
The China-Georgia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was ratified in
May 2017 and the memorandum of understanding was signed by the
Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce and Georgia's First Vice
Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable
Development, at the Tbilisi Belt and Road Forum on November 28
2017. The FTA came into effect as of January 1 2018.
This FTA will create more scope for trade, services and
investment activities within the Eurasian area covering 17
components, including trade in goods, services and intellectual
property rights. It also encompasses new topics such as
e-commerce, market competition and the environment.
Georgian exports to China include copper ore, iron ore,
nuts, wine, spirits, gold and semi-finished products. China
exports construction machinery, manufacturing equipment, steel,
electronics, textiles, garments and household appliances to
With the agreement entering into force Georgia has
eliminated tariffs on 96.5% of Chinese exports, while almost
91% of China's imports from Georgia have become tariff-free
immediately. A further 3% will be exempted from tariffs within
As stated by Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Georgia's prime minister,
"Georgia is the only country in the region which has free trade
agreements with both the EU and China".
At this moment, Georgia has FTAs signed with four European
countries – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and
Switzerland. The EU and China are among Georgia's largest
trading partners. Georgia is the 11th country to have concluded
an FTA with China and is the only country in the region with
such an agreement with China. Other countries which have free
trade agreements with China are mostly located in Western
Europe or in the East Asia.
Years ago, caravans loaded with silk and spices from China
travelled all the way to Europe and the British Isles. The new
'Silk Road' – by means of highways, railways and air
– will carry the modern-day equivalent of silk and
spices – energy, natural resources, and manufactured
goods – via Georgia, thus restoring its strategic
importance as a transportation-infrastructure hub in the region
and a transit corridor between Europe and Asia.
Irina Lopatina (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Eurofast Global, Tbilisi
Tel: +995 322180310