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EU statement prior to signature of Association Agreement

24.06.14 10:00

The European Union has released a statement prior to the signature of the association agreement with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

`On 27 June 2014 the EU will sign Association Agreements with Georgia and the Republic of Moldova and complete the signature process with Ukraine, each providing for a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.
This is an important moment both for the EU and for the countries concerned as the Agreements will significantly deepen political and economic ties between the signatories with a long-term perspective of closer political association and economic integration’’, the statement says.
According to the statement, the Association Agreements aim to deepen political and economic relations between the EU and the other signatories and to gradually integrate these countries in the EU`s Internal Market, the largest single market in the world. This entails creating a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) between the EU and each of these countries.
Following the signature much work will remain to be done on domestic reforms. In this area, the EU and each country will cooperate on: strengthening the rule of law, advancing judicial reforms, fighting corruption, ensuring respect for fundamental rights and freedoms and strengthening democratic institutions.
‘’Trade conditions for goods and services, including the wide establishment conditions for companies will be immediately improved for both the EU and Georgia, when the Agreement enters into force. This will facilitate trade and investment. This is particularly important for Georgia, which needs further foreign investment to boost its economic growth. Georgia’s enterprises will have access to the EU market without transition periods. But it is also true that a number of additional benefits that Georgia will take from the Agreement do depend on the completion of reforms.

The Association Agreement with Georgia goes significantly further than classical forms of economic integration, offering not only improved trade and investment opportunities but also assistance in trade-related reforms with the aim to contribute to economic recovery and growth and to better integration of the Georgian economy with the world markets. Provided that the reforms are completed, an economic growth of 4.3% per year is predicted (amounting to €292m in national income).
For example, Georgian agricultural products will become more attractive on the EU market thanks to the removal of EU import duties worth €5.7m on basic agricultural products and €0.5m on processed agricultural products. New market opportunities in the EU and higher production standards in Georgia will spur investment, stimulate the modernisation of agriculture and improve labour conditions.
Georgia will benefit from new trading opportunities and easier access to the EU market. The Agreement should allow the Georgian economy to catch up with the EU in terms of competitiveness and thereby gradually find its place in the world economy. This will open up new opportunities not only in EU-Georgia trade, but in Georgia`s trade with the rest of the world, given the worldwide recognition of EU norms and standards. The application of these standards will bring significantly more choice and higher quality products to Georgian consumers and make Georgia a more attractive place for foreign investors. The most sensitive sectors will benefit from long transitional periods to ensure the smooth adaptation of Georgia`s economy,` the statement says.

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