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Free trade agreement with Georgia enters into force on 1 May 2018

The free trade agreement between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Georgia will enter into force for Switzerland on 1 May. To that end the Federal Council on 28 March adopted the necessary amendments to the ordinance implementing the customs duty concessions set out in the agreement. The Federal Assembly approved the agreement negotiated through EFTA in September 2017. The agreement will help boost trade relations between the contracting parties.

Blick über die georgische Hauptstadt Tiflis

The free trade agreement (FTA) between Georgia and the EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) covers a wide range of sectors. It includes trade in goods (industrial and agricultural products), rules of origin, customs procedures and trade facilitation. The free trade agreement was signed on 27 June 2016 and largely corresponds to more recent free trade agreements concluded with third countries by the EFTA states.

Eliminating customs duties in bilateral trade

The FTA will completely or partially eliminate customs duties on most bilateral trade with Georgia, and promote trade by facilitating customs procedures. With a few exceptions, the entry into force of the FTA will eliminate all customs duties for industrial products. Switzerland will also benefit from tariff concessions on specific processed and unprocessed agricultural products of interest (e.g. cheese and other dairy products, and chocolate). The EFTA states will therefore enjoy access to the Georgian market comparable to that of their main EU competitors. Switzerland’s main export interests have been fully taken into account.      

Support for economic reforms

By concluding the FTA between the EFTA states and Georgia, Switzerland is continuing its policy of supporting economic reforms and integrating this Caucasian state into economic cooperation structures at European and global level. At the same time, it will strengthen the competitiveness of the Swiss economy on the Georgian market. The FTA provides broad market access and improves the legal framework for Swiss economic actors.

 

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