(Civil.Ge) — Georgia and China have completed free trade negotiations and the agreement is expected to be signed before the end of this year and to enter in force by mid-2017, Georgia’s economy minister, Dimitri Kumsishvili, said on Tuesday.
Kumsishvili, who is also deputy PM, said that China’s Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng plans to visit Tbilisi to sign a memorandum of understanding on concluding the free trade negotiations, which were launched in late February, 2016.
The treaty itself will be signed tentatively in December and “we expect the agreement to be enacted from mid-2017” after internal procedures, including its ratification by the both countries, are finalized, Kumsishvili said.
He said that agriculture products, including wine, are among those Georgian commodities, which would enjoy “zero tariff rates” applied immediately after the agreement enters into force without any transition period.
He specifically stressed importance of this provision in respect of wine.
Georgia exported over 3.36 million 0.75-liter bottles of wine to China in the first eight months of 2016, which is 2.4-fold increase compared to the same period of 2015 when 1.18 bottles were exported to China, according to the National Wine Agency of Georgia.