Indeed, after three rounds of negotiations, although the final remarks have not yet been made and the agreement has not yet been concluded, the Chinese side has asked us to sign a memorandum of understanding on the conclusion of free trade negotiations. This happened just days before Georgia`s parliamentary elections, with the Chinese side fearing there would be delays or problems with the deal if a new party formed the Georgian government. The final provisions of the agreement were concluded a few months later. In the end, Georgia opened its market to 96.5% of Chinese products, while China granted duty-free access to Georgian export products such as wine, mineral water, tea, fruit and more, which together accounted for 94% of goods. A free trade agreement (FTA) between China and Georgia entered into force on January 1, 2018. This means that about 94% of Georgian products will be duty-free, while Georgian services and goods will enter a market for 1.4 billion people. The Association Agreement (“AA”) with the EU was signed and ratified in 2014, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (“DCFTA”). In addition, on 27 June 2016, Georgia signed a free trade agreement with the EFTA countries that allows Georgian products duty-free access to the markets of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The Free Trade Agreement between China and Georgia was signed in May 2017. Discussions on the agreement were completed in seven months.

China currently has FTA agreements with 14 countries around the world. Entry into one of the world`s largest markets is expected to encourage businesses, support small businesses and make the country more attractive to local and international investors. Georgia and China began discussing the possibility of establishing a free trade regime as early as September 2015, but the memorandum on concluding a free trade agreement was signed in October 2016 and the agreement was finally signed in May 2017. “This is a major historic step that takes trade and economic relations between the two countries to another level. It will encourage small businesses and increase business capacity in both countries,” Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said. China is one of Georgia`s main trading partners and exports have increased year on year. Statistics show that one of the most popular products of Georgia is wine, with data from January to April 2017 showing that supply has increased by 270 percent. Other Georgian products destined for the Chinese market are hazelnuts, honey, beer, mineral water, soft drinks, tea, medical and agricultural products and much more…