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EFTA States, Georgia Launch FTA Talks

The member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Georgia held a first round of negotiations towards a free trade agreement (FTA) between September 1 and 4, 2015.

Expert working groups convened to discuss draft texts in areas such as trade in goods (including rules of origin, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade remedies, and trade facilitation), trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition, trade and sustainable development, government procurement, and legal and institutional issues.

EFTA said that the negotiations were held in a very constructive and efficient atmosphere and substantial progress was achieved in all areas.

The date for a second round of negotiations will be agreed shortly.

The total value of commodity trade between the EFTA states – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland – and Georgia has almost doubled since 2010, peaking at USD66m in 2013. The stock of foreign direct investment in Georgia's economy originating from the EFTA states has also grown significantly, reaching USD411m in 2012.

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