Arab News | 17 March 2023
Georgia and the UAE strike free-trade deal after just three rounds of talks
RIYADH: The UAE and Georgia have agreed a new trade deal which will see the reduction of tariffs and the removal of other barriers as the two countries seek to boost economic ties.
A Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was signed by the UAE’s foreign trade minister Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi and Georgia’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Levan Davitashvili.
The deal comes as trade and investment ties between the UAE and Georgia grow, with 2022 seeing a year-on-year rise in bilateral non-oil trade of 110 percent, coming in at $468 million.
The UAE now accounts for more than 63 percent of the total volume of Georgia’s trade with Arab countries, while its funding into the European country represents 5 percent of its total foreign direct investments, making the UAE Georgia’s sixth largest global investor.
Al Zeyoudi believes this deal will open up important new opportunities for the private sectors in both countries.
“The successful conclusion of negotiations with Georgia represents another huge stride forward in our foreign trade agenda and signals our ambition to build a truly global network of trade partners in strategically important parts of the world,” he said, adding: “Georgia is an economy based on free-market principles that holds considerable promise for our exporters and investors, and we look forward to developing opportunities in priority sectors such as agriculture, transportation, tourism, renewable energy and digital trade.”
Davitashvili said that concluding the negotiations in only three rounds is a sign of dedication of both parties to further bolster the already well-established bilateral relationship.
He added: “I strongly believe that the establishment of a free trade regime between Georgia and UAE will be of benefit for both countries.
“Namely, Georgia can serve as a best gateway for the UAE companies to the region, with the geographic location and business environment it offers.
“On the other hand, the FTA will provide extended opportunities to promote and develop different industries in Georgia and increase and diversify Georgian exports.”