Georgia and the European Union have concluded seven rounds of negotiations for a deep and comprehensive free-trade accord, which will see Georgia gaining better access to the EU market for its goods and services, Economy Minister Giorgi Kviriakshvi said on Monday.
The deal with the EU, part of the Association Agreement between them, has been a priority of the Georgian government, as it means not only liberalization of importing tariffs, but also lifting technical barriers in commerce, the Georgian minister said, adding that access to the EU, one of the largest and richest markets in the world, is the mightiest force for the development of the Georgian economy.
The end of the 17-month negotiations is a step forward before the Eastern Partnership Summit, slated for Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, in late November.
On the EU side, the European Commission said on Monday in a press release that the DCFTA would be included in the Association Agreement and signed as soon as internal EU and Georgia procedures are completed.
The EU has released an assessment report predicting that DCFTA has a potential to increase Georgia's exports to the EU by 12 percent while increasing its imports from the EU by 7.5 percent.
The Association Agreement, together with the DCFTA, will provide for the close association and economic integration of Georgia with the EU, the press release said.
The negotiations for the DCFTA were held in Tbilisi and Brussels since February of 2012.