Jt-Study commissioned to evaluate Indo-Georgian FTA
The Dollar Business Bureau
Trade ministries from India and Georgia have agreed to a joint feasibility study to evaluate the comprehensive India-Georgia free trade agreement. An agreement for a “joint-feasibility-study” was signed on 11th April 2017 between Giorgio Gakharia, Georgian Minister for Economy and Nirmala Sitharaman, the minister for commerce and Industry at New Delhi, officially indicating the start of a comprehensive study for an FTA.
Joint Secretary- Foreign Trade (CIS), Department of Commerce, and Genadi Arveladze, the Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia would be leading the Indian and Georgian side respectively within the study. The study would comprise officials from both the countries, and upon successful completion, the ministries would proceed to negotiations on an FTA.
The study would evaluate potential opportunities between the two countries and examine ways and means to address trade sensitivity in specific sectors. A Joint Feasibility Study Group is to provide an opportunity for more in-depth and systematic examination of potential FTA. Upon the completion of the Joint Feasibility Study, India and Georgia may proceed with negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
A free trade pact would allow India and Georgia to either eliminate or reduce duties on goods and thereby promote trade relationship. Both ministers hoped that the study would culminate in analysis and recommendations within a period of six months, to officially begin a Indo-Georgian FTA. The FTA would help improve Indo-Georgian trade numbers. In 2015-16, India exported $82.57 mn to Georgia, while Georgia exported $24.47 mn to India.
India has similar FTAs with several countries such as Singapore, South Korea, Japan and the Asean region. Similar pacts with countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand are also being discussed.