EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht will visit Tbilisi on February 28 to launch negotiations on deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA) with Georgia after visiting Moldova a day earlier for the same purpose, his office said in a press release.
In Georgia Karel De Gucht will meet with Prime Minister Nika Gilauri to "confirm the parameters within which the lead negotiators will operate" during the DCFTA talks.
"The free trade area will be a key vehicle to advance Moldova's and Georgia's trade and economic ties with the EU", Commissioner De Gucht said. "I am confident that these negotiations will move ahead swiftly and pave the way to closer economic ties with the EU. The opening of negotiations confirms the EU's commitment to deepen progressive economic integration and political association with our Eastern Partners."
The EU endorsed to launch DCFTA talks with Georgia and Moldova in December, 2011. The EU said that the both countries had "conducted substantial reforms in key trade and investment-related regulatory areas, notably in the fields of technical regulations, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, protection of intellectual property rights and competition rules."
EU's bilateral trade in goods amounted to EUR 2.2 billion with Georgia and EUR 2.7 billion with Moldova in 2011.