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PM Bakhtadze: U.S.-Georgia Free Trade Agreement ‘Backed at All Levels’

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, who is on an official visit to the United States on September 16-27, said the prospect of signing a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries enjoys wide political support in Washington D.C.

In an interview with Imedi TV on September 22, PM Bakhtadze said he raised the issue in his meetings in the U.S. capital, and was happy to receive “a very positive feedback at all levels.”

The PM then stressed the decision will have “significant economic gains” for both countries, but will also be “a political decision,” and “a powerful step forward” in bilateral relations.

PM Bakhtadze then stressed his cabinet’s objective is to make the country “an economic hub for the entire region,” and that the idea is fully endorsed by U.S. partners. “The FTA will help us better integrate in global economy, and receive more American investments,” he said.

Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani, who accompanies the PM in the United States, commented on the matter as well, telling Imedi TV that the FTA was “one of the main discussion points” during their meetings, and that they had “a very positive feedback from American partners.”

“I think, the visit was a very good opportunity for taking steps forward in terms of deepening our economic cooperation, and increasing [the two countries’] economic relations to the level of our cooperation in defense, security and political affairs,” Minister Zalkaliani stressed.

As of today, the United States has free trade agreements with 20 countries.

Georgia’s trade turnover with United States, according to the State Statistics Office, stood at USD 389.6 million in 2017, with exports at USD 121.8 million (USD 68.3 million in 2016) and imports at USD 267.8 million (USD 214.6 million in 2016).

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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