On 17 October 2017, Dr Tamar Khuntsaria, European Union Studies Association, Associate Professor at University of Georgia held a public lecture on the topic of “EU-Georgia Trade and Economic Relations – DCFTA and EU Development Programmes in Georgia”. The discussion centered on the EU-Georgia AA and DCFTA, their importance and implications for Georgia, current results, challenges and future perspectives. In addition, the lecture reviewed EU development programmes operating in Georgia in support of DCFTA implementation.
Dr. Khuntsaria began by explaining the process through which the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area was signed between Georgia and the EU as part of the Association Agreement between the two. She described how the DCFTA removes customs tariffs and quotas, and liberalizes trade in goods and services over a broad spectrum of economic-related issues, including food safety, intellectual property rights and financial matters.
Dr. Khuntsaria placed particular emphasis on the importance of the DCFTA agreement, since it represents a milestone in relations between Brussels and Tbilisi. Thanks to the deal, Georgian products and services now have access to some of the world’s largest and most stable markets, and over 500 million potential customers. However, the export products should comply the EU standards to enter to this market, which requires a lot of time, and financial resources to upgrade existing capacities. In this later, EU also supports Georgia through different support-programs, such as the ENPARD program, which works to improve Georgia’s agricultural sector, a critical part of the economy that still requires substantial reform. As well as aiming to raise living conditions and employment standards amongst rural populations and farmers, the ENPARD project also promotes gender equality by creating opportunities for women in agriculture.
The lecture was organised by European Union Studies Association (EUSA), in partnership with International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET), in the framework of Erasmus + Jean Monnet Support to Associations project.