Deputy Economy Minister: companies exporting to EU up 70% since Association Agreement

In Georgia, Deputy Economy Minister Genadi Arveladze said on Tuesday, March 22, that the number of Georgian enterprises exporting to the European Union in 2021 increased by more than 70 % compared to the figure before the signing of the Association Agreement (AA) in 2014.

Arveladze told the country’s legislative body that the increase meant 962 companies which were exporting to the EU, and that the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) agreement, which was signed in 2014 as part of the AA between Georgia and the EU, had made a “significant contribution” to the country’s growth of foreign trade and exports.

Moreover, the Deputy Minister went on to explain that Georgia’s earnings from the EU climbed by 19% last year, accounting for 21% of the country’s overall trade turnover and that Georgian exports to the EU increased by 3%, out of a total of 17 per cent of Georgian exports.

He further stated exports of agricultural products to the EU had increased by 14% in 2021, including:

  • Nuts and hazelnuts – 12%
  • Mineral water – 20%
  • Wine – 20%
  • Sugar-containing carbonated waters – 97%
  • Juices – 6%
  • Canned fruits and vegetables – 11%

According to Arveladze, the EU market for Georgian fish and fish products, processed leather, wool, and honey has already been opened. He also mentioned the EU Commission Regulation from December 2021, which added Georgia to the list of nations from which snails can be sold to the EU market.

” We are cooperating with appropriate EU structures in order to open up the EU market for animal products,” Arveladze stated. 

Furthermore, The official also mentioned that the EU Commission had praised Georgia’s progress in fulfilling its DCFTA commitments and expressed willingness to continue assisting the country in the process.

He also stated that the Georgian Government is “actively working” to create a product laboratory infrastructure in the country in accordance with European or international standards, claiming that the majority of laboratories in the country are unable to conduct testing in regulated areas in accordance with those standards.

Georgia exported locally manufactured items worth $760.4 million in January-February 2022, a 54.5 per cent rise year over year, while the total amount for 2021 was $4.2 billion, a 26.9% increase over the previous year.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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