India, Georgia sign Joint Statement to launch Joint Feasibility Study on FTA

India and Georgia will launch a Joint Feasibility Study on Free Trade Agreement between the two countries on completion of which both sides intend to proceed to negotiations on an Free Trade Agreement (FTA).A high level delegation led by the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia on Tuesday met the Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the national capital.“With the objective to create favourable conditions for more comprehensive economic cooperation, a Joint Statement on the launching of the Joint Feasibility Study on the Free Trade Agreement between the Republic of India, and Georgia was signed,” according to an official statement by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.Upon the completion of the Joint Feasibility Study the Republic of India and Georgia may proceed to negotiations on an FTA once the internal procedures are completed and the mandates on negotiations are approved, the statement added.In this regard, the Joint Feasibility Study Group consisting of the officials of the two countries has been established. Joint Secretary, Foreign Trade (CIS), Department of Commerce, Government of India and Genadi Arveladze Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia would be the leaders, respectively of Indian and Georgian side.The purpose of establishing the Joint Feasibility Study Group is to provide an opportunity for more in-depth and systematic examination of potential FTA.The Joint Feasibility Study Group shall discuss the possible scope of a potential FTA and analyse the sensitiveness of specific sectors, while recommending possible ways to address them. Both the ministers expressed the hope that the Joint Feasibility Study Group shall issue a report with the relevant analysis and recommendations within a period of six months.India is having positive trade balance with Georgia. In 2015-2016 the total export from India to Georgia was USD 82.57 million and import from Georgia was USD 24.47 million.During the period April -February 2016-2017 India’s export to Georgia stood at about USD 83 million as compared to USD 73 million April-February 2015-2016 and import from Georgia stood at USD 28 million as compared to USD 24 million in April-February, 2015-2016Both the countries expressed their confidence that the Joint Feasibility Study will further contribute to the mutually beneficial cooperation of the partners and bring it to a new level.

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