Business World

Free Trade: EU launches negotiations with Armenia

The EU and Armenia held a preparatory meeting Thursday in Brussels as part of negotiations on establishing a free trade area EU-Armenia under the future association agreement, announced in Yerevan press service Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“During discussions, the parties noted the progress on the objectives and principles of the future agreement on issues of political dialogue, foreign policy and security, as well as cooperation in the field of justice,” the ministry said.

Both parties have agreed to organize the first round of talks on free trade area EU-Armenia in late May, in Yerevan.

The Armenian delegation was led by Vice-Minister of Economy Gareguine Melkonian.

Armenia and the EU in 2007 began a process to establish a free trade regime. On 1 January 2009, Armenia has moved from Generalized System of Preferences of the EU (GSP) to Special incentive for sustainable development and good governance (GSP +) for a period of three years. Armenian products exported to Europe benefit from further tariff reductions. The regime GPS + is applied to a small number of countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Georgia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela) that meet specific criteria.

On February 20, the Committee for Trade Policy of the EU decided to launch negotiations with Armenia on the free trade area. To initiate discussions, Yerevan needs to amend its national legislation, ensure compliance with laws and strengthen control in the field of foreign trade. The signing of the agreement will enable Armenia to diversify its exports and to access the European market.

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