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China, Georgia conclude FTA substantive negotiations

Updated: Oct 6,2016 5:25 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China and Georgia have finished substantive negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), according to the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Oct 5.

The MOC and Georgia’s Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development signed a memorandum of understanding to mark the conclusion of China’s first FTA substantive negotiations in Eurasia.

The FTA negotiations started in December 2015, and underwent three official negotiations and three informal consultations. The two parties have agreed zero tariff for most of the commodity trade, pledged to open many markets in the service sector, improved trade rules and identified key areas for enhanced cooperation.

The agreement covers 17 fields including commodity trade, service trade, intellectual property and emerging issues like e-commerce.

The FTA, comprehensive and balanced, is expected to boost bilateral economic and trade ties and promote the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, according to MOC.

The FTA still has to go through a series of procedures like legal review, translation and official signature.