JCC hosts Prime Minister of Georgia following the signing of the EFTA-Georgia Free Trade Agreement
On June 28, 2012, a Joint Declaration on Cooperation (JDC) between Georgia and EFTA was concluded. This set the stage for free trade agreement negotiations. Fours years later on June 27, 2016 the EFTA- Georgia Free Trade Agreement was signed at the EFTA Ministerial Meeting in Bern, Switzerland. Evidently, the negotiation process was exemplary in terms of its speed and efficiency.
In the context of the UK’s dramatic vote to exit the European Union, it is heartening to witness this historic development for bilateral relations between Georgia and Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. The agreement comes at an especially fitting moment as it testifies to the productivity and mutual benefit that blossoms from affiliation, and partnership -- rather than from separation.
A day after the signing of the FTA, JCC in partnership with the Embassy of Georgia in Switzerland welcomed HE Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia and a delegation of ministers at a business reception that it organized at the Casino Restaurant Bern on June 28, 2016. The business meeting was an occasion for Swiss companies to learn about the Georgian Government's economic strategy and opportunities for Swiss-Georgian bilateral business in the context of the newly-signed agreement.
Ambassador Livia Leu, Head of the Bilateral Economic Relations Division and Delegate of the Federal Council for Trade Agreements, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs opened the event with an overview of Swiss-Georgian bilateral relations. Prime Minister Kvirikashvili then gave an in-depth speech about the Georgian Government's economic objectives for the country and its strategic position as a future transportation and logistics hub for the region. There were presentations by Giorgi Pertaia, Director, Invest in Georgia and a success story by Swiss entrepreneur Max Blauenstein who has established a farm and meat production operation in the Racha region of Georgia. The program, moderated by Dorit Sallis, JCC Managing Director, concluded with a presentation on energy infrastructure projects in Georgia by Max Oniani, Advisor for Strategy and Funding, Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation.