[Herald Interview] Korea

A Korea-Georgia free trade agreement would bring substantial benefits for Korea and Georgia, Genadi Arveladze, the Caucasus nation's deputy minister of economy and sustainable development, told The Korea Herald on Friday, as Georgia and Korea embarked on negotiations for a comprehensive free trade agreement.

“The agreement would not only help expand trade and investment but also provide a comprehensive institutional framework for a wide range of bilateral cooperation,” Arveladze said.

“We need, first of all, to sign this agreement to remove tariff barriers as well as non-tariff barriers.”

Arveladze visited Seoul to formally complete preparatory work for official negotiations on the Georgia-Korea Economic Partnership Agreement, or EPA and met the South Korean trade minister to sign a joint statement on the launch of the negotiations and terms of reference of the EPA.

Georgia has high strategic value as an energy corridor for major oil and gas transportation routes, and has a significant potential market connected to neighboring economic zones such as the European Union, Gulf Cooperation Council, and Commonwealth of Independent States.

The EPA with Georgia could enable the two sides to strengthen supply chain economic cooperation and expand exports and investments, according to the South Korean Trade Ministry.