Second phase of DCFTA between Armenia and EU slated for early October

29.06.2012 11:52
Second phase of DCFTA between Armenia and EU slated for early October

YEREVAN, June 28. /ARKA/. The second phase of negotiations between Armenia and the EU on deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA) will be held during the first week of October, a deputy economy minister Garegin Melkonyan, told a news conference today. He said the European side will present draft texts on ten chapters of the agreement.

The first round of negotiations between the sides was held in Brussels on June 19-20 with both sides agreeing to set up working groups that will focus on concrete “chapters” of a future agreement on the creation of the DCFTA. The agreement will contain 15 such chapters.

The DCFTA agreement is going to be a key element of Armenia-EU “association agreement” that has been discussed by the two sides for almost two years. The association agreement stems from the EU’s Eastern Partnership program that offers six former Soviet republics the prospect of deeper integration with the bloc in return for political and economic reforms.
The EU member states gave the final green light to the free trade talks with Yerevan in February. Their launch was delayed last year because of EU objections to a controversial mechanism for import valuation and taxation of imported alcoholic beverages applied by Armenia’s customs service. The Armenian government made some legislation changes to meet relevant preconditions set by the European Commission.

The DCFTA envisages not only mutual lifting of all trade barriers but also harmonization of Armenian economic laws and regulations with those existing in the EU.

The EU has been Armenia’s leading trading partner and main export market for the past decade. According to official Armenian statistics, the total volume of Armenia’s trade with EU countries in the first quarter rose by 12.9 percent to about $423.4 million. -0-


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