Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement: a new perspective for the Armenian economy | EUNewsletter

Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement: a new perspective for the Armenian economy

2 December 2010
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Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement
The negotiations on deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA) with the EU are envisaged to be launched in the near future. As part of the future EU-Armenia Association Agreement, the creation of a deep and comprehensive free trade area will open the European market to Armenia and will promote foreign investment. Before negotiations on the agreement can start, Armenia is supposed to meet relevant conditions. Currently, Armenia is on the path of implementation of reforms and the EU is assisting those through different types of technical support , as well input provided by the EU Advisory Group.

The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Raul de Luzenberger, and Armenian Minister of Economy Nerses Yeritsyan shared thoughts on the preparatory work of the free trade agreement and its potential benefits for Armenians.

Raul de Luzenberger, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia

- What visible changes will the DCFTA  bring to a common resident of Armenia?
- It will be an important modernisation of the Armenian administrative and legislative framework and will result in a modernization of the Armenian economy. And this will cover different aspects: the consumers will receive better protection, will purchase of  consumer goods knowing that the quality and the standards are higher, and the innovations that Armenia produces will be better protected. At the same time the innovations of other countries will be better protected in Armenia.  Armenia will be a more open market with access to more sophisticated markets like the EU internal market. This will allow Armenia to become more attractive for foreign investments.

- How is the role of the European Commission on the path towards a DCFTA agreement?
- The European Commission is the key negotiator on the European side. At the same time the EC has an important assistance budget for Armenia that will be now designed to reach the goal of signing an Association Agreement with the EU. And part of the Association Agreement will be the signature of a DCFTA. The EC is not the only EU donor present in Armenia,  our Member States will also contribute to this agreement.

- What is the current stage of the preparatory work for the agreement?
We are well advanced on preparing negotiations. The European Commission sent a mission here last year, which  drafted a comprehensive list of measures that are necessary for Armenia to be prepared to negotiate this ambitious agreement and then to implement this ambitious agreement. We have worked together with the Ministry of Economy, and the authorities of the Republic of Armenia to ensure that these measures are complete.

Nerses Yeritsyan, Minister of Economy of Armenia

- What influence can this agreement have on the entrepreneurship area in Armenia?
- DCFTA will provide an opportunity to create new export markets and develop our skills in selling our goods to a more sophisticated consumer. It will ensure secure consumer goods, since we have to meet certain standards within the scope of the agreement. It means that our consumer will be able to pay for the services and goods of the same quality just as in foreign markets.

- Currently, at what stage is the preparatory work of the agreement?
- There is a visible progress in respect to free trade agreement preconditions (particularly: eradication of technical complications, phytosanitary reforms, developing negotiation skills, legislative approximation of the EU laws and standards relating to trade). We expect to register serious achievements by the first half of the coming year and to develop necessary skills together with the EU Advisory Group to start the negotiations, discussions which the Europeans will consider sufficient for starting with us the negotiation process.

Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement: a new perspective for the Armenian economy

Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement The negotiations on deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA) with the EU are envisaged to be launched in the near future. As part of the future EU-Armenia Association Agreement, the creation of a deep and comprehensive free trade area will open the European market to Armenia and will promote foreign investment. Before negotiations on the agreement can start, Armenia is supposed to meet relevant conditions. Currently, Armenia is on the path of implementation of reforms and the EU is assisting those through different types of technical support , as well input provided by the EU Advisory Group. The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Raul de Luzenberger, and Armenian Minister of Economy Nerses Yeritsyan shared thoughts on the preparatory work of the free trade agreement and its potential benefits for Armenians. Raul de Luzenberger, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia - What visible changes will the DCFTA  bring to a common resident of Armenia? - It will be an important modernisation of the Armenian administrative and legislative framework and will result in a modernization of the Armenian economy. And this will cover different aspects: the consumers will receive better protection, will purchase of  consumer goods knowing that the quality and the standards are higher, and the innovations that Armenia produces will be better protected. At the same time the innovations of other countries will be better protected in Armenia.  Armenia will be a more open market with access to more sophisticated markets like the EU internal market. This will allow Armenia to become more attractive for foreign investments. - How is the role of the European Commission on the path towards a DCFTA agreement? - The European Commission is the key negotiator on the European side. At the same time the EC has an important assistance budget for Armenia that will be now designed to reach the goal of signing an Association Agreement with the EU. And part of the Association Agreement will be the signature of a DCFTA. The EC is not the only EU donor present in Armenia,  our Member States will also contribute to this agreement. - What is the current stage of the preparatory work for the agreement? We are well advanced on preparing negotiations. The European Commission sent a mission here last year, which  drafted a comprehensive list of measures that are necessary for Armenia to be prepared to negotiate this ambitious agreement and then to implement this ambitious agreement. We have worked together with the Ministry of Economy, and the authorities of the Republic of Armenia to ensure that these measures are complete. Nerses Yeritsyan, Minister of Economy of Armenia - What influence can this agreement have on the entrepreneurship area in Armenia? - DCFTA will provide an opportunity to create new export markets and develop our skills in selling our goods to a more sophisticated consumer. It will ensure secure consumer goods, since we have to meet certain standards within the scope of the agreement. It means that our consumer will be able to pay for the services and goods of the same quality just as in foreign markets. - Currently, at what stage is the preparatory work of the agreement? - There is a visible progress in respect to free trade agreement preconditions (particularly: eradication of technical complications, phytosanitary reforms, developing negotiation skills, legislative approximation of the EU laws and standards relating to trade). We expect to register serious achievements by the first half of the coming year and to develop necessary skills together with the EU Advisory Group to start the negotiations, discussions which the Europeans will consider sufficient for starting with us the negotiation process.