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Georgia, Armenia may limit trade relations

17 April 2014 [08:15] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

Different vectors of the foreign policies of neighboring South Caucasus countries, Georgia and Armenia, can affect trade relations between the two countries.

Georgia's main priority is its integration into the European Union and the country already initialed the Association Agreement with the EU at the Vilnius summit on November 29, 2013. Signing the Agreement is scheduled for August 2014, and Tbilisi said it can be signed by or even before June, 2014.

Meanwhile, the main priority of the Armenian authorities is joining the Russia-led Customs Union. The country is seeking to sign all the documents on joining the CU in May, 2014. Local media recently reported that Armenia will sign the related agreement on April 29 in Minsk.

Armenian experts are worried about the possibility that Georgia narrows current trade relations with Armenia due to political choices.

Currently, Armenia has a positive trade balance with Georgia and its exports exceed imports. Armenia's trade turnover with neighboring Georgia grew by 25 percent in 2013, totaling $150 million.

"Georgia's foreign policy is oriented towards the Europe, while Armenia is on the way of joining the Russia-led Customs Union," economist and former Deputy Minister of Agriculture Samvel Avetisyan told local media. "The import of the Armenian goods to the Georgian market can be limited in this regard."

He predicted that trade cooperation between the two countries will not be ideal, and stable political relations are strongly needed.

Armenia also seems to witness a decline in the export of agricultural products to Georgia, which is proved by the recent developments in the production of agricultural products.

Ecological Public Union has expressed worry that Armenia will be deprived of ecological agricultural products in the near future.

The union pointed out that free metal from operating mines run in the food chain and affect the health of people.

"Soon, a high level of heavy metals will be in fruits and vegetables exported from Armenia that they will no longer to comply with international standards ," the union reported.

The union noted most of the people living near mining enterprises complain about their health. "Indifference to the problem shows the incompetence of responsible persons," the union said.

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