TBILISI, DFWatch – The European Union’s commissioner for trade issues, Karel de Gucht, will arrive in Georgia today on February 28 and will start negotiations with Georgia about a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement.

Moldova is also offered the same kind of deal, and de Gucht’s press office writes that the commissioner will be arriving from holding talks in Moldova, before coming to Georgia and meeting Prime Minister Nika Gilauri to start working on the agreement.

“Commissioner De Gucht will launch free trade area negotiations and confirm the parameters within which the lead negotiators will operate,” the statement says.

The free trade area will be a key vehicle to advance Moldova’s and Georgia’s trade and economic ties with the EU”, said Commissioner de Gucht.

“I am confident that these negotiations will move ahead swiftly and pave the way to closer economic ties with the EU. The opening of negotiations confirms the EU’s commitment to deepen progressive economic integration and political association with our Eastern Partners.”

EU made the decision to start negotiations with Georgia and Moldova in December 2011.

“Georgia and Moldova have conducted substantial reforms in key trade and investment-related regulatory areas, notably in the fields of technical regulations, sanitary and photo-sanitary measures, protection of intellectual property rights and competition rules,” de Gucht’s press office writes.