Armenia Georgia Agree on Taxation Free Trade

YEREVAN (Itar-Tass)–The heads of government of Armenia and Georgia on Saturday signed an agreement on new principles of levying indirect taxes at the place of destination of goods–Armenian Prime Minister Armen Darbinian said after talks with visiting Georgian State Minister (head of government) Vazha Lordkipanidze.

The Armenian prime minister described as "exceptionally important" the agreement which creates more favorable conditions for economic managers and entrepreneurs of the two countries in mutual trading. According to the document signed in Yerevan on Saturday–the value added tax and the excise taxes will be levied at destination.

The Armenian prime minister said he and his Georgian counterpart had agreed to consider and solve in the nearest future a question about the mutual application of the free trade regimen with respect to the goods and services produced in the two Trans-Caucasus republics.

"This means that the mutual turnover of goods and services will be carried out without levying customs duties," the prime minister explained.

"We value highly prospects for regional cooperation–the possibility of attracting international organizations to the financing of specific projects which will be of significance for the development of our economies," said Vazha Lordkipanidze.

He said the need for the intensification of work within the framework of the programs designed to boost the development of west-east and south-north ties had been stressed in the course of talks in Yerevan.

Armenia’s active involvement in the implementation of these programs carries great potential–the Georgian state minister said. He stressed that none of these projects would run counter to the interests of any third countries.

The talks in Yerevan marked the emergence of a new quality in relations between Georgia and Armenia. One immediate step taken in this direction was the beginning of the provision of electric energy by Armenia to Georgia. The first 30 megawatt of electric energy have already been delivered to Georgia.

Both countries will benefit technically–financially and economically from this energy deal–Armenian Minister of Energy Gagik Martirosyan told Itar-Tass. Signed for a term of six months–the agreement will give Georgia enough energy to last through the coming winter–and then preparations will be over for the signing of a longer-term accord.

The Armenian minister–who refused to disclose the price of the electric energy to be supplied to Georgia–saying it was "a commercial question," said it was the first step toward the creation of a regional energy market.

The Georgian state minister said the plans for cooperation in the energy field between the two Caucasian nations had promising prospects and expressed gratitude to the Armenian energy sector for the beginning of the power supplies to his republic which has been suffering for power failures for some time.

"I made up my mind that my first visit will be to fraternal Armenia," said Georgian State Minister Vazha Lordkipanidze before his first visit to Armenia. Lordkipanidze’s party in particular–includes heads of energy and transport departmen’s of Georgia at the highest level.

Lordkipanidze stated that Georgia has concrete proposals in the spheres of energy and transport which were discussed before their arrival.

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