BUSINESS GEORGIA congratulates to every citizen visa-free travel to Schengen zone countries which implies free travel to 22 EU member countries, as well as 4 non-member countries and 4 Schengen-candidate states. We hope that despite other positive expectations it will be a guarantee of economic progress in our country.
Earopean union, as a valuable neighbor makes a major contribution to inculcate peace and security, develop and support political and economic reforms, which helps Georgia to approach with the EU.
IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS OF VISA LIBERALIZATION ACTION PLAN
Precondition of liberalization was implementation process, which required to implement several reforms in a different direction. Large scale reforms have been set by Georgian authorities, including 15 different directions: Document security, border management and migration, crime and human rights spheres. Overally, more than 130 legal acts were adopted, approved 8 national strategies, ratified 7 international conventions, created new structural units, introduced new services and worked out new mechanisms.
LONG TERM ECONOMIC RELATIONS
Georgia has incured solid economic growth in the last few years, as it undertook a number of reforms, including tax code procedures renewal, struggling against corruption, free market for trade and investment, well developed infrastructure and simplified business procedures. EU supports Georgia to develop its economic potential by international cooperation. This itself includes convergence with EU standards.
BENEFITS OF VISA-FREE TRAVEL
Barrier reduction between Georgia and Europe contributes country to develop economically. Experts suggest, that economical effect in a short-term will be less noticeable and mainly reflecte on international travel. This itself means, upgrading qualifications, various companies take interest about Georgian market and negotiations will be simplified with them. It should be noted, visa free travel does not automatically grant the right to work, but Schengen area allows for the free movement during 90 days.
On Georgian market will grow the number of airlines, it creates new jobs for Georgian citizens and on the other hand prices will be reduced because of competition. This itself means movement simplification as for Georgian citizens, as for tourists. The negotiation is undergoing with Irish airlines “Ryanair” – an Irish low cost airline, which route networks serve throughout the world.
As for long-term perspective, Georgian awareness should be raise of the European space, which will increase attractiveness of countries for foreign investment. Also, young generation uninterrupted travel in Europe for educational (summer schools) or recreational purposes positively effect on generation mentality and operability, advance their professionalism. After free visa travel Georgia has opportunity to create exciting and interesting environment for tourists, this makes country one of the main important tourist zone in the eastern part.
Negotiation on deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement started in 2009. After its implementation for Georgian products and services, if meets required standards, will be opened the world’s largest market, which united 28 countries and more than 500 million consumers. Free movement of goods and services will contribute to the growth of export potential. Georgia will become more attractive for investors, which will increase attractiveness of countries for foreign investment and crates new jobs. New enterprises will be opened, created export products, safe and harmless products will be delivered for Georgian citizens.
DCFTA enables Georgia gradually receive free movement of people, products, service and capital from European internal market. According to European bank for reconstruction and development forecast, in 2017-year economic growth will reach 3.9 % in Georgia, which will contribute Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) treaty implementation.
Visa liberalization for Georgia is the first important step towards EU integration, which is a great responsibility. Georgian citizen and people willing travel in Schengen zone should follow European Union regulation. In Europe after substantial increase of migration, in the regulation was inserted “suspension mechanism”. This regulation allows EU member states temporarily stop visa-free agreement with non-EU countries. The right to use this mechanism has not only European commission, but each member country. Georgian citizens should not break visa rules and face country under “suspension mechanism” threat.