On 21 October 2019, UK's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and the Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani signed a Strategic Partnership and Cooperation agreement aimed at strengthening the relations between the countries, once the UK leaves the European Union.
This is the first trade continuity agreement concluded between the UK and an Eastern European country.
The UK is one of the 10 leading investors in Georgia while two of the country's largest banks -TBC Bank and Bank of Georgia – are included on the FTSE 250 share index. Statistically, the trade between the UK and Georgia was worth £95 million in 2018. Therefore, this agreement was a necessary step in order to ensure minimal disruption for businesses and consumers in both countries when the EU-Georgia agreement ceases to apply to the UK, either following an implementation period or a no-deal Brexit.
This agreement replicates the market access for trade in goods and services under the EU agreement, thus strengthening the trading relationship between the UK and Georgia. Trading under the terms outlined in the agreement, rather than WTO terms, will ensure UK businesses and consumers a continued preferential access to Georgia after the UK leaves the European Union.
Under the terms of the agreement, Georgia and the United Kingdom will continue their cooperation in areas such as financial services, education, transportation, industry and environmental protection. Additionally, the agreement emphasizes the UK's support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia, as well as both countries' commitment to strengthening fundamental freedoms and human rights.
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