BRUSSELS — The European Union on Monday decided to launch negotiations on a deep and comprehensive free trade area with Armenia in order to boost economic growth and investment with the Eastern European Partner.
The negotiations will cover matters that have become crucial to a modern, transparent and predictable trade and investment environment. They will not only tackle market access conditions but also focus on regulatory approximation, which will help achieve a closer economic integration of Armenia with the EU.
“The opening of free trade negotiations mark a turning point in our trade relations with Armenia. We are entering a new phase that will bring our economic ties to a new level of depth and ambition,” said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht. “The EU is Armenia’s first trading partner and a deep and comprehensive free trade area will give Armenia a more favorable access to the European single market thereby helping to boost economic growth in the country,” he added.
Commissioner for Enlargement & European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle said: “This is a further sign of the strengthening of our political and economic ties. Launching DCFTA negotiations is one more step towards closer economic integration which is one of the cornerstones of our relations with countries of Eastern Partnership.”
The free trade area will be part of the broader Association Agreement which has been negotiated with Armenia since July 2010, in the framework of the Eastern Partnership and the European Neighborhood Policy.
The European Commission said that a free trade area was expected to diversify and strengthen Armenia’s export capacity and effectively open the way to access the EU market of 500 million consumers.
Armenia needs to continue its work toward reaching a stable, transparent and predictable economic environment. This is essential to attract foreign direct investment inflows, leading to job creation and long-term growth. The most important gains for Armenia lie therefore behind the border, in regulatory reforms, and as such will impact on its long-term development perspective, the Commission said.

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