German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Georgia on August 23-24, participating in a series of meetings and press conferences. As part of his visit, Georgian Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Kobulia met representatives of the German business sector, and round tables were held between representatives of Georgian and German business sectors. Georgia’s Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Giorgi Cherkezishvili, and German Parliamentary Secretary for Economy and Energy, Thomas BareiÃ, opened the discussions.
Participants from the Georgian side included representatives from different government agencies, the Partnership Fund, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Georgian Railways, Georgian Business Association and other business unions.
The German side was represented by the leaders of large companies, including Knauf Gips KG, Ernst Klett AG, Deutsche Bahn AG, Caisley International GmbH, GP GÃ¼nter Papenburg AG, Cronimet Holding AG / Cronimet Mining AG and Giesecke & Devrient.
It was noted during the meeting that Germany is one of Georgia’s most important partner countries and the Georgian side welcomes the deepening of relations between the two countries in terms of strengthening trade ties and economic development and expansion of cooperation to attract investment.
Mikhail Khidureli, Managing Director of the Enterprise Georgia Agency, gave attendees an overview of the economic and local business climate in Georgia, followed by a question-and-answer session where German business leaders assessed the Georgian sector in more detail.
Ahead of the roundtable, Deputy Minister Cherkezishvili issued a statement highlighting the economic importance of Merkel’s visit. Germany is one of Georgia’s most important trading partners, Cherkezishvili noted. Georgian exports to the EU have grown by more than 20% in the last seven months, including 36% of Georgian exports to Germany. “It is important that [Georgian exports are] diverse and includes a wide range of products. During this visit, it will be noted once again that Georgia is the best country in terms of reforms and attractiveness of investments. This is our main priority, which we will reintroduce, and we will discuss these conditions with companies, âCherkezishvili added.
During her visit, Merkel advised Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze on economic development, stressing the importance of inclusive growth. “Small and medium-sized enterprises are very important,” said the Chancellor, quoted by Commersant, “Young people should be given the opportunity to start a business. They should be able to develop their own industries and get a cheap loan. The greater the diversification, the greater the variety, the fewer large companies the better. As the country grows rapidly, naturally, the number of small and medium enterprises is expected to increase. the [DCFTA] Free trade agreement with the European Union is a great … opportunity for Georgia, giving access to the European market. Those who want to be independent, self-sufficient, must take advantage of these opportunities legally and economically. [Edited for clarity]
In a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s press office after Merkel’s visit ended on Friday, Bakhtadze said: âWe fully support our new policy, covering the achievement of inclusive economic growth in Georgia, support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the reform of start-up capital and many other initiatives. At the same time, we talked about regional cooperation, very important projects that consider energy security, the provision of additional resources to the EU market. Georgia has a unique role to play in this regard. He mentioned the agreement between German KfW and Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation to strengthen the country’s energy independence by building an underground natural gas storage facility and transportation projects, including the relationship between Deutsche Bahn and Georgian Railway – the company Bakhtadze ran before becoming Prime Minister. . “It is essential to increase the superb and massive progress made between Germany and Georgia through further economic cooperation … We will achieve our goals by all means with the support of our friends,” he concluded. .
By Samantha Guthrie
August 27, 2018 16:55