Georgian PM Visits China, Discusses Enhancing Economic Ties

Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze who is on an official visit to China on November 4-5, met yesterday with the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank of China, Chen Siqing, and discussed further strengthening of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.

According to PM’s press office, Mamuka Bakhtadze welcomed increasing interest of the Chinese companies to invest in Georgia. “Our goal is to effectively integrate Georgia in global economy and to develop it as regional economic center,” Bakhtadze wrote on his official Facebook page.

Yesterday, a Memorandum of Cooperation was also signed between the Georgian Economy Ministry’s LEPL “Enterprise Georgia” and the Bank of China to further expand cooperation among the Georgian and Chinese small and medium enterprises.

As part of the visit, representatives of some 53 Georgian export companies, accompanying the Georgian delegation, are supposed to meet with the Chinese importers. PM Bahktadze believes “we need more export,” and that the Chinese market would be “a huge platform” for Georgian entrepreneurs, “to further develop their business and employ more of our citizens.”

In Shanghai, the Georgian PM attended a reception hosted by President of China Xi Jinping as well. Today, Bakhtadze participates in the inaugural China International Import Expo in Shanghai, bringing together more than 3,000 companies from over 130 countries and regions on November 5-10. He also addresses one of the panels of the Hongqiao International Economic and Trade Forum on trade and investment.

Georgia and China sealed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in May 2017, making Georgia the first country in the Caucasus region with FTA with China and the European Union at a time. In June 2018, Georgia also signed FTA with Hong Kong, the special administrative region of China.

China was the third largest trading partner for Georgia in 2017. Georgia’s trade turnover with China, according to the State Statistics Office Geostat, stood at USD 939.5 million in 2017, with exports at USD 207.2 million (USD 167.9 million in 2016) and imports at USD 732.3 million (USD 547.8 million in 2016).

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