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Georgian-Azeri economic relations to increase

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, September 15
PM Irakli Garibashvili, who just concluded his visit to Azerbaijan, stated on September 12 that Georgian-Azeri economic relations would be increased. Garibashvili, who met his Azerbaijani counterpart Artur Rasizade and President Ilham Aliyev, stressed that Georgia is Azerbaijan’s loyal partner.

The sides especially focused on the countries’ partnership in the energy sector, as well as the Shah Deniz energy project, in which energy generated in Georgia and Azerbaijan would be exported to Europe by means of expanding the South Caucasus Pipeline and the construction of the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

PM Garibashvili will visit Baku again on September 20 to attend the ceremony of the South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion, which is part of the Shah Deniz Stage 2 project, and which involves the laying of new pipelines across Azerbaijan and the construction of two new compressor stations in Georgia. The gas exported through the pipeline will exceed 20 billion cubic meters per year.

Georgia’s Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze admitted that Georgia would be able to obtain five percent of the gas that travelled through the pipeline.

“The more gas passes through the pipeline, the more important it will be for Georgia,” he stated.

Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Natig Aliyev stressed the cooperation will benefit both sides.

"We have great intentions to cooperate in the energy sector. First of all, this refers to the South Caucasus gas pipeline, through which 2.5 billion in direct investment will be carried out in Georgia,” he said.

Gharibashvili informed that the Azeri side was interested in the Georgian agricultural field as well.

“Azerbaijani companies plan to make more investment in Georgia,” he said.

The Georgian delegation left Baku on September 12. In Baku, Garibashvili and the 10-person Georgian delegation also attended the Azerbaijan International Defence Industry Exhibition in which 200 companies from 34 countries took part.