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Georgia boosts trade relations with Turkey

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Friday, February 26
The Vice-Premier and Economic Minister of Georgia, Dimitri Kumsishvili, held a meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Mistafa Elitas, during his two-day visit to Istanbul.

According to the Georgian Ministry of Economics, bilateral trade and economic relations between the countries, as well as more effective development of the existing free trade agreement between Georgia and Turkey, were discussed at the meeting.

Kumsishvili said that the meeting was fruitful; Georgia’s export possibilities on the Turkish market were discussed.

“Turkey is our number one trading partner and we can clearly see that we have the opportunity to increase exports from Georgia,” stated Kumsishvili adding that the Georgian side will mainly increase exports of agricultural products including live cattle, fresh meat, tea, wine, honey and mineral water.

The minister believes that the Turkish side has very high customs tariffs and suggested that these be lowered in order to reduce barriers for Georgian exports.

“Turkey has very high customs tariffs, which create barriers for Georgian exporters. We asked them to lower the tariffs and received a positive answer,” said the Georgian Minister.

According to Kumsishvili, he invited Mistafa Elitas to Tbilisi and expressed the hope that soon Georgia and Turkey will review their free trade agreement which will bring more benefits to both sides.

On February 24, Kumsishvili met with the heads of the twelve largest Turkish companies, which operate in the field of light industry. The meeting was organized by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. The event was also supported by the Embassy of Georgia in the Republic of Turkey and Georgia’s General Consulate in Istanbul.

During the meeting, Kumsishvili introduced the new business environment and reforms implemented in Georgia aimed at promoting foreign investments. He also spoke about the importance of free trade with the European Union and Georgia’s trade relationship with China.