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Georgia-Belarus economic council to meet in September

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, March 24
Session of the Belarusian-Georgian Interagency Joint Economic Council will be held in September 2016 in Tbilisi. The decision came after a meeting of Georgian and Belarusian top officials on March 22 in Minsk.

The Prime Minister of Belarus, Andrei Kobyakov, said that last year trade turnover between the countries amounted 45 million USD, which is “insufficient”.

"Our goal is to increase the trade turnover between our states to 200 million USD, which will be beneficial for both of our countries. Meanwhile, we consider the development of manufacturing and cooperation in this area to be essential for this purpose," Kobyakov stated.

An agreement concerning particular projects have also been attained. The projects will be implemented jointly by Georgia and Belarus.

The Prime Minister of Belarus welcomed the establishment of a Belarusian diplomatic mission in Tbilisi. Prime Minister of Georgia thanked his Belarusian counterpart for the warm welcome and elaborated on friendly relations between the countries.

Kvirikashvili stressed that particular attention was placed on cooperation in areas such as trade and economics, agriculture and investment. In addition, the need for exchange of high-profile visits between the countries, the development of relevant legislative base, and cooperation in tourism and culture. Readiness of cooperation within the frames of international organizations were also expressed.

"Our countries have even greater potential for developing economic links. To foster this process, the Belarusian-Georgian Intergovernmental Joint Economic Commission has been established. Its next session is scheduled for September 2016, in Tbilisi. The mandate of the Commission encompasses the deepening of relations in trade and economics, energy, transportation, communication, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism,” Kvirikashvili said.

The conversation also touched upon cooperation in the area of transportation and the Silk Road Initiative. Ways of increasing involvement of Georgia and Belarus in this process were outlined.

Kvirikashvili invited his Belarusia counterpart to Georgia and expressed hope that the dialogue initiated in Minsk will continue in Tbilisi.

Before the meeting, Kvirikashvili met Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who highlighted the importance of increased turnover and closer cooperation between Georgia and Belarus.

Kvirikashvili thanked Lukashenko for his continued support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.