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London’s Lord Mayor names Georgia as most business-friendly country in region

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, October 26
The Lord Mayor of London, Andrew Parmley, states that Georgia has the best business environment in the region.

He and other British officials, who participated in the Georgia-UK Wardrop Strategic Dialogue in London on October 23-24, say that the UK is ready to enhance trade-economic relations with the country.

According to the Lord Mayor of London, one of his priorities is to promote co-operation with rapidly developing economies.

Mark Pritchard, the UK’s Special Representative for trade in Georgia, stated that Georgia and the UK have "huge potential to boost trade and investments.”

He stated that the UK government was interested in investing in infrastructure, education, the environment, retail, banking, and pension services.

Trade-economic cooperation with Georgia was also in focus for the UK Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, Sir Alan Duncan, when he spoke at the opening of the Wardrop Strategic Dialogue.

Duncan said that economic cooperation is an integral part of Georgia-UK bilateral relations.

"I want this to be done swiftly and successfully and I’d like this to be ambitious. I am glad that Foreign Office officials were recently in Tbilisi to discuss details of our future economic relations. That dialogue will intensify in the coming months,” he said.

Duncan stressed that British investors’ interest in Georgia keeps rising, to which attests the appointment of the UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Georgia and an upcoming business forum within the framework of the Wardrop Dialogue.

Duncan said that links between the two nations are expanding, helped by the reintroduction of direct flights.

"More of our citizens than ever before are travelling in both directions for tourism, study and business. As governments we can help these connections to develop even further including in the areas such as vocational and technical education and creative industries. We will ensure that Georgian citizens find the process of obtaining a visa to visit Britain as easy as possible,” he stated.

The Wardrop Strategic Dialogue is named after Sir Oliver Wardrop, who was a strong champion of the first Republic of Georgia and the UK’s first Chief Commissioner to Georgia and South Caucasus from 1919 to 1921. Sir Oliver Wardrop is credited with having made a great contribution to the promotion of Georgian culture and literature.