Georgia’s Foreign Minister Participates in Astana Economic Forum
By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, May 18
Georgia’s Vice-Premier and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze participated in Astana Economic Forum - Global Challenges Summit 2018 which brought together hundreds of politicians, businessmen and scientists, as well as thousands of international experts in the role of forum participants.
The forum was visited by former French President Francois Hollande, one of the founders of Apple Steve Wozniak, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other famous personalities.
Within the framework of his visit, Janelidze met with his Kazakh counterpart Kairat Abdrakhmanov. Bilateral relations in the areas of transport, tourism and trade, also mutual cooperation in various fields were discussed by the officials.
The Georgian Foreign Minister welcomed the Kazakh citizens’ increasing interest in Georgia’s tourism potential, emphasizing that the number of visitors to Georgia doubles nearly every year.
The Ministers praised the economic co-operation and bilateral trade relations that increased three times in 2018. It was underlined that Georgian exports to Kazakhstan reached 90 percent, and Kazakh imports to Georgia also increased four times.
The sides highlighted the huge potential of transport and transit co-operation between the two countries. The two ministers reaffirmed their bilateral interest in co-operation in the area of investments. They also spoke about Georgia’s development possibilities resulting from the free trade agreement with the EU and the formation of stable, reliable and transparent business environment.
Janelidze and Abdrakhmanov paid special attention to co-operation in the sectors of culture and people-to-people contacts. They welcomed the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries that was widely celebrated in 2017.
After the meeting, the ministers signed the Cooperation Program between the Foreign Ministries of Georgia and the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2018-2019.
The program envisages promotion of co-operation in various areas of bilateral relations and intensification of co-operation between the Ministries.
At the meeting with the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Bakytzhan Sagintayev, Janelidze discussed the participation of the two countries in the international transit projects. Special attention was paid to Georgia’s and Kazakhstan’s involvement in the Silk Road development process and Astana’s increasing interest in the railway projects.
Georgia’s representatives were the Chairman of the Supreme Council of Adjara's Autonomous Republic, Zurab Pataridze and the Executive Director of the Partnership Fund Davit Saganelidze, and from the Kazakh side – the Energy Minister, Kanat Bozumbaev and Minister of Investments and Development, Zh. Kassymbek.
The sides expressed their commitment to contribute to the development of bilateral investment projects. They reaffirmed that the business communities of Kazakhstan are interested in Georgia’s business and investment potential. Close attention was paid to Kazakhstan’s successful investment projects in Georgia.
Georgia’s Vice-Premier also met the Kazakh Mazhilis (lower house of Parliament) Speaker Nurlan Nigmatulin and the Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan Kassym Tokayev.
The sides positively assessed the inter-parliamentary co-operation and expressed their readiness to enhance the relations on the level of parliamentary committees and in the format of working groups.
The Kazakh side expressed its interest in Georgia’s successful reform experience in the fields of healthcare, public services, traffic police, etc.
The sides expressed their readiness to facilitate communication between the two nations and cultural links, reaffirming their interest in the development of education.