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Economy Minister visits Azerbaijan, meets with Ilham Aliyev

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Friday, September 20
Georgian Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Natia Turnava held meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to discuss economic, transport and trade issues.

At the meeting, the sides discussed the importance of maintaining peace in the region, which is essential for the full development of the countries and the realization of transport and energy projects of global importance. The importance of enhancing the efficiency and competitiveness of the transport corridor passing through Georgia and Azerbaijan, promoting the transit potential of our countries at the international level and continuing joint efforts in this direction were underlined.

Turnava and Aliyev both lauded efficient economic cooperation between the two countries.

In 2018 Azerbaijan was third amongst Georgia’s major trade partners, with $1.09 billion in external trade turnover, accounting for 8.8% of Georgia’s external trade, coming after Russia and Turkey. Azerbaijan was the largest investor in Georgia in 2018, providing 19.5% of investments in the country.

Cooperation in the tourism sector was also praised at the meeting. The second-largest share of visits to Georgia comes from citizens of Azerbaijan after Russia, amounting to 19.5% of total visits, says data from Geostat.

According to the Economy Ministry, Turnava thanked President Aliyev for his country’s support to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and noted that Azerbaijan is Georgia’s “strategic partner and a reliable neighbor,” and that Georgia pays particular attention to further developing bilateral ties with Azerbaijan.

Georgian Economy Minister also met with her Azerbaijani counterpart, Minister of Economic Development Shahin Mustafayev in Baku, pledging to deepen ties.

Natia Turnava said, “Georgia and Azerbaijan jointly represent an attractive market for international investors, cargo turnover, and tourism development.”

“The joint market of Georgia and Azerbaijan is attractive for international investors, for freight turnover, and tourism development. We agreed to jointly represent the idea of our transport logistic corridor at international fora to demonstrate its importance – we can manage that better together than separately,” Minister Turnava said following the meeting.

As for joint projects, Turnava said that companies created with Azerbaijani capital operate successfully in Georgia, while those created with Georgian capital - in Azerbaijan. Turnava also noted that the two countries have “a tradition” of business cooperation, therefore, their ministries aim to create a profitable environment to further develop their ties.

Turnava and Mustafayev agreed to hold a Georgian-Azerbaijani business forum in the near future to deepen cooperation in the field of energy.

At the meeting, Turnava focused on Tbilisi Silk Road Forum scheduled for October 22-23, this year for the third time and expressed hope that Azerbaijan will be present at the event by high-level officials.