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Georgian PM attends World Economic Forum in Davos

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Friday, January 24
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili is taking part in the World’s 44th Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on January 22-24.

On January 23 Gharibashvili delivered a speech at the session entitled Eurasia –the Next Margin where he focused on the economic prospects of Eurasia. The PM’s press service reports that Gharibashvili said that “after years of stagnation, political events in Georgia are dynamically distinguished and the economy is becoming more and more stable. Nevertheless, the economic growth was limited to small groups of sectors and had less material influence generally on the economy.”

Talking about the events that have affected the economy of Georgia, PM Gharibashvili said there were both positive and negative consequences.

“The European Union Neighborhood Policy, in the framework of which the East Partnership Initiative is being carried out, offers a necessary stimulus for political and economic development of the countries of the region,” the PM said, referring to the EU Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). Gharibashvili hoped that “open and substantive discussions of the global economic challenges will continue in the future.”

He also said that “by the thorough reforms of trade-related strategies, as it is considered within the frameworks of the DCFTA, Georgia hopes to gain improved access to the EU market for its products and services. In addition, it is expected that this agreement will support the flow of direct investment in Georgia.”

Apart from PM Gharibashvili, the Georgian delegation includes vice-premier, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Gioegi Kvirikashvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs Maia Panjikidze, Executive Director of Co-investment foundation of Georgia Giorgi Bachiashvili, Director of National Investment Agency Giorgi Pertaia, and General Director of Georgian Railways Mamuka Bakhtadze.

According to Minister Kvirikashvili, the World Economic Forum was the best place to meet Georgia’s current and prospective investors. Kvirikashvili said that promoting Georgia’s market to a large number of international business representatives may encourage new investors to invest in the country.

Gharibashvili attended several meetings with the world leaders on the first day of the forum on January 22, including the Prime Minister of Finland and the President of Estonia. With Finish leader Jyrki Katainen, Garibashvili discussed the relationship between the two countries. Gharibashvili thanked his Finish counterpart for supporting Georgia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and European aspirations.

Estonian President, Toomas Ilves, will also pay an official visit to Georgia in the near future. This was agreed to during a meeting between the Georgian prime minister and the Estonian President in Davos. During the meeting the parties discussed bilateral relations and the prospects of Georgia's integration into NATO and the EU. Estonia is actively assisting Georgia in this issue.

After visiting Davos, PM Garibashvili will head to Israel for an official visit, where, according to his office, a free-trade agreement between the two countries will be signed. After Israel, the PM will visit the 50th conference of the Munich Security conference from January 31-February 2 and then will visit Brussels February 3-5 for talks with senior EU officials and the NATO Secretary General.