The messenger logo

The News in Brief

Thursday, October 4
Appathurai says Georgia is not granted MAP in order to avoid risks from Russia

NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai voiced various reasons why the North Atlantic Alliance member states do not support granting Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia at this stage.

He noted that some members of the alliance have a fear that the granting the MAP for Georgia will increase the risk of Russia's threat to Georgia.

"What they say is that MAP does not provide security guarantees. Security guarantees are provided only by NATO membership. They fear that a political step, such as MAP, will potentially increase the risks from Russia', said James Appathurai.

He also mentioned that some members believe that Georgia should be given MAP now, while others consider that this time has not come yet.

“However, we have a consensus on deepening NATO’s presence in Georgia and Georgia's presence NATO,” he added.

The Membership Action Plan is a North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s program of advice, assistance and practical support tailored to the individual needs of countries wishing to join the Alliance.

The program process includes both political and technical advice, as well as annual meetings between all NATO members and individual aspirants.

Georgia-Hong-Kong Free Trade Agreement to be ratified by Georgian Parliament

Hong Kong and Georgia signed a free trade agreement in June 2018, which will be sent to the Parliament of Georgia for ratification.

The agreement was signed in order to provide legal certainty and boost market access and investment flow between the two countries.

Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze made a statement during the governmental meeting on Wednesday.

“The most important priority of our economic strategy is to better integrate Georgia into the global economy. I want to remind you that we are the only country in the region who has free trade regimes with the European Union, China and neighboring countries simultaneously”, said Bakhtadze.

The agreement provides the elimination of import tariffs on 96.6 percent of its tariff lines for Hong Kong products. Investors from Hong Kong will be given a special treatment that is the same as those enjoyed by the local investors.

“Hong-Kong is the most important economic center of southern-eastern Asia and accordingly [the deal] creates the unique opportunities for our entrepreneurs to have access to the market of 8 million consumers”, Bakhtadze added.

It is worth mentioning that the deal signed with Georgia is the first free trade agreement between Hong Kong and a country in the South Caucasus. (By Mariam Chanishvili)