Georgian PM Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, holds series of meetings with political and business leaders on the sideline of the World Economic Forum.
Russian news agency, RIA Novosti, reported quoting unnamed Russian businessman in Davos that the Georgian PM had a chance to chat with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev at a reception last night.
“The Georgian Prime Minister approached Medvedev and they spoke on something for several minutes,” the news agency reported quoting unnamed Russian businessman.
Late last night the Georgian PM’s press office reported that Ivanishvili attended a welcome reception hosted by founder of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab; it, however, did not say anything about reported brief conversation between Ivanishvili and Medvedev.
Asked earlier on January 23 whether he would meet his Russian counterpart, Ivanishvili told Georgian journalists in Davos that no meeting was planned, but did not rule out, as he put it, a spontaneous meeting “by chance” with Medvedev at one of the events on the sideline of the World Economic Forum.
Ivanishvili’s press office reported that the Georgian PM, as well Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze and Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, had a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on January 23 to discuss “deepening of bilateral relations” between the two countries.
Also on January 23 Ivanishvili met with billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros – the second meeting between them in less than two months.
Ivanishvili’s press office said that the Georgian PM will meet in Davos with Israeli President Shimon Peres; President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and Prime Minister of Lebanon Najib Mikati.
His press office also said that PM Ivanishvili would meet Madhu Kannan, head of business development at Tata Sons, which controls India’s largest corporate house Tata Group; as well as with Steve Schwarzman, CEO and co-founder of Blackstone, an alternative investment management group; Vagit Alekperov, chief executive and largest shareholder of Russia’s Lukoil; Evgeny Dod, head of the Russian state-controlled hydroelectric company RusHydro.
PM Ivanishvili said on January 23 that his goal was to attract foreign investors’ interest towards Georgia. “I assure you that investments in Georgia will grow and real economic prosperity will start… You will see what the real economic rebuilding is on the third year of our presence in government,” he said.
Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, who accompanies the PM in Davos, said that meetings with executives of the Russian companies were important.
“We should renew economic relations with the Russian companies as it is a huge opportunity for Georgia, which can promote creation of jobs in our country. We will have interesting meetings with the Russian companies and despite of having political problems with Russia we should definitely renew economic cooperation without making any political compromises,” Kvirikashvili said.
Giorgi Pertaia, director of the Georgian National Investment Agency, who is also in Davos, said that the Georgian delegation had a meeting with representatives of the Russian business association. He said that his agency would hold a business forum in Tbilisi in about two months and Russian companies would also be invited; he said that key decision-makers form major Russian companies were expected to participate in the forum.