Visiting French Minister for External Trade Nicole Bricq met on November 25 with President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri.
“We spoke about an extremely interesting one year, which will start in several days – from initiating the Association Agreement [at the Vilnius summit later next week] to its signing,” President Margvelashvili said. Georgia wants to sign the document by autumn, 2014.
“During this period, we plan to cooperate actively with France,” Margvelashvili said.
Margvelashvili described as “promising” his upcoming meeting with French President Francois Hollande, which is planned on the sideline of the EU Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius on November 28-29.
PM Garibashvili, who met with Nicole Bricq together with Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, welcomed “active support” provided by France in the process of preparation the preparations of Association Agreement with the European Union.
Garibashvili visited France less than two weeks ago, when he was the interior minister and met with French Interior Minister Manuel Valls. Georgian Defense Minister, Irakli Alasania, also paid visit to France earlier this month and met his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Nicole Bricq also met on November 25 Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri. According to the Finance Ministry’s press office, the French Agency for Development (AFD) plans to open its regional office in Tbilisi.
Holding of a French-Georgian business forum was also discussed, according to Finance Minister Khaduri, who also said: “It is our goal to double bilateral trade turnover.”
According to the Georgian statistics office, Geostat, during the first ten months of 2013, trade turnover between the two countries amounted to USD 164.3 million. Imports from France to Georgia stood at USD 141.5 million and exports from Georgia to France were USD 22.7 million.