Georgia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Dondua, who is visiting Beijing, met his Chinese counterpart Cheng Guoping to discuss growing bilateral cooperation, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
“[The deputy foreign ministers] noted positively recent progress achieved in bilateral cooperation, especially in trade and economic areas,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said. “Emphasis was made on perspective of cooperation in frames of New Silk Road-Economic Belt project.”
Georgian Economy Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, signed an agreement with Chinese Commerce Minister on cooperation in frames of this project when he visited Beijing in March. New Silk Road–Economic Belt project was announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in November 2014; China launched a multi-billion Silk Road Fund to invest in transport infrastructure in Central Asia and beyond to revive the old Silk Road trading route.
Georgia’s PM Irakli Garibashvili will visit China on September 8-13 to participate in the World Economic Forum’s annual forum, also known as the ‘Summer Davos’, in the northeastern port city of Dalian. Georgian PM’s office said that Garibashvili will meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, as well as representatives of business circles during his visit to Dalian and Beijing.
In March Georgia and China agreed to start feasibility study of possible free trade agreement between the two countries. According to a study by Tbilisi-based Policy and Management Consulting Group (PMCG) and China’s University of International Business and Economics, free trade agreement between the two countries will result in 9% increase in Georgian export to China.
China was Georgia’s third largest trading partner with turnover of USD 420.9 million in January-July, 2015, which is 9.4% decline compared to the same period of last year. Georgian exports to China increased by 55.2% year-on-year in the first seven months of 2015 to USD 67.4 million, and imports from China declined by 16.1% y/y to USD 353.5 million in January-July, 2015.