TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia wants to use its free trade access to the EU to become a springboard for Chinese trade with Europe.
Last year, Georgia signed an association agreement with the EU. Included was what’s called a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement (DCFTA).
Now Minister of Economy Giorgi Kvirikashvili wants to use that access to offer Chinese companies to use Georgia as a springboard for sending goods to the European market.
Recently returned from a trip to China, Kvirikashvili told the weekly newspaper Kviris Palitra that last month, the first trainload of containers from China arrived here in Georgia.
Chinese trade influx may double Georgia’s trade
“If Georgia brings at least one percent of China’s international transit [of goods] through its transport corridor, our trade turnover will double,” he said.
The idea is to attract China’s interest in making use of Georgia as ‘logistic and production hub’ because of the DCFTA and its free trade agreements with neighboring countries.
Another way China may benefit is because of the ease of doing business and level of democracy.
“We also have really low taxes. There is a stable environment in Georgia. We stand out due to the quality of the democracy, low level of corruption and a simple business environment,” Kvikashvili said.
He met with the director of Silk Road Development Fund, who showed interest in financing infrastructure projects in Georgia.
From Georgia’s point of view, China is a very important source for economic growth, while Georgia has exceptional geographic location, which is ‘a gate from Europe to Asia and vice versa,’ the economy minister explained.