TBILISI, DFWatch – Israel’s transport minister proposes to establish visa-free travel with the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

The proposal was put forth during a visit to Israel February 13 by Georgia’s minister of economic development Vera Kobalia and is reported on her ministry’s website.

Israel Katz, Israel’s Minister of Transport and Road Safety said a visa-free regime will give new stimuli to the business communities of the two countries, to implement common projects. In addition, such a decision will significantly increase the number of tourists in both directions.

Georgia currently has agreements about visa-freedom with several countries, including Ukraine, Turkey and Iran.

According to Georgia’s Ministry of Economic and Sustainable Development, only within the last year, the number of tourists from Israel has increased by a third.

Katz says there also an agreement in the works about cooperation within the field of civil aviation, something which will significantly increase competition between Georgian and Israeli airline companies.

An agreement was signed in the 1990s, but it can no longer meet modern market demands. The new agreement, as Katz describes, will provide an opportunity to both countries’ air carriers to independently decide the frequency of flights and the price of tickets.

The aviation agreement will probably be signed in Tbilisi in a month.

The two ministers discussed how to increase the frequency of flights between the two countries.

Katz said after the meeting that the number and frequency of flights will be increased in the near future; both ministers agreeing on a target of raising the number from six to ten.

In addition, it was said at the meeting that Israel will help Georgia to reorganize its shipping sector.

According to Kobalia’s press office, there is also interest in cooperation between Israel and Georgia in other sectors of the economy, including textile production, software industry, the agricultural sector and in electronics.