Georgia’s Ambassador: Trade Volume with Turkiye Reaches $3 Billion

Georgia’s Ambassador to Ankara, George Janjgava, stated that the foreign trade volume with Turkiye increased by 6% in 2023, reaching $3 billion, and said, “This figure constitutes 13.5% of Georgia’s entire annual foreign trade volume of $22 billion.”

Ambassador Janjgava talked to the AA correspondent about the relations between the two countries, especially the economy.

Stating that Turkiye is a good neighbor and friendly country for Georgia, Janjgava noted that it is also a strategic partner.

Janjgava reminded that the relations between the two countries continue to develop successfully in many areas, further strengthened by joint efforts. He reminded that in 2021, the 100th anniversary of the opening of Georgia’s first Ankara Embassy was celebrated, and in 2022, the 30th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries was celebrated.

“I would like to express with great pleasure that our political relations, especially at the bilateral level, are progressing excellently. In addition, our cooperation and humanitarian solidarity in the economy, politics, culture, education and other fields continue without interruption.” Janjgava pointed out the importance of high-level bilateral visits in developing bilateral relations.

Recalling that Minister of Foreign Affairs Ilia Darchiashvili visited Turkiye twice in 2023, Janjgava said that his country was one of the first countries to come to Turkiye’s aid in the Kahramanmaras-centered earthquakes that occurred on February 6, 2023.

Stating that both the Georgian state, institutions and citizens were mobilized to deliver humanitarian aid to the earthquake victims, Janjgava stated that nearly 200 specially trained personnel from his country participated in the search and rescue efforts in the earthquake region on a rotating basis.

“The foreign trade volume between the two countries reached $3 billion in 2023”

Referring to the cooperation between the two countries, Janjgava said, “Turkiye and Georgia demonstrate effective cooperation with Azerbaijan in regional and global energy and transportation projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway (BTK), Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Oil Pipeline (BTC), Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum Natural Gas Pipeline.

Pointing out that Turkiye is Georgia’s largest commercial partner, Janjgava underlined that the free trade agreement between the two countries has contributed to the development of relations in this field.

Janjgava stated that in 2021, products produced in Georgia with raw materials of Turkish origin started to be sold to the European Union markets, and said that he hoped that commercial relations would be taken to a further level with Georgia gaining European Union (EU) candidate status in the near future.

“Last year, the foreign trade volume between the two countries increased by 6% compared to the previous year, reaching a new record of $3 billion. This figure constitutes 13.5% of Georgia’s annual foreign trade volume of $22 billion.” said Janjgava, reminding Georgian Foreign Minister Darchiashvili’s goal of reaching $5 billion in foreign trade volume as a result of his contacts with his counterpart Hakan Fidan.

“Turkish Airlines will increase the number of weekly flights to Tbilisi alone to 32”

Janjgava explained that compared to 2022, the number of visitors to Georgia in 2023 increased by 50% and 1 million 400 thousand people from Turkiye visited Georgia. He explained that the number of visitors from Turkiye to Georgia constitutes 20% of this figure.

Emphasizing that there has been an increase in the number of flights between the two countries in 2023, Janjgava said, “72 weekly flights were made by Turkish Airlines, Pegasus and Anadolu Jet from Ankara, Istanbul and Antalya to Georgia’s cities of Tbilisi, Kutaisi and Batumi. This year, Turkish Airlines will increase the number of weekly flights to Tbilisi alone to 32.”

Janjgava pointed out that a record was broken in passages through Sarp Border Gate and said, “Last year, 6.3 million passengers passed through Sarp land customs. In the light of global economic dynamics, improving the investment environment is of course vital for sustainable economic growth. The Georgian government makes special efforts to create a transparent, predictable, favorable and stable investment environment. In this context, Turkish investments in Georgia have reached $200 million and the number of Turkish companies operating in our country has reached 2,500.”

Turkiye’s mediation role in the Russia- Ukraine war

Pointing to Turkiye’s mediator role in the Russia-Ukraine war, Janjgava described Turkiye as the “leading state” both regionally and in general.

Janjgava said, “With its strong administration and economy, Turkiye is making the necessary efforts to contribute positively to regional and world peace. As the Georgian side, we attach great importance to Turkiye’s peaceful attitude. I would like to reiterate here that we, as Georgia, are ready to cooperate effectively in all initiatives that will strengthen peace and stability in the region.”

Evaluating Turkiye’s role in the Caucasus, Janjgava reiterated that when Turkiye took on a mediator role, it showed that it was an important actor supporting peaceful negotiations, and that his country defended the principle of respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all countries.

Janjgava said, “We believe that we should join hands for the welfare of the countries in our region.” He underlined that Georgia is always ready to participate in the peaceful process.

Pointing out that Georgia has taken important steps in supporting peace and stability in the region by launching the “Peaceful Neighborhood” initiative, Janjgava said, “It can be said that (the initiative) has become a platform for negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We are determined to continue this stance.”

Expressing that Turkiye supports Georgia’s policies in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and its Euro-Atlantic goals, Janjgava expressed her gratitude to Turkiye, which always shows this determined attitude in international platforms.

Janjgava continued:

“We are extremely happy that the relations between Georgia and Turkiye have developed successfully in every direction. We are determined to continue to further strengthen our cooperation in all areas, especially our political and commercial relations, with joint efforts in the future. Necessary work between our relevant institutions will continue intensively in order to fully utilize the international potential.”

Source: AA / Prepared by Irem Yildiz

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