Armenian, Georgian PMs talk bilateral economic ties

Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan received a delegation led by Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili who has arrived in Armenia on official visit.

Karen Karapetyan and Giorgi Kvirikashvili held private talks, at which they expressed satisfaction with the current level of cooperation between Armenia and Georgia and attached importance to the development of trade and economic ties. The private talks were followed by an expanded meeting of the two government delegations.

Welcoming the Georgian Prime Minister-headed delegation, Prime Minister Karapetyan stated in part, “I am very glad and welcome you and your delegation to Armenia. We had private talks, at which we agreed that our bilateral relations are at a very high level now, and we must state that progress has been achieved in those relations in recent years.

The Armenian-Georgian traditional friendship and the high level of political relations provide a solid foundation for further development. We are pleased with the high-level meetings and horizontal relationships between our colleagues.

I am confident that today’s meeting will be very constructive and perspective. We have a lot to do, we are very glad to see you, you are welcome to Armenia.”

Thankful for a warm reception, the Georgian Premier said: “Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, dear members of government, I welcome all of you. It is a great honor for us to be hosted in your country – our long-standing friend. 2018 is a jubilee year for our two countries, and I am convinced that both Armenia and Georgia will celebrate the jubilee of their first republics properly.

I am glad that the historical, traditional friendship between our two countries gives us the opportunity to maintain our political and economic relations at the highest possible level.

I am glad that our economic relations are on the rise. Over the past year, a 33% growth in commodity turnover was recorded. And, as my counterpart noted, the actual potential is much greater; we can tap it, and I think that today’s meeting will bring us closer to that goal. “

Touching upon the prospects of bilateral economic cooperation, Karen Karapetyan noted that Armenia’s economy is showing good development trends, evidenced by the key macroeconomic indicators of 2017.

The Prime Minister of Armenia advised that last year Armenia’s GDP grew by 7.5%, exports – 25.2%, imports – 28%, foreign trade turnover – 29%, industry – 12.6%, services – by about 15%.

Highlighting last year’s turnover growth between Armenia and Georgia, Prime Minister Karapetyan emphasized the need for active bilateral and regional cooperation.

The Head of Government noted that the ongoing effective cooperation with various integration associations and the launch of the Meghri FEZ on the Armenian-Iranian border offer privileged trade regimes to Armenia’s business community, but it can also be interesting for Georgian businesses.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili complimented Karen Karapetyan for the macroeconomic indicators and the economic growth stated in 2017, noting that the development and progress of the neighboring and friendly country is important for Georgia. As he pointed out, the opportunities to increase the trade turnover should be considered from both bilateral and multilateral perspectives, and went on to assure that the Georgian government would raise awareness of those preferential trade regimes and opportunities indicated by Karen Karapetyan.

The Georgian Prime Minister also welcomed the signing of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement and expressed readiness to support its implementation.

The two prime ministers discussed a wide range of issues related to cooperation in energy, tourism, defense, transport, healthcare and humanitarian spheres.

The parties attached importance to the development of energy cooperation in bilateral and multilateral formats. Karen Karapetyan and Giorgi Kvirikashvili agreed that there is great development potential in the sphere of tourism and made an arrangement to boost interaction between the relevant State agencies.

The sides also exchanged views on healthcare, the mechanisms of public-private sector partnerships, and the exchange of experience in the sphere of cyber security.

The Prime Ministers of Armenia and Georgia stressed the need for catalyzing the work of the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation and holding a detailed discussion of the aforementioned issues during the next session.

Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan thanked the Georgian authorities for their caring attitude toward the Armenian cultural heritage in Georgia, in particular for the refurbishment of the Armenian Drama Theater after Adamyan.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili noted that the Georgians are proud of the history of friendship and cooperation with their fellow countrymen of Armenian origin who have made a huge contribution to Georgia’s development during many centuries.

Prime Ministers Karapetyan and Kvirikashvili also agreed to implement programs aimed at promoting humanitarian ties, in particular, enhancing mutual understanding and friendship among youth.

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