Chaired by the Prime Ministers of Armenia and Georgia Nikol Pashinyan and Irakli Garibashvili, the 11th sitting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation between the two countries took place in Tbilisi. The event was attended by the heads of the bodies regulating foreign policy, economy, defense and other spheres of the Governments of Armenia and Georgia.
At the beginning of the sitting, the head of the Georgian Government delivered welcoming remarks, followed by the Prime Minister of Armenia.
In his speech, Irakli Garibashvili, in particular, said,
“Mr. Prime Minister,
Dear members of the delegation,
It is a great honor for me to host you in Georgia, I welcome my friend Prime Minister Pashinyan in Tbilisi. Mr. Prime Minister, this is your second visit to Georgia this year, and I would like to note with satisfaction that I have also been to Armenia twice. I am glad to note that we have relations based on close cooperation and friendship, and I thank you for that attitude.
I would also like to thank you for the fact that today the sitting of the Intergovernmental Economic Commission being held at our initiative and with our agreement, is taking place at the level of Prime Ministers. This commission resumed its activities on your personal initiative, no sessions had been held for years.
We are interested that our close and friendly relations could contribute to the implemntation of practical work, by developing trade and economic relations, talking about regional, infrastructural and other projects that will be in the interest for our countries.
I would like to note that the relations between our countries are at a high level, I am proud and satisfied to note that such relations have not existed between our countries. We have always had close, friendly relations, but our merit is that there are no misunderstood issues between our governments and countries, we have ideal relations.
I would like to note that we are interested in regional peace and stability. Georgia is always motivated to play a key role in this process, and for that goal I have announced about an initiative of peaceful neighborhood. Mr. Prime Minister, I affirm that we are always ready to contribute to the development of regional peace and stability.
I once again welcome all of you in Tbilisi”.
In his turn, Prime Minister Pashinyan said,
“Dear Mr. Prime Minister, dear Irakli,
Distinguished participants of the session,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I cordially welcome the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili and all the participants of the 11th sitting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation between the Republic of Armenia and Georgia.
First of all, I would like to thank our Georgian colleagues for the traditional warm welcome.
I must state with satisfaction that despite the difficulties, today the relations between our countries have entered a qualitatively new stage, registering successes in various spheres.
In 2019, we set an ambitious benchmark with Georgia, aiming to increase bilateral annual trade turnover to $ 1 billion in the medium term. The coronavirus slowed down this process, but now that we are learning to live in parallel with the coronavirus, I propose to reaffirm this intention. We have already discussed with Prime Minister Garibashvili and we will try to increase trade turnover between our countries to $ 1 billion by 2026.
This is an extremely important and ambitious task that requires dramatic efforts to be solved. That’s true, our trade turnover index for the first 10 months of this year has already exceeded the annual index of the previous three years, but we are still far from the 1 billion benchmark and we must work seriously in this direction.
We are deeply convinced that our economic cooperation has that potential, and our task is to contribute to its full revelation and implementation. The Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation is one of the best platforms for the implementation of the above-mentioned and the fact that the Commission is co-chaired by the leaders of the two countries, which is also unprecedented, is one of the key steps to achieve it.
This session of the Intergovernmental Commission had been scheduled for last year, but did not take place due to the pandemic, however, bilateral contacts at both the highest and sectoral levels continued to move in the planned dynamics.
Today, our bilateral agenda covers many areas, while the friendly relations between the two countries contribute to maintaining security and stability in our region, the importance of which has already been mentioned by Prime Minister Garibashvili. As for trade and economic cooperation, clear areas have been developed, which include transport, energy, high technology, tourism, agriculture and other areas.
I would like to emphasize that one of the most important preconditions for the deepening of economic cooperation between Armenia and Georgia is mutual trust, which is anchored on the historical brotherhood of our peoples.
Slightly deviating from the official protocol, I must emphasize the human-emotional dimension of our relations. By the way, this refers not only to Prime Minister Garibashvili and my relations, but also to the relations of many members of our governments. The thesis just voiced that our peoples have brotherly ties coming from centuries ago is being reflected today not only at the official level, but also at the level of human relations between our governments.
There is a serious human, personal mutual trust and respect and we must value and strengthen that trust and respect.
The meetings of the leaders of the Republic of Armenia and Georgia are regular, we have the opportunity to refer to the entire agenda of bilateral relations. We have met with the Prime Minister of Georgia in a bilateral format already four times this year. Such dynamics have never existed in the relations between our countries before and our biggest task is to create a new level of economic cooperation as a result of all this. I also want to emphasize that we need to make the traditional high level of our political relations more institutional.
Concluding my speech, I would like to once again thank for organizing the reception of the Armenian delegation at a high level and wish success and fruitful work to all the participants of the sitting.
A wide range of issues related to the development and expansion of cooperation between Armenia and Georgia in all spheres were discussed during the sitting, the forthcoming steps and programs of the sectoral departments of the two governments were outlined.
Based on the results of the sitting, the Prime Ministers of the two countries signed the protocol of the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation between the Republic of Armenia and Georgia.