French President believes Georgia is “a good place” to invest

French President and Georgian PM in Tbilisi on May 13, 2014. Photo by PM’s Press Office., 13 May 2014 - 21:31, Tbilisi,Georgia

The business environment in Georgia is improving and the country is a good place to invest, said French President Francois Hollande at the Georgian-France Business Forum in Tbilisi today. 

Hollande is on the last leg of his three-day trip to three South Caucasus countries.

At the meeting Hollande said the past two years had been poignant in Georgia’s history and the country was going through a positive upswing.

Hollande, who arrived in Georgia accompanied by a large delegation of French business representatives, believed economic development of Georgia required a great responsibility on his part to support the further deepening of mutual cooperation between France and Georgia.

"In the last two years Georgia made significant steps in terms of economic development.I am a witness of this progress and I have become more confident that Georgia and France will have to do much more in the future,” Hollande said.


French President Francois Hollande and Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili at Georgian-French Business Forum in Tbilisi on May 13, 2014. Photo by PM’s Press Office.

Hollande also spoke about trade relations between the two countries while delivering a speech at the forum, which was attended by the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili.

"[We] have seen the Georgian-French trade turnover overcome the expected amount by 56 percent and increased significantly in comparison to 2012,” the PM said.

The French leader believed investors could benefit in Georgia. While talking about such benefits, Hollande said he visited Georgia with French businessmen to better understand the local business environment. 

"Initially it is the stable legal framework and firm fiscal environment which is demanded by investors worldwide and not only in Georgia. Secondly the geographical location of Georgia is what makes Georgia become a transit country. Thirdly, and the main important thing, is the goodwill of the Georgian Government to modernize the economy and implement the reforms,” Hollande said.

In response, PM Garibashvili underlined the advantages of the Georgian business environment and welcomed Hollande’s position toward direct investment in Georgia.

"We offer a stable macroeconomic environment with a firm sovereign rating and strong banking sector. Investors in Georgia will be offered multimodal transport, which refers to a combination of at least three means of transport: road, railway, sea and air. The workforce is qualified and competitive,” he said.

Garibashvili also highlighted the importance of Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, expected to be signed by Georgia and the European Union this June.

"The new opportunities that will be created in the framework of this agreement will deepen the Georgia-French trade and investment cooperation,” Garibashvili said.

Georgian-French expected joint projects  

Georgian-French expected joint projects at today’s business forum, the French and Georgian leaders signed a number of economic cooperation documents.

Between them the leaders agreed on developing a French Development Agency, memorandum of cooperation in renewing the cableway transport in Chiatura, a city in western Georgia, and developing the mountain ski resort in Mitarbi, a village in Bakuriani, Georgia’s ski resort.

Hollande believed establishing a French Development Agency in Georgia would further support economic cooperation between the two countries.

The document for launching the Agency was signed by Georgian Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri and the French Minister delegate for SMEs, Innovation and the Digital Economy Fleur Pellerin.

Meanwhile, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Elguja Khokrishvili and the President of Pomagalski, Jean Gauthier, the company earmarked to develop the cableway transport systems, agreed to rehabilitate the cableway transport in Chiatura.

It was also agreed Georgia would develop one more mountain ski resort in Bakuriani. On the territory of village Mitarbi, GRDC - a private Georgian property investor in cooperation with a French company – will invest $100 million USD towards developing the mountain facility.

Hollande promised joined economic projects would be developed between Georgia and France in the future as well.