President Margvelashvili visits Japan

President Giorgi Margvelashvili at the Haneda International Airport on October 21, 2014., 21 Oct 2014 - 13:30, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili is on an official visit to Japan.

Japan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi met Georgia’s delegation, led by Margvelashvili, at the Haneda International Airport this morning.

Since arriving in Japan, Margvelashvili has held a meeting with Kiuchi and discussed ways for Georgian to enhance cooperation with Japan.

"The parties talk over the political and economic issues between Georgia and Japan,” the President’s press office said.

At the meeting they also focused on the situation at Georgia’s breakaway regions, in particular the Russia proposed new treaty on ‘Alliance and Integration’ between Moscow and Sokhumi.

The draft treaty on ‘Alliance and Integration’ was considered by Georgian authorities as a step forward to the annexation of Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia.

The President’s Adviser for Foreign Relations Tengiz Pkhaladze believed Margvelashvili’s visit to Japan would be very important to further develop relations between the countries.

Pkhaladze also announced that Japan would mention Georgia as ‘Georgia’ and not ‘Gruzia’, as it currently did in official documents. He noted Japan’s Parliament will discuss this issue in its 2015 spring session.

While abroad President Margvelashvili will also meet Japanese Emperor Akihito, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as well as a group of Japanese lawmakers and businessmen.

Japan-Georgia's business relations

Meanwhile, Margvelashvili met the president of the Japan Business Cooperation Association ROTOBO Takashi Nishioka in a meeting which was also attended by Georgian and Japan business representatives.

During the meeting Margvelashvili addressed the businessmen and informed them on Georgia’s new investment opportunities and the country’s growing economy.

"Georgia is a country that is rapidly developing its economy. This is our major national goal. Thus we not only welcome foreign businessmen to come to our country, but also to develop legislation, infrastructure and procedures for doing business,” Margvelashvili said.

"We are always guided by the motto to harmonise the local laws, which is at the same time the most liberal, but we believe that the opportunities for the whole region should be increased.”

"We are rapidly developing infrastructure - roads, highways and ports. I am glad that Japanese businessmen are interested in participating in these projects.”

Margvelashvili highlighted the advantages of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, which included the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) and made the country’s investment environment even more attractive.

"The DCFTA means that Georgia is now open … for consumers and more than half of them are in Europe. For its part, the European market is one of the most powerful,” he said.

The President also noted that Georgia had already signed free trade agreements with Black Sea basin countries including Turkey. "Georgia is eager to support foreign investments in Georgia and even create opportunities for businesses to succeed,” Margvelashvili said in his speech.

Meanwhile, ROTOBO president Nishioka said Japanese companies were interested in Georgia’s investment climate, and were particularly interested in the international investment projects that were developing in Georgia. The meeting with businessmen was held behind closed doors.