Georgia and India deepen trade, culture, tourism ties

India’s Civil Aviation Minister and Georgia’s Economy Minister agreed to deepen cooperation between the countries. Photo by Georgia's Economy Ministry., 10 Nov 2016 - 15:22, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia and India are deepening bilateral ties in a range of field, including tourism and aviation, by signing a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) to facilitate easier travel between India and Georgia.

Today Georgia’s Economy Minister Dimitry Kumsishvili and India’s Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju signed the deal in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi.

The MoC aimed to improve cooperation between Georgia and India in the fields of trade, culture and tourism. Authorities from both sides believed launching direct flights between Georgia and India was "very important" and a good way to stimulate closer ties. 

The Ministers also discussed the possibility of creating a legal framework for air cooperation and decided to prepare a text for an inter-governmental agreement this year.

Figures showed more Indian tourists were coming to Georgia to enjoy holidays. In the first 10 months of 2016 Georgia hosted 27,790 visitors from India, which was a 232 percent increase year-on-year.

In general Georgia’s Economy Minister positively assessed the economic cooperation between Georgia and India but said this partnership could certainly improve. Kumsishvili said the trade turnover between the countries increased by 27 percent in the first nine months of 2016 while exports from Georgia to India increased by 29 percent.

Kumsishvili said Georgia was also attracting more investments from large Indian companies. As an example he named Tata Group, which invested more than $700 million in building a hydroelectric power plant in Georgia’s Adjara region.