The “positive dynamics” of cooperation between Georgia and Kazakhstan in trade, tourism, energy and culture were highlighted on Friday in a meeting between Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili and his Kazakh counterpart Alikhan Smailov, who on Thursday arrived in on his first official visit to the country.
The PM’s press office said the officials discussed “fruitful cooperation” in “various fields”, with Garibashvili noting a 136 percent increase in bilateral trade last year, a “positive” trend he said had continued into 2023, with the two country's trade turnover rising by 283 percent to a total of $188 million in the first four months of this year.
The officials also discussed prospects of export and import growth in the two markets, with the Georgian PM noting his Government was interested in working with its Kazakhstani counterpart on investment-related projects and welcomed Kazakh investors. Garibashvili noted “influential” businesses from the country were operating “effectively” in Georgia, taking advantage of the “supportive” business environment offered by the state and helping advance the country's economy.
The meeting also covered the “favourable dynamics” of the TRACECA project - an international transport cooperation programme between the European Union and its partner countries in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia - with Garibashvili noting his Government was interested in ensuring “full-scale” operation of the Middle Corridor of the trans-Caspian international transport route, aimed to connect supply chains and logistics between China and Europe.
The parties also discussed the potential for increasing the flow of oil and oil products through Black Sea ports, and cooperation in Caspian Sea natural resource transportation, expressing willingness to further strengthen ties to carry out projects to build fibre optic communication lines between Europe and Asia.
A memorandum of understanding was also signed between the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan, along with an agreement between Georgian and Kazakh companies, the PM’s press office added.