Giorgi Margvelashvili ends visit to Belarus with package of agreements

Giorgi Margvelashvili ends visit to Belarus with package of agreements

The official visit to Belarus of the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, has concluded. During two days in Belarus, the Georgian president had talks at the highest level, meetings with MPs and government officials, as well as talked with students and got familiar with Belarus' historical sights.

Despite meeting on the first day, the presidents of Georgia and Belarus met even on day two. Alexander Lukashenko and Giorgi Margvelashvili met again at the Palace of Independence and said they need closer relations between the two countries. The communication should result in a greater number of projects.

Andrei Kobyakov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus:
The level of relations between our countries allows for growth in key areas of our cooperation: industry, agriculture, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and humanitarian cooperation. In turn, we invite Georgian business to Belarus.

Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Georgia:
The past year was noted by the increase in trade and tourism flows between Georgia and Belarus. The result is the deepening of trade, economic and cultural relations, which we observe. It all goes to the benefit of our peoples.

The presidents agreed to increase the volume of mutual trade to $200 million. Belarus and Georgia are halfway through. The remaining 50% will be made up for already in 2018.

Alexander Shvets, chairman of the republican public association "Belarusian Scientific and Industrial Association":
For Georgia we are a diversified market which could consume a greater amount of their products. And we are interested to cooperate with Georgia in terms of the development of the Georgian market, although it is not that big.

Another perspective of cooperation is in the humanitarian field. Today, Georgia is moving towards innovative technologies. Agriculture also needs revamping, with infrastructure actively building. It turned out that Georgia does not have enough high-quality technical expertise. Belarus is ready to share its experience, not only in training. Perhaps a joint educational project will be launched in the near future.

Another project concerns a business incubator for the implementation of bold ideas of young scientists. The Georgian leader visited the High-Tech Park. Georgia is interested in the Belarusian experience in the IT sphere.

Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of Georgia:
This industrial park is based on the government's initiative, with the active participation of the younger generation. In these areas, we can increase capacity of our peoples and states, we will work on these fields in the future. These are high technology and industry, tourism and agriculture.

Officially, diplomatic relations between Belarus and Georgia are about 20 years old. But public diplomacy has bound the nations much longer. The countries share a visa-free regime. Belarus is in the top 15 nations whose tourists visit South Caucasus most often. However, such interest is mutual.

Valentin Tsehmeyster, Director of the National Union of Tourist Organizations:
When you walk the streets of Tbilisi they ask you whether you are from Minsk and when they hear you are, they all come and cheer you. It is very nice. Perhaps they would also like to see all our changes; that we have become a civilized European city. Everyone who comes here for the first time are a bit surprised that, because they expected so see Minsk in some other light.