An Interview with David Saganelidze, Chairman of the Georgia-China Intergovernmental Trade and Economy Commission
10 Dec 2019



2019 Silk Road Business Summit was successfully held in Xi'an. During the Summit, SRCIC Publicity Department had an interview with David Saganelidze, Chairman of the Georgia-China Intergovernmental Trade and Economy Commission, Member of Political Board of Ruling Party of Georgia, and Chairman of JSC Partnership Fund.


The following is the full context of the interview:


1. How do you look at the relationship between economic and trade cooperation and people-to-people exchanges? How to achieve a win-win situation?


In the 21st century world economy, indisputably, China is one of the leading countries. Georgia's interest and role in the major, global project “One Belt, One Road” initiated by the President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, is pretty big.  Regarding to President Xi Jinping's economy policy, boarders of PRC are open for the world recently. Nowadays China speaks to the whole world about the economy development. The 21st century initiative OBOR project by the President Xi gives opportunities not only Asian countries but the whole world to participate in the biggest project, and Georgia as mentioned above has found its role and function in it.


Georgia is the center of the old and new Silk Road, and this is explained not only by its location, but also by the history, culture and tolerance that our country had demonstrated to the world over the centuries. Georgia actively participates in the World Trade Organization multilateral trade negotiations aimed at further liberalizing world trade by minimizing trade barriers. In 2014, Georgia and the EU signed the Association Agreement and later the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, allowing Georgia to freely circulate goods, services and capital to the EU market. Moreover, Georgia has signed a free trade agreement with Turkey, the CIS and the European Free Trade Association, which is an obvious advantage of the country's investment climate. The largest free market for goods and services produced in Georgia was opened in 2017 as part of the Free Trade Agreement between Georgia and the People's Republic of China. However, in accordance with the Free Trade Agreement with China, about 94% of Georgian imports to China are exempt from customs duties. In turn, Chinese companies have the opportunity to sell their products to the European market through Georgia.


2. As we know, financial support plays an important role in the Silk Road cooperation and the development of the cultural industry. What's your opinion on the launch of the Silk Road Development Fund at this summit?


It's obvious when we speak about the large scale regional projects as we call development of Silk Road, such projects need funds. Georgian economy is not strong enough to start large scale projects and we need to have cooperation with the international financial institutions as it is Asian, Chinese and European financial ones.  According to international organization ratings Georgia is one of the first countries and is on top five place of business development. To start a business is easy because the level of corruption is almost zero in Georgia. Georgia has become attracted by the investors, so from the West and the East countries representatives willing to invest and develop their business in private and public sectors. So it is very important for us to cooperate with financial institutions. And I want to emphasize the Silk Road Fund and in my opinion in a near future we will cooperate with them.