B&R News: China's development constitutes great opportunity for the world: Georgian president
13 Jun 2018



Georgia believes China's development is a rare and great opportunity for Georgia and the world at large, with Georgia being ready to further enhance cooperation in all fields, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili has said.


"We look at China's development as a rare and great opportunity, instead of a challenge, for the world. That is why Georgia signed a free trade agreement last year with China," the president told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview at the presidential palace.


Margvelashvili noted that China was an "important and interesting" actor in the global politics and economy, contributing greatly to world peace and stability.


"When we talk about conducting economic or cultural dialogue between different nations, we can't ignore China, which is one of the strongest states, economically, militarily and demographically," Margvelashvili said, stressing that China plays a unique role in the current global arena.


The president also spoke highly of the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries signed last year, hailing it as a great economic achievement that was significant for Caucasus country's future development.


The China-Georgia FTA, inked in May of 2017 and effective since January 2018, will cancel import tariffs for 93.9 percent of Georgian products sold to China. Reciprocally, 96.5 percent of Chinese products entering Georgia will be duty-free.


Meanwhile, the president pointed out that cultural exchanges had been active in recent years, evident in the growing popularity of the Confucius Institute in Georgia.


As for the Belt and Road Initiative, which China proposed in 2013 to promote worldwide connectivity and trade through infrastructure construction and investment, Margvelashvili said it was a great and visionary concept which would benefit all the countries along the ancient Silk Road.


"Talking about the Belt and Road Initiative, which is great and visionary, I think Georgia is one of the leading countries in cooperation with China to develop this project in the region," he said, adding that Georgia is "very committed to this initiative."


"Georgia has started to develop our own portion along the Silk Road. Our task is to boost this inter-continental cooperation with our Chinese partner," Margvelashvili said, "Georgia is ready to join hands with China and engage in taping Georgia's unique potential in building the Belt and Road."


"If you look at the projects within the Belt and Road Initiative, you will find there are many routes. But the Georgian route is one of the easiest and most interesting," Margvelashvili said, adding that Georgia can help diversify the trade routes and provide the access to the Black Sea.


Source:  Xinhua Silk Road Information Service