The Chinese Ministry of Commerce signed the joint declaration of launching the feasible studies on China-Georgia free trade agreement negotiations with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia in Beijing on March 9, agreeing to set up a joint experts group as soon as possible and start the feasible studies.
At the same time, the two sides signed the memorandum of understanding of strengthening the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt, agreeing to jointly promote trade and economic cooperation in the construction of the economic belt within the framework of the China-Georgia trade and economic cooperation committee and fully raise the level of trade, investment, and economic and technological cooperation and infrastructure interconnection.
Before the signing of the documents, Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng held talks with visiting Vice Premier and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili in Beijing on the same day.
Gao said that President Xi Jinping, when visiting Kazakhstan in September 2013, proposed the strategic conception of building the Silk Road Economic Belt, which won the positive and strong response of all countries along the road including Georgia. The launch of the feasible studies is an important measure for both sides to jointly build the economic belt, which will not only inject new power into bilateral trade and economic relations, but will also play a strategic role in expanding trade and economic cooperation between China and the Eurasian region.
Kvirikashvili said that the construction of the economic belt proposed by President Xi Jinping not only provides new opportunities for bilateral cooperation between China and countries along the road, but also builds a road of friendship and cooperation to unite all countries along the road. It is a great “Initiative of the Century”. The launch of the feasible studies is a milestone in the development of the trade and economic relations between the two countries. Georgia is willing to strengthen the coordination with China under the framework of the trade and economic cooperation committee of the two countries, and will strive to complete the feasible studies early, enrich the practical results of jointly building the economic belt and enable Georgia to be one of the important hubs between China and Europe.
In recent years, the trade and economic relations between China and Georgia have maintained sound development. In 2014, the trade volume between the two countries reached US$0.96 billion, Chinese direct non-financial investment in Georgia totaled US$0.53 billion and China became the third largest trade partners and the largest investor of Georgia.