27 Nov 2017 15:46

PMs of Georgia, Ukraine pledge to realize potential of bilateral cooperation

TBILISI. Nov 27 (Interfax) - Georgia and Ukraine have vast potential for developing and deepening trade and economic cooperation and boosting partnership in a variety of spheres, the prime ministers of the two countries said.

"Relations between Georgia and Ukraine have been particularly intensive this year, which is manifested in high-level visits and accelerated cooperation between sectors and parliaments," Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said at a joint press briefing with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman after their meeting on Monday.

In addition to a fruitful political relationship, Georgia and Ukraine have active contacts in the fields of trade, the economy, tourism, culture, and humanitarian affairs, Kvirikashvili said.

"Ukraine has been a major trading partner of Georgia for a number of years, and we welcome the 19% growth of our bilateral trade this year to nearly $500 million, which puts [Ukraine] in fifth place among our main trading partners," he said.

However, these amounts fall short of what could be, Kvirikashvili said. "We should set ambitious goals and combine our efforts to ensure the maximal growth of trade for the benefit of both countries," Kvirikashvili said.

As concerns deeper cooperation between sectors, Kvirikashvili welcomed two agreements signed during Groysman's current visit in relation to land registration and surveying and monitoring the quality of medicine.

Groysman also reiterated the importance of deepening and developing bilateral cooperation with Georgia in all spheres.

"We should simplify the formalities for citizens traveling between our countries, since we know that citizens of Georgia and Ukraine are interested in mutual visits. We still want to start a dialogue on the recognition of IDs to make these visits more convenient for our citizens," Groysman said.

"Ukrainian business has a keen interest in Georgia's economic life, and vice versa. Cooperation in this area is a priority of both countries," he said.

"I'd like to say again that our entire government is ready to take practical decisions to deepen relations between our countries," Groysman said.

He has already met with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili and will visit the Georgian parliament. Together with the Georgian prime minister, Groysman will attend the opening ceremony of the Silk Road forum in Tbilisi on November 28. He will participate in the discussion of the Chinese government's initiative, "One Belt One Road," to which the forum is dedicated.