Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Natia Turnava, met with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Israel to Georgia, Ran Gidor, who has been holding this position since January 2020. Deputy Economy Minister, Genadi Arveladze, also attended the meeting.
The meeting focused on the trade and economic relations and priority directions of further cooperation between the two countries. It was emphasized that bilateral cooperation between Israel and Georgia in all the key areas, especially in the fields of economy, agriculture, culture, education and people-to-people ties, has been actively developing lately. It was highlighted how important it is for Georgia to further develop partnerships with Israel, which is particularly relevant in the context of centuries-old friendship between the Georgian and Jewish peoples.
While discussing the bilateral trade-related topic, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development declared that the current indicator of bilateral trade does not actually reflect the great trade potential existing between the two countries. According to her, signing a free trade agreement will be an important step taken towards the development of trade relations between Georgia and Israel; thus, the timely beginning for negotiations will bring the bilateral economic relations to a new level and provide mutually beneficial results for both countries. It was noted at the meeting that the development of collaborative research, which concerns the feasibility of free trade between the two countries, is in the final stage.
Cooperation in the fields of investment, innovations, transport and tourism was also closely discussed. In particular, it was stressed that Israel is ranked seventh among the top 15 tourist countries - in 2019, more than 205,000 visitors came to Georgia and this indicator was 31% higher than it was the year before. It was noted that the growth of tourist flows from Israel was facilitated by the development of direct air traffic. In particular, the airlines of both countries currently perform flights between Georgia and Israel with 42 flights per week.
At the end of the meeting, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Natia Turnava, wished the Israeli Ambassador success in the future activities including the development of relations between the two countries.
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