MINSK, 1 February (BelTA) – Belarus and Georgia will develop cooperation in trade, agriculture and tourism, Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Rusy told the media after the meeting of the intergovernmental Belarusian-Georgian commission on economic cooperation on 31 January, BelTA has learned.
“Belarus-Georgia trade and economic relations and cooperation in the humanitarian, cultural and tourism sectors have been vibrant in the past two years. Rational approaches have been developed in all the areas, including from trade to setting up joint ventures and creating jobs in such areas as mechanical engineering and lift equipment manufacturing. Twenty-two lifts have already been jointly produced in. The goal for 2018 is to produce more than 200 lifts, and then organize a joint production of up to 2,000 elevators in Georgia. There is also progress in the healthcare sector. We are grateful to our Georgian counterparts for cooperation in pharmacy. We have also decided how to develop cooperation in the agricultural sector,” said Mikhail Rusy.
He emphasized the importance of cooperation in tourism. “There is a need to consider new air routes with a view to developing tourism in both sides,” the vice premier said. At the same time, he drew attention to logistics issues. The Transport Ministries of the two states were instructed to study the routes which are used to deliver goods, and also new directions “to expand cooperation with Georgia and promote joint goods to third countries via Georgia.” “For popularizing our products, we have chosen to set up Belarusian trading networks in Tbilisi and other cities. Today we have made a decision and instructed our local authorities to set up similar networks in Belarus in the near future. Belarusians also need access to Georgian goods,” the vice premier added. Tbilisi is set to play host to a business forum in March, which will also contribute to the development of all-round cooperation.
“We have a task to reach $200 million in mutual trade by 2020. We need to work hard to achieve such results,” Mikhail Rusy said.
Dimitri Kumsishvili, the First Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, noted that the meeting provided the possibility to discuss various areas of cooperation. “We have talked over innovations, transport, trade, tourism, industrial and agrarian sectors, culture, healthcare, interregional cooperation. We will set up joint enterprises. One of them, which is lift manufacturing, has already been opened in Georgia. It is important to jointly create new jobs, provide new opportunities for the private sector to develop the areas relevant for the two countries,” the first deputy prime minister said.
Among the documents signed on 31 January were the protocol of the fourth meeting of the intergovernmental Belarusian-Georgian commission on economic cooperation signed, the protocol of the third joint meeting of the interdepartmental working group on the development of trade and economic cooperation between Belarus and Georgia, and the program for 2018-2019 to implement the agreement between the Minsk Oblast Executive Committee and the Administration of the State Commissioner - Governor of Kakheti on trade, economic, social and cultural cooperation.