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President Zourabichvili: “Business Forum Creates Real Base to Reinforce Georgia-Cyprus Economic Partnership”

President Zourabichvili and the visiting President of Cyprus inaugurated the Cyprus-Georgia Business Forum, held as part of the official visit of President Anastasiades.
President Zourabichvili addressed Georgian and Cypriot businessmen and women to discuss the necessity of increase the trade partnership between Georgia and the Republic of Cyprus.

“Today, we are hosting the first Georgia-Cyprus Business Forum. By doing so, we are moving forward in the economic relations between our countries. Georgia firmly stands on the path to Europe and as such, one of our priorities is to increase our partnership with Cyprus, a member of the European Union.

“By signing the Agreement on Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union, we got a new push in our bilateral relations. It opened us the door to use our entire economic potential to accomplish our main goal: joining the European Union. Indeed, thanks to the Agreement, economic links between Georgia and Cyprus are becoming deeper. The trade agreement is one of the most important accords to deepen our economic cooperation.

“I believe that this Forum will set the basis to strengthen our partnership.
“The increased interest of the EU toward the Caucasus as a transit and logistic gateway opens new perspectives and helps us establish strong times between both shores of the Black Sea.
“Our strategic location, our huge economic potential, and the steps we’ve taken forward to grow our economy are all evidences of our real ambitions to become a regional hub.
“This is why we’re paying close attention to the development of modern transit and logistic infrastructures. Large infrastructure projects are being built right now thanks to the strong support of global donors and partner countries.
“We’ve also concluded free trade agreements with large markets all around the world.
“Georgia is sixth out of 190 worldwide nations in ease of doing business according to international indexes, and second out of all European countries. According to the Economic Freedom Index, Georgia is the eighth economically freest European country.
“And yet, we are still facing some challenges. Our employment rate is still too high and we need to work on attracting a lot more investors to Georgia.
“I want to mention that Cyprus used to be, just three years ago, among the ten largest investors in Georgia. I am convinced that this interest will not decrease and our partnership will be further enhanced.
“We need to make sure our exports in Cyprus increase. There are a number of high-quality Georgian products that can be exported to the island.

“The Black Sea has played a historic role in our relations. Cyprus was, first and foremost, a stop for Georgians reaching the Holy Land, creating plenty of opportunities for us. We possess a real basis for dynamic trade and touristic possibilities through the sea, our most trusted ally.
“I know that this Forum is giving us a new boost to expand our cooperation. It’s the best format to strengthen our business ties and launch investment projects. I want to wish you all success and productive discussions,” said the President of Georgia.

The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiades, and the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Giorgi Kobulia, also addressed the Forum. The event was organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Georgia and the Republic of Cyprus.
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