China and Georgia enhance BRI cooperation

Last week in Beijing, China and Georgia signed documents on a strategic partnership and enhancing cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

In 2015 Georgia expressed high interest in participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and began discussing four important transport infrastructure projects.

In November 2017, Georgia hosted the “Tbilisi Belt and Road Forum”. During this event, Georgia signed several important agreements with China, including a Free Trade Agreement which came into effect on 1 January 2018. Following this, the two nations further strengthen bilateral economic links, and Georgia has prioritized all agreements and arrangements signed between Georgia and China regarding the BRI.

Last week China and Georgia signed documents on cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), following a meeting between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili in Beijing on (July 31, 2023).

Li said China is willing to take the establishment of the China-Georgia strategic partnership as an opportunity to increase strategic communication and cooperation with the country in various areas.

He called on the two sides to focus on the BRI, make good use of the intergovernmental committee on economic and trade cooperation and other mechanisms, and fully unleash the dividends of the China-Georgia Free Trade Agreement.

Georgia abides by the one-China principle, supports the BRI and other initiatives, and is willing to cooperate more with China, the Georgian Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Garibashvili said Georgia attaches great importance to its friendship with China and is committed to strengthening cooperation with China, adding that upgrading bilateral relations to a strategic partnership will benefit the two peoples. China and Georgia also issued a joint statement on establishing a strategic partnership.

Premier Li Qiang noted both sides should strengthen cooperation in cross-border e-commerce, infrastructure construction, special economic zones and industrial parks, expand cooperation in emerging areas such as green energy and digital economy, as well as strengthen cultural, tourism and people-to-people exchanges.

Later, the Prime Minister of Georgia was asked in an interview with China Media Group how he views the Belt and Road Initiative, Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative and Global Civilization Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping. In reply the PM said “I have to tell you very honestly that we fully support President Xi’s initiatives and I’ll tell you why. [Because] all his initiatives are pro peace, pro progress, modernization, prosperity and pro development.”

Sources:

Watch CGTN video here: https://youtu.be/AjixqJGZ6WA

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