Plans outlined and are now ready for implementation
Belarus and Georgia are soon to raise their bilateral trade to $200m
Belarus and Georgia will step up efforts to raise bilateral trade to $200m, noted the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, on meeting Georgia’s Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, in Minsk. Discussing opportunities and needs, the two discussed the possible supply of goods and joint production. “If you’re interested in the European market or the Eurasian market, you’ll know that there are no topics forbidden to you in Belarus,” underlined Mr. Lukashenko. He is convinced that a trade turnover of $200m can be quickly reached if we take appropriate steps.
Alexander Lukashenko and Giorgi Kvirikashvili during their meeting in Minsk
Mr. Lukashenko views Mr. Kvirikashvili’s visit to Belarus as a landmark event, saying that it proves Georgia’s desire to enhance relations with Belarus. The former Prime Minister of Georgia was expected in Belarus and the appointment of the new head of government did not change these plans. “This shows that the course of Georgia in relation to Belarus is stable. We’ve seen and heard indications of this,” noted the President.
The arrival of the Georgian Prime Minister can be viewed as a continuation of dialogue launched last April in Tbilisi, during the official visit of the President of Belarus to Georgia. Contacts have long existed, with our heads of state communicating, as did heads of ministries and businessmen. However, there was no systematic character or close bilateral political will. In a desire to intensify business interaction, since April 2015, Minsk has taken steps to meet Tbilisi halfway.
Speaking about his official visit to Georgia, in 2015, Mr. Lukashenko notes, “We agreed on a great deal but, more importantly, we understood that we have huge potential. We decided that our governments should be in the vanguard of implementing these decisions.”
The Head of State promises that Belarus won’t abandon this course, being prepared to do everything for Georgia. Meanwhile, Georgia is aware of the potential of Belarusian partners.
The orienting point is mutual trade, as outlined earlier. It remains acute, with a target of at least $200m. Unfortunately, last year, this figure was affected by the global crisis. A mutual and sincere desire remains to co-operate, with our two states studying opportunities and needs: for supply of goods and the creation of joint manufacturing.
It’s now time to set to work, with production of Belarusian tractors and lifts in Georgia as one of the most promising new projects. Both are actively developing. Of course, Belarus and Georgia are representatives of various integration vectors, with Tbilisi oriented West and Minsk an active participant of the Eurasian Economic Union. However, this multi-directionality doesn’t exclude bilateral co-operation between our states.
Speaking about foreign policy co-operation, the President said that Belarus and Georgia have few differences, stating, “It doesn’t matter what course Georgia has chosen and what course we’ve chosen. It’s no obstacle to building relations. Life goes on and times change. We understand these processes and are keeping our eye on the ball.”
Belarus and Georgia are aware of international events and are ready to make adjustments as necessary, prioritising improved relations. Negotiations in Tbilisi last April looked at future interaction between the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union. The famous initiative – the ‘integration of integrations’ – continues on the agenda, with bilateral contacts between members of inter-state associations forging foundations for global unification.
By Vladimir Khromov