Great Britain remains a stalwart supporter of Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration
04 December, 2015
Great Britain remains a stalwart supporter of Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration
“Great Britain remains a stalwart supporter of Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration, as well as of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We firmly believe that Georgia has a sovereign right to decide its own future and choose its own path of development” – UK Minister for Europe David Lidington is quoted as saying upon opening the plenary session of the Georgia-UK Wardrop Dialogue.

The plenary session was preceded by a bilateral meeting between Georgian Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister
Giorgi Kvirikashvili and UK Minister for Europe David Lidington, where important issues pertaining to bilateral co-operation between Georgia and the United Kingdom were discussed. Talking points also included Georgia’s European integration agenda, implementation of the Association Agreement, Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration process and NATO Substantial Package. Georgia’s significant progress in terms of implementing the Annual Action Plan was also highlighted. Giorgi Kvirikashvili thanked the British Government for its support of Georgia’s European choice, sovereignty and territorial integrity. According to him, Great Britain and Georgia have recently succeeded in developing genuinely close relations based on friendship and common values.

As part of his visit to the UK, Giorgi Kvirikashvili met Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Philip Hammond who once again reaffirmed the UK’s support for Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration and underlined the progress that has been achieved in the implementation of reforms towards NATO and the EU. It was emphasized that, besides the recent developments in the region, the challenges facing Georgia and the issue of its territorial integrity still remain high on the agenda for the European partners. The Ministers also focused on the security situation in the world. Giorgi Kvirikashvili expressed Georgia’s readiness to further contribute to the international community’s efforts towards strengthening the global campaign against terrorism.

On the sidelines of the Wardrop Dialogue, the Georgian Foreign Minister held a meeting with representatives of British business community, with discussions focusing on the increasing role of Georgia as a regional hub, involvement of the country in transit and energy projects, the need to create in Georgia an environment conducive to the development of business and investments. Participants of the meeting also spoke about a series of successful reforms the Georgian government has carried out, which are evidenced by Georgia’s leading position in various international rankings. Giorgi Kvirikashvili emphasised that Georgia’s priority is to attract a greater volume of European investments and to offer modern regulations to European businessmen. He spoke about the implementation of the Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, as well as about the opportunities the DCFTA provides, including for European investors. The Trade and Investment Forum was attended by representatives of up to 20 leading British companies. Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Keti Bochorishvili provided a presentation on the country’s economic potential and investment climate as part of the forum.

Trade and economic relations were at the centre-stage of discussions during the meeting between Georgian Vice Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment Francis Maude. The latter expressed his interest in holding various events in Georgia where representatives of the UK business communities will also take part and heighten their awareness of and interest in Georgia’s business and investment opportunities. The two ministers highlighted Georgia’s regional role and leading position in terms of economic reforms and the ease of doing business making the country a more attractive destination for international investments. Francis Maude highly praised the Georgian Prime Minister’s recent initiative to hold the Silk Road Forum in Tbilisi, which brought to the fore Georgia’s international transit opportunities.

On 29 and 30 November Georgian Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili paid a visit to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, where he met representatives of the executive and legislative branches of the UK Government. Giorgi Kvirikashvili also took part in the final session of the second meeting of the Georgia-UK Wardrop Dialogue.
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