Heads of Kazakhstan and Georgia Government discuss TITR development and increase of mutual trade

The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov held negotiations with the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili. The meetings in a narrow and extended format were held in Tbilisi as part of an official visit of the Head of Government of Kazakhstan.

Alikhan Smailov noted that Kazakhstan and Georgia have long-standing ties of friendship and multifaceted cooperation, and bilateral interaction is at a traditionally high level across the whole spectrum of interstate relations.

"We support the reciprocal spirit for the progressive development of Kazakh-Georgian cooperation in a spirit of trust and respect," the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan said.

He stressed that Georgia is an important and reliable partner of Kazakhstan in the South Caucasus. At the same time, cooperation in trade and economic sphere remains the main pivot of bilateral interaction.

So, last year the turnover between the countries grew 7 times, reaching a record figure of $600 million. Dynamic growth continues in the current year: for 4 months the volume of mutual trade has increased 5 times and reached $167 million.

"These are very good indicators that allow us to outline plans to reach the billion-dollar threshold in the near future," Alikhan Smailov said.

The Head of Government also noted the growing dynamics of investment cooperation between the two countries. For the last 17 years the Georgian investors have invested in Kazakhstan about $400 million, more than $100 million just last year. Kazakh entrepreneurs, in their turn, have invested more than $530 million in the Georgian economy.

"We guarantee by law the protection of Georgian as well as other foreign investments in the Republic of Kazakhstan. We invite Georgian partners to work in the Astana International Financial Center which combines the best experience of world financial institutions and the latest investment tools," Prime Minister said.

At the same time, Alikhan Smailov pointed out the key role of the transit-transport sphere in cooperation between Kazakhstan and Georgia, since major transcontinental transport corridors pass through the territories of the two states as the shortest routes from Europe to China and Southeast Asia.

"Kazakhstan and Georgia are actively cooperating in the development of the Trans-Caspian international transport route. We are interested in increasing the region's transport connectivity and consistently improving transit conditions. In these plans, we certainly take into account Georgia's transit-transport potential," Alikhan Smailov emphasized.

In turn, Irakli Garibashvili noted the high level of development of relations between Georgia and Kazakhstan, and also emphasized the effectiveness of the talks held within the visit of Prime Minister of Kazakhstan.

"I am glad that we have an opportunity to discuss all the issues. Today, new opportunities are opening up before our countries and our region as a whole. We are developing the Middle Corridor together. We should be ready to work actively in the coming years to implement long-term prospects," Irakli Garibashvili said.

During the talks, the Heads of Governments of Kazakhstan and Georgia discussed the possibility of increasing bilateral trade turnover, the development of transport infrastructure and the creation of a single logistics operator on the TITR, as well as the digitalization of the freight flow passing through it. In addition, prospects for strengthening cooperation in agriculture, tourism and implementation of new technological products were considered.

Within the framework of the official visit the trilateral Agreement on basic principles of creation and activity of joint venture between NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy JSC and Georgian Railway JSC was signed. On the eve in Baku this document was signed with Azerbaijani railroads JSC.

Recall that a single logistics company is created by Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia. It will deal with issues of tariff policy, cargo handling and simplification of transport processes on the TITR. It is expected that as a result of its activities, the time for the passage of goods from China to Europe and back along the route will be reduced to 10-15 days.

In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia to further develop cooperation at the Batumi Oil Terminal.

Also, Canadian chicken Ltd (Kazakhstan), AgroTechManagement (Kazakhstan) and Georgian Industrial Group Ltd (Georgia) signed commercial agreements envisaging investment of about $50 million in construction of an agricultural and special machinery plant, as well as creation of a whole agricultural cluster from a bird and animal feed plant, a poultry farm and a fish feed plant in Kazakhstan.

Following the talks, the heads of the two governments made a press statement.

"During the talks we discussed topical issues of bilateral cooperation, new and promising projects. As a result, important agreements were reached. First of all, it is to ensure further growth of mutual trade and expand the range of supplied goods," Alikhan Smailov said.

In addition, the Head of Government commented on the plans for further development of the Trans-Caspian international transport route.

"We are interested in increasing the volume of cargo transportation via it up to 10 million tons in the mid-term perspective. For this purpose the parties to the project have adopted and are successfully implementing a joint Road Map for the simultaneous elimination of bottlenecks and development of the corridor in 2022-2027. We also aim to expand cooperation with Georgia on developing routes in the Caspian-Black Sea basin. Implementation of cargo transportation using the capabilities of our sea ports is of great importance for this issue," Alikhan Smailov emphasized.

In his speech Irakli Garibashvili also highly appreciated the outcomes of the past negotiations.

"We had very informative discussions. We are satisfied with the trend that has been observed recently. I mean an increase in the volume of trade turnover. We also considered planned projects that will further strengthen the strategic partnership between our countries," Prime Minister of Georgia said.

According to him, one of the key topics of the talks was the development of the Trans-Caspian international transport route.

"We participate in this project with Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. We cooperate to remove bottlenecks on the route and make the Middle Corridor even more attractive for Central Asian countries, China and other Asian countries in general. We have a specific roadmap that we have agreed on. It is a plan to 2027. We know exactly what Georgia needs to do, what Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan will do. Now we are making significant investments in the modernization of the railroad. We also have other significant projects planned in this direction. In particular, we are working on the construction of a new port," Irakli Garibashvili said.

#Alikhan Smailov #The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan #Bilateral meetings #Foreign trips #International Cooperation #TITR

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