Yerevan and Tbilisi agree to increase trade turnover to USD 1 billion
The authorities of Armenia and Georgia intend to more than double the trade turnover between the countries, currently at USD 489 million.
“The relations between Armenia and Georgia are very good. The task is to bring the economic component in line with the level of political relations and relations between the two peoples. A very important discussion took place, the parties set very ambitious goals … The Georgian Prime Minister presented an ambitious programme which we fully support: to increase trade turnover to USD 1 billion,” said Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan after the meeting with his Georgian counterpart.
The Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze’s official visit to Armenia began on 10 September.
The Armenian-Georgian intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation has been called upon to give new impetus to relations. In the near future a meeting of the commission will take place where it is planned to work out a roadmap for the development of economic, political, humanitarian and cultural relations.
Political scientist Johnny Melikyan notes that the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation was established many years ago, but in recent years, it practically ceased to function:
“During the years of Serzh Sargsyan’s presidency, the meetings of the intergovernmental commission have not been held for the most part. There is a need to restore this format, because in recent years work to improve communications has been carried out from the top. That is, the leaders of the countries were engaged in this. And now this work will be conducted on an everyday basis.”
The trade turnover goal of USD 1 billion is ambitious, but achievable, the expert believes. There are a number of areas where Armenia and Georgia can make significant progress:
“These [areas] are transit of Armenian cargo through the territory of Georgia and the possibility of creating transit corridors. Also in the sphere of tourism and energy, and deepening cooperation in the field of high-level technology,” the expert believes.