The Main Achievements in Relations with Denmark and Iceland

It has been almost four years since I have arrived to Copenhagen in order to take up my duties in the capacity of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the Kingdom of Denmark and the Republic of Iceland. Throughout these years, many remarkable and important events have taken place in Georgian-Danish and Georgian-Icelandic relations, including number of high-level visits, signed significant agreements, implemented economic and cultural projects, as well as appointment of Honorary Consuls of Georgia both in Denmark and Iceland. In this article I will briefly highlight major achievements in the relations between our countries.

Denmark and Georgia are neighbors. Though not in geographic terms, yet politically and economically. In addition to sharing the similar traits – being small states with innovative, outward-looking populations – Denmark and Georgia both share the common European values. Denmark supports our European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations, as well as, Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders. 

In recent years bilateral relations, as well as, cooperation within the EU Eastern Partnership has been intensified between Georgia and Denmark. Both parties have seen very frequent high level exchanges, including visits and interactions on multilateral forums. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Denmark has visited Tbilisi for three times since 2014, with the main goal express the Danish support to our country in carrying out European reforms and enhancing bilateral relationships. Furthermore, in December 2014 Danish Parliament (The Folketing) ratified the EU-Georgia AA/DCFTA.

In 2015 the very productive cooperation between Georgia and Denmark has continued through the visit of the Danish Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Martin Lidegaard to Georgia. During this visit Agreement on the Readmission of Individuals Residing on the Territory of Georgia and Denmark without Permission, and a Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation in the Energy Sector were signed between our countries.

Another very important issue to mention is the Danish Neighborhood Programme - Denmark's bilateral development programme for EU’s neighboring countries to the east and southeast, with the overall objective to promote human rights, democracy and economic development in these regions. In spring of 2014, Georgia was named as one of the priority states in this programme. Thus, in accordance with the decision of the Danish Government financial support for Georgia has increased significantly from 5 to 25 million DKK.

In recent years Georgia and Iceland have witnessed mutually intensified economic relations. In this regard I will focus on two major achievements:

On 17th of November 2014, EFTA Council of Foreign Ministers took a decision to launch negotiations over establishing a free trade area between Georgia and the EFTA. The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) is an intergovernmental organisation that was set up for the promotion of free trade and economic integration. Iceland along with Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein is one of the four members of the Association. The establishment of free trade area with the EFTA countries envisages granting goods and services a preferential access to foreign markets and contributes to the growth of bilateral trade. Moreover, in May 2015 Georgia and Iceland signed a cooperation agreement on avoidance of double taxation, prevention of evasion of income and capital taxes. 

Establishment of free trade area between Georgia and the EFTA, as well as, the signing of the bilateral agreement with Iceland on double taxation is another important step towards deepening of economic cooperation between those two countries and increasing the attractiveness of Georgia as an investment destination for our partners.