STATEMENT
Mikheil Janelidze Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia
Georgia – Estonian Business Forum
11.02.2016

It’s my great pleasure and honor to be here today. It is my first official visit, in a capacity as a Foreign Minister and I am happy that my first official visit is happening in Estonia, in this beautiful city of Tallinn. I am happy that I see many official visits which are happening within our countries and we are very pleased that they include high level visits as well. It is always followed by the business community. We had good, successful meeting and business forum in Georgia and now we are having successful forum here, I see already it is a success because I see many Georgian companies as well as Estonian companies attending this forum we are having now in Tallinn.

I would like to thank the Minister for supporting this event and I would like to thank all organizers, it is Estonian Development Co-operation, Estonian Chamber of commerce and industry, Georgian chamber of commerce and industry and the national investment agency of Georgia for supporting and organizing this event.

We have excellent political relations between two countries. Estonia is a very important friend, strategic partner in the development processes of Georgia in supporting our political aspirations, territorial integrity, sovereignty and in the same time our European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

Estonian is a role model for us and we have Estonian expertise almost in every field of development, in every institution. It wouldn’t be easy to name institution where we don’t have Estonian expert, where we don’t get expertise from Estonia. With the help of this type of support Georgia is becoming a role model in our Region and Eastern Partnership.

We are advancing on our European path, especially after having signed association agreement with the EU, which includes deep and comprehensive free trade area agreement. We are steadily following all the reforms which are envisaged by this agreement, envisaged by the association agenda agreed between Georgia and the EU. It creates new opportunities for European businesses in Georgia and for Georgian businesses in the EU.

Major foreign policy priority for me as a Foreign Minister is to ensure security and stable development of my country and this can be achieved only through European and Euro-Atlantic integration, that’s why we are very firm and committed to this path and at the same time we want to ensure that Georgia is a place which helps to the development of the region, which is a place for doing business, which is a place where all countries surrounding us, neighbors, not only neighbors but all others interested in doing business with the Region, they find for them beneficial projects in Georgia.

We want to revitalize our historical role which is a role of country connecting Europe with Asia and vice versa. Here I want to emphasize that Georgia acts as Eastern-European Country open for Asian businesses, Asian investments, and Asian trade. Our DNA is European. We are members of the European family and we strive to become legit member of the European Union. But before becoming member of the European Union we are committed to transforming ourselves into European State. At the same time we are striving to establish very good positive mutually beneficial relations with all the countries in the region.

We are working very closely with China in revitalizing Silk Road and first big forum addressing this project was held in Tbilisi, Tbilisi Silk Road Forum, where we had the participation of 35 countries, including COR organization of the Chinese government and high level participants from the European Member States on political level. United States was represented on the high level, namely on the level of the deputy secretary of commerce. It was a first example of showing that Georgia is ready to offer everyone interested in development a place where we can talk about development, where we can talk about the opportunities.

We want to be not only beneficiaries and receivers of assistance from the European countries but we want to provide benefits to European Member States as well, to European Businesses, with our business environment, which we have in place, with all the reforms which we have implemented. We are really quite interesting place for doing business, we are in the top for readiness of doing business, we defeated corruption and it’s not just a word from the government official, it is proved by different rankings. You will hear that in different presentations here but generally I want to say that Georgia is politically ready to offer best possible environment to our European friends and businesses.

I am happy again to be here together with you and wish you successful forum and I wish to see you all in Georgia, in Tbilisi, doing business with Georgia and I hope that you will find good Georgian partners here during this forum today.

Thank you very much