Issue 2, 2019. April-May

   

GEORGIA PUSHES FOR CLOSE RELATIONS WITH JAPAN

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze led a delegation to Japan in March. The prime minister noted that it is possible to increase exports to Japan and increase foreign direct investments from Japanese businesses.


Georgia and Japan signed a memorandum of understanding to insure exports and investments between the two countries during PM Mamuka Baktadze's trip to Japan.

The agreement was signed between Economy Minister Giorgi Kobulia and Masafumi Nakada, the president of Nippon Export and Investments Corporation (NEXI).

NEXI is a Japanese government corporation that specializes in export credits. The corporation supports the export of Japanese goods and services and the expansion of Japanese businesses overseas by providing insurance products such as export credits, investments and loan insurance.

Untapped Potential for Investment

The agreement focuses on several areas, according to gov.ge, including production and manufacturing, tourism, energy, transport and logistics, telecommunications, trade and export facilitation, public property management and construction. Bakhtadze said the agreement should bolster investments and trade between the two countries.

"We have all the opportunities to increase our exports to Japan 10 times over the next five years," he said.

Bakhtadze also opened the Japan-Georgia Business Forum.

He encouraged Japanese business to invest in Georgia in his opening remarks.

"We have a very ambitious goal to make Georgia a multi-dimensional regional hub...Located at the crossroads between Europe, Asia and the Middle East, we are a small but remarkably attractive economy for international investments. Our market is fully open, our economy is liberal and our location is strategic," he said.

Bilateral Investment Treaty

Bakhtadze also noted that Tbilisi and Tokyo have completed negotiations on the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), which is a pre-requisite for greater investments to be made from Japan in Georgia.

"Japan for us sets a very good example of how a nation with a strong will can overcome any hurdles and succeed. Again, with your assistance and partnership we are reminded every day of the brighter future that lies ahead of us," he said.

Meeting with Japanese Officials

Bakhtadze also held meetings with several high-ranking Japanese officials, including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Tarō Asō in Tokyo.

The officials discussed deepening bilateral relations, including prospects for more trade and investment between the two countries.

The Georgian PM also met with Yasushi Akahoshi, President of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). Akahoshi noted JETRO is already cooperating with Georgian on several issues.

He praised the government's plan to increase spending on education, noting that Japan has prioritized human resources. "Japan is a country without many resources.

"That is why we focus on human resources, and that is the number one secret of Japan's development," he said. "We discussed mutual cooperation at various levels: high level, elementary level, and vocational training, which is very important. Overall, I am more confident about our mutual cooperation in the future," Akakoshi said.