Last month, a new phase of economic relations between Georgia, Asian and Gulf countries began, with meetings being held in Georgia and various Eastern countries. One of the main events was held in Dubai, about which I, David Tsirdava, Vice-President of the Business Chamber of Asian and Gulf Countries, will speak. Before moving on to the main issues, with my experience, I would like to say that the meetings and planned future relations, will create new, great economic opportunities for Georgia, which is so important for the country. Against the background of the economic fluctuations caused by the pandemic, the above-mentioned significance has been doubled.
So, let’s start with a general overview:
A New Georgian Word in Asia and the Gulf countries.
The countries of Asia and the Gulf occupy leading positions in the world in terms of development dynamics. They are becoming particularly interesting in the global economy because foreign trading is that key component in this area that plays a leading role in countries and different types of associations.
The Eastern Hemisphere is actively seeking initiatives for types of projects that will facilitate socio-economic relations with the rest of the world and contribute to the accumulation of economic wealth for importing or exporting countries. One of the proofs of this is the project “One Belt One Road”, of which one of the important partner countries is even Georgia.
The project “One Belt One Road” aims to enhance cooperation between the countries involved in the project. The scopes of this project extend beyond the Asian continent, connecting with the countries of the Gulf and the rest of the great part of the world.
Although the corridor to the Caucasus is not clearly defined within the project, “One Belt One Road” is an opportunity for Georgia to develop land, sea and another country’s general logistics side. It is important to take into account the business environment and free trade agreements, through which it can be boldly said that Georgia is in the leader position in the region. “One Belt One Road” is an opportunity for Georgia to become not only a transit facility but also a transit hub and to establish a favorable, promising and sustainable investment destination, which in turn will contribute to the country’s infrastructural, digital and economic development.
In August, the Biltimore Hotel hosted the presentation of the “Business Chamber of Asian and Gulf Countries” that will actively lead the consolidation of trading relations between Georgia and the leading countries of the Eastern Hemisphere, which can be considered as another step forward for the country.
The event highlighted the great importance of the “Business Chamber of Asian & Gulf Countries“ in shaping the business climate in both the local (Georgian) and global (Caucasus, Asia) arenas. BCAGC was actively involved in the working process and on September 19, 2021, made one of its first business visits in Dubai, attended by representatives of various Asian companies, funds, organizations and the diplomatic corps.
New Opportunities for Georgia
At the business forum, BCAGC representatives expressed their full openness and support for the successful use of the South Caucasus business potential. Additionally, Mr. Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai, has a speech. He spoke on the importance of the BCAGC and economic relations between Asian countries.
As a result of the meetings, an important investment company from Abu Dhabi will visit Georgia in October this year. Moreover, the desire to cooperate for the implementation of more than 200 infrastructure projects in Abu Dhabi with Georgian construction/design sector companies, taking into account the involvement of Georgian architects and engineers, was expressed.
The Asian companies participating in the meeting highlighted the initiatives in the field of minerals in Georgia, about which a visit was scheduled.
The topic of the State Military Scientific-Technical Center “Delta” was discussed at the business forum, and as a result of the discussions, the possibility of exporting military products produced by “Delta” to Asian countries was announced. Business meetings will be held on the above-mentioned issue with the involvement of the State Military Scientific-Technical Center “Delta”.
An important agreement was reached with the international supermarket chain “LuLu Hypermarket” in the format of the forum. The company is interested in products that are produced in Georgia, in connection with which BCAGC plans to promote the popularization of the products of Georgian entrepreneurs and facilitate the implementation of exports.
In parallel with the meetings in the United Arab Emirates, additional meetings was held with representatives of the private sector, which plans to work on the creation of solar panels in Georgia.
Direct Representation in the Gulf & Asian countries
An important issue is the signature of BCAGC President Darpan Prasher on the appointment of business chamber consuls in the countries listed: Kuwait, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, India, China, Turkey and Iran. With direct representation, Business Chamber will have facilitated and simplified communication with important countries or associations in the Eastern Hemisphere. The speech of the newly appointed consuls of BCAGC was also special, who expressed their readiness to ensure the expansion of business connections with directions of the provision in their countries.
The Dubai Business Forum also hosted an awards ceremony and the BCAGC’s highest award, the Pangea, was established.
Parallel Meetings of the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development in Dubai
Parallel meetings were also held by Georgian government delegations in the United Arab Emirates. “The UAE Investment Funds express their investment readiness in Georgia ‘s energy, logistics and tourism sectors,” Natia Turnava, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, said after meetings in the UAE. She also added: “We have visited the United Arab Emirates, which is our traditional investor partner. Over the years, local investors have invested more than one billion one hundred million in Georgia, but there is an opportunity to further expand the projects of UAE investors and their investments in Georgia.”
The Final Word
An effective investment policy is an essential component of running a market economy. Asian investments increase the chances to eliminate the existing socio-economic barriers and become an additional spark for the public development of Georgia. For us, as a recipient country, Asian investment means an important source of resumption of manufacturing activity and it is the best way to increase competitiveness in the global political economy. In the modern environment, as it seems, the best preconditions for expanding and strengthening the country’s position are well-functioning Asian investment principles.
In this way, the invaluable role of the Business Chamber in the development of the economic situation, in the formation of profitable, global positions, in the definition of the existing challenges and opportunities is crucial. The Business Chamber is a catalyst in attracting foreign investment, establishing international communications and strengthening ongoing formal relations. The BCAGC will officially have representatives in Eastern countries, which will allow it to move forward with even greater motivation to achieve the common goals of Georgia and Asia, the Gulf countries. BCAGC, shortly, will have its representatives in all 46 Asian countries as consuls, to strengthen the business links, expand, attract more investment and export between Asian countries and Georgia.
The BCAGC is a kind of roundtable for countries whose multifaceted relations have lasted for centuries – including countries whose ties are still intense, and cooperation for some countries with them is an obstacle. The BCAGC-led roundtable is based on the values of constructiveness, solidarity, cooperation and unity, which in turn are a prerequisite for future positive collaboration. The countries of Asia and the Gulf are the economic hub of the future world, where the representation of Georgia is one of the top priorities for the Business Chamber. The appointment of consuls and active participation in future meetings paves the way for Georgia to enter a market of up to 5 billion citizens, which is a prerequisite for Georgia’s diversified economic future.
It is an important fact that BCAGC is also planning a large-scale exhibition and business forum in November of this year, which will be attended by companies from different Asian countries.
Vice-President of the Business Chamber of Asian and Gulf Countries