Turkish Businessmen Ready to Make Business in GeorgiaRecep Erdogan: Turkey ready for enhancing cooperation with Georgia A large delegation of Turkish businessmen, led by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, arrived in Georgia on August 11 and pledged their full support in political issues and expressed their readiness to enhance economic cooperation with Georgia.After the talks with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania on August 11, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey is ready to cooperate with Georgia on both political and economic issues. He said that the most important issue is to establish stability in the region in order to ensure the attraction of further investments.“The fact that such a large-scale Turkish delegation arrived in Georgia confirms that Turkey is ready to boost ties with Georgia,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a joint news briefing with President Saakashvili on August 11.During the talks with Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania the Turkish Prime Minister suggested the opening of a third checkpoint on the Karsi-Kartsakhi section of the Georgian-Turkish border and even expressed a readiness to fund the project. “This is one more step towards enhancing the economic cooperation between the two countries. Particular economic growth was observed between the two nations in 2003. However, this is not sufficient. Much is still to be done,” the Turkish Prime Minister said.The two sides also agreed to resume construction of the Karsi-Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi rail link, which has been suspended for 8 years.The issue was discussed during the visit of President Saakashvili to Turkey on May 20-24. In the wake of his Turkish visit, the Georgian President ordered the easing of customs procedures at the Georgian- Turkish border and customs checkpoint at Sarpi, in the Autonomous republic of Adjara.“It would be better if the Turkish side also simplified their customs procedures,” Mikheil Saakashvili says.Along with the talks between the Turkish governmental delegation and the Georgian authorities, a Georgian-Turkish business conference was held at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Tbilisi on August 11. Over 160 Turkish businessmen showed interest in the fields of construction, tourism and energy.The Georgian Economy Minister acquainted the Turkish businessmen with the list of those state-owned enterprises which have recently been opened to privatization. “Turkish businessmen will be able to privatize any facility, if they pay the relevant funds,” Georgian Economy Minister Kakha Bendukidze said.Mehmet Habbab, one of the most influential Turkish businessmen and chairman of the Delta Petroleum, one of the largest oil companies of Turkey, showed an interest in the privatization of the port of Poti in western Georgia. The company has already invested USD 15 million in the Poti port oil terminal.“The company would be glad to make new major investments within the framework of Georgia’s liberal economic policy and privatization,” Mehmet Habbab said.The company holds 75% of the charter capital of Georgian-Turkish Channel Energy, which was established with the participation of the Poti port. Channel Energy operates the Poti oil terminal. Turkish businessmen also expressed interest in the construction of a 500-kilowatt power transmission line through which electric power will be transited to Turkey. According to Energy Minister Nika Gilauri the Turkish businessmen are also interested in purchasing energy facilities. Turkish businessman Islam Adjari expressed his willingness to purchase the Krtsanisi governmental residence in order to build a so-called ‘City of the Rich’ there. On August 12 a 15-member delegation of Turkish businessmen, along with the Georgian President, arrived in the Adjara Autonomous Republic and visited those hotels which are put on the privatization list.Georgian Ambassador to Turkey Tariel Lebanidze welcomed the attraction of Turkish business to Georgia. “However, we should not expect the investments today,” the Ambassador told Civil Georgia.According to him, the discussion over particular projects may start in September, when another delegation of Turkish businessmen arrives in Georgia.The Georgian President pledged to create a liberal taxation system and an attractive investment environment in the country. “No corruption is reigning in the upper echelons of the authorities any more. We want Turkish businessmen to conduct their business in Georgia. This is of vital importance for our country,” Mikheil Saakashvili said.Turkey is also ready to cooperate with Georgia on political issues and assist in a peaceful solution of existing conflicts. According to the Turkish Prime Minister, Turkey, as a NATO member state, is ready to give recommendations to Georgia and even mediate in its accession into NATO.President Saakashvili expressed gratitude to the Prime-Minister’s support, saying that Georgia is a State which is always ready to defend its state interests and avoid any further escalation of conflicts in the country.“Georgia finds it rather important to cooperate with Turkey, which is our strategic partner,” Saakashvili added.
Source Details : https://civil.ge/archives/115861