Frank-Walter Steinmeier's letter to Giorgi Kvirikashvili
Frank-Walter Steinmeier thanked Prime Minister of Georgia for the hospitality demonstrated during his visit to Georgia and assessed this gesture as an indication of the friendly relations between the countries. In his letter to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany outlined success of bilateral economic relations and noted that preparations for marking 2017 as a Germany-Georgia Friendship Year and the Frankfurt Book Fair of 2018 are going full speed ahead.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed full support to the foreign course of Georgian government that, according to him, is expressed in political farsightedness of Giorgi Kvirikashvili and the constructive stance he takes in dealing with the separatist areas.
"Please accept my heartfelt thanks for the hospitality and in-depth, trust-based discussions I enjoyed during my visit in Tbilisi. As I see it, this visit was an expression of the friendly relations existing between Germany and Georgia, and I also found it very beneficial at a personal level. I am particularly pleased with the successful economic initiatives and the busy preparations for Georgia's participation in the German-Georgian year planned for 2017 and in the 2018 Frankfurt Book Fair. Both events will bring Germans and Georgians closer together and intensify intercultural ties between the two countries.
I value the far-sightedness you bring to foreign policy and the constructive stance you take in dealing with the separatist areas. We will continue to do what we can do to support this policy both politically and with funding for confidence-building projects.
Be assured that I will continue to do what I can within Germany and the European Union to advocate that political, economic and cultural ties with Georgia be strengthened and visa liberalization be brought about soon," - is said in the letter.
Georgia: Statement by the Spokesperson on the latest political developments
Following the arrest of Nikanor Melia, Chairperson of the United National Movement - the largest opposition party in Georgia, political polarisation in the country has regrettably further deepened. This polarisation risks undermining Georgia’s democracy. The European Union urges all parties to step up efforts to de-escalate and come together to find common ground.
Starting with those in power, we expect the Government to provide inclusive leadership, putting the interests of the Georgian people first. A fair, independent and accountable judiciary is also paramount. The European Union will remain very attentive to developments in this regard.
It is crucial that the opposition plays a constructive role, including by joining the Parliament, to further consolidate democracy and the rule of law in Georgia, and to help shape the country’s reform path.
Political stability, with all sides avoiding provocative actions and rhetoric, an inclusive parliamentary process, as well as a judicial system that enjoys the trust of the Georgian citizens are prerequisites for Georgia to further deepen its partnership with the EU in line with the Association Agreement.
The European Union stands ready to continue supporting Georgia in this endeavour.
European Union and WHO join forces to support vaccination against COVID-19 in Georgia
The European Union and the WHO Regional Office for Europe will work together in a major effort to support the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination in Georgia. The project funded by the European Union and implemented by WHO will cover all phases - constituting “end-to-end” support - of COVID-19 vaccine deployment and vaccination and will also serve as a major investment to strengthen the routine immunization system.
The project will be implemented by WHO over a three-year period as part of a €40 million European Union-funded initiative to support six countries in the WHO European Region in preparing for, deploying and monitoring rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.
Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia said:
“As part of our joint efforts to stop COVID-19, a proper and efficient vaccination campaign is key. The EU continues to stand by Georgia during the pandemic and is proud today to launch a new initiative with our close partner WHO. This initiative will support the complex vaccination rollout so that vaccines, when they arrive, are efficiently utilized and reach those that need them most.”
Silviu Domente, WHO Representative and Head of the WHO Country Office in Georgia, said:
“Vaccines offer hope and protection to those fighting on the frontlines of this pandemic and to those at highest risk living in fear of its devastating impact. Thanks to this generous support, WHO can strengthen its collaboration with the Government of Georgia to ensure that vaccines can reach those who need them most, as soon and as efficiently as possible.”
The funds will be used initially to support the first phase of preparedness and deployment, with an emphasis on imminent needs in strategic programmatic areas such as planning, equipment/supplies, training of health workers and information campaigns.
The project builds on the European Union’s and WHO’s ongoing support to countries’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the joint €35 million EU Solidarity for Health Initiative, aimed to support the partner countries in their fight against the virus and address better the needs of the most vulnerable people.
The news prepared in the framework of the EU project "EU NEIGHBOURS east"
New EU programme to support readiness for vaccination efforts in Eastern Partnership countries with WHO
Today, the European Union in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched a new regional programme worth over €40 million to provide critical assistance to ensure local readiness and preparedness for safe and effective vaccination of the population in each of the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
By strengthening preparedness and readiness of the countries for vaccinations, this programme will prepare the countries for the effective receipt and administering of vaccines, including those from COVAX and through vaccine sharing mechanisms with EU Member States. The programme includes risk communication and community engagement, support to vaccine supply chain management, vaccination data and safety monitoring, training of health managers and medical staff involved in the vaccination campaign, scheduling of the vaccinations, as well as key logistical support for the delivery and handling of the vaccines and supplies.
Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi, responsible for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, stated, “With this new programme that we launch today in partnership with the WHO, the EU shows that it delivers on its commitment to support our Eastern Partners to fight the health crisis. Acting together now will also allow us to work rapidly on the region's sustainable socio-economic recovery. Today's programme comes in addition to the €1 billion of EU assistance mobilised so far to address the health pandemic and support the longer term socio-economic recovery of the region.”
The programme is part of the Team Europe initiative, and builds on the joint ongoing European Union and WHO Solidarity for Health Initiative in the Eastern Partnership.
This Health Initiative of over €35 million, has already provided substantial medical supplies across the region, including over 11 million items of personal protective equipment, 12,000 lab kits, over 1,500 ventilators, oxygen concentrators and pulse oximeters, and over 20,000 PCR testing kits.
The EU is one of the strongest supporters of COVAX, which remains the best vehicle to ensure fair and equitable access to these vaccines and deliver on international vaccine solidarity.
Team Europe has contributed more than €850 million for COVAX, including €500 million from the EU budget. This will be a key contribution for COVAX to secure 1.3 billion doses of vaccines for 92 low and middle-income countries by the end of 2021.
To ensure early access to vaccines and building on the experience of the EU's Vaccine Strategy, the European Commission is operating an EU sharing mechanism to facilitate Member States' sharing of doses secured by the EU, including with our Eastern partners.
The news prepared in the framework of the EU project "EU NEIGHBOURS east"
EBRD and EU strengthen support to small businesses in Georgia
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will enhance its advisory services in Georgia to support local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in digitalisation and access to capital markets during the COVID-19 crisis. Together with Team Europe, the EBRD aims to increase the resilience and agility of the private sector.
Backed by €1.8 million in EU funding, the EBRD will help local firms with their digital transformation to avoid interruptions to their operations because of the pandemic and rebuild their businesses with a focus on sustainable and green practices. The previous phase of funding supported strengthening the competitiveness of the country’s SME sector.
In parallel, the EBRD will assist the National Bank of Georgia with the design and implementation of support mechanisms facilitating access to capital markets – both debt and equity – for local corporates, including SMEs. Targeted support will enhance Georgian companies’ preparedness for capital markets, broaden their funding sources and help attract financing from domestic and international investors. Companies can receive tailor-made advisory services and technical support to improve their corporate governance, transparency and credit rating to source investments across capital markets.
The announcement follows the new EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso’s first visit to Georgia on 1 and 2 February.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Georgia. Since the start of its operations in the country, the Bank has invested more than €4.2 billion in 262 projects in the financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors.
The news prepared in the framework of the EU project "EU NEIGHBOURS east".
Today we celebrate the signing of the two strategic treaties between Japan and GeorgiaToday we celebrate the signing of the two strategic treaties between Japan and Georgia, which will bring economic cooperation of the two countries to the next level: so-called “Investment Treaty” will significantly broaden the capabilities of economic partnership through liberalization of investment, while the so-called “Tax Treaty” will create beneficial environment for economic partnerships, through exemption from the double taxation for both countries. Those are the first such treaties since the independence of Georgia.Ambassador IMAMURA: “Georgia's favorable business environment has been highly acclaimed internationally and Japanese companies are becoming more interested in Georgia. The conclusion of these two treaties will enable Japanese businesses to invest in Georgia with more stability and it is expected that economic cooperation between Japan and Georgia will become more active.”The so-called “Investment Treaty” (Agreement between Japan and Georgia for the Liberalization, Promotion and Protection of Investment) was signed with the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia – Ms. Natia Turnava, while the so-called “Tax Treaty” (Convention between Japan and Georgia for the Elimination of Double Taxation with Respect to Taxes on Income and the Prevention of Tax Evasion and Avoidance) was signed with the Minister of Finance of Georgia – Ivane Matchavariani, on January 29/2021. Ambassador IMAMURA Akira was the signatory on behalf of the Government of Japan.