Follow the Past and Forge Ahead into the Future in order to Compose a New Chapter of Friendship

Published in Interview
Thursday, 16 June 2022 10:15
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Georgia, Zhou Qian
Georgia is a precious jewel of the Silk Road. Located in the southern foot of the Caucasus and the east coast of Black Sea, it has been a bridge between the East and West since ancient times. Although separated by mountains and seas, China and Georgia enjoy a longstanding friendship which is well proofed by the ancient Silk Road. Both countries are famous for their splendid culture and beautiful landscape, and the common vision of pursuing peace, independence and development has made our traditional friendship to flourish timelessly and beam with new vitality.
On June 9, 1992, China and Georgia formally established diplomatic relations, making China one of the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with Georgia. Over the past 30 years, China and Georgia have always been good friends enjoying mutual trust and good partners engaged in sincere cooperation. They have worked together to usher the friendly cooperation into the mature period, promoted sound and steady development of bilateral relations, deepened cooperation in various fields, and set a good example of exchanges between countries from different regions and of distinctive sizes and cultures.
The foundation built on trust is solid. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the two countries have always adhered to the principle of equality and mutual trust, respected each other's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and supported each other's social system and path of development. With the joint efforts of two governments and peoples, the political mutual trust between China and Georgia has continuously getting deepened, laying a solid foundation for cooperation in various fields. The two sides coordinate and cooperate on the international arena, jointly safeguard the international system with the United Nations at its core, and make positive contributions to world peace and stability.
Sincere attitude brings mutual benefit. Both China and Georgia are developing countries, and both are committed to achieving national rejuvenation and prosperity. The two sides have always cooperated sincerely and pursued common development. In the past 30 years, the bilateral trade volume has increased by more than 400 times from the US$3.68 million at the beginning of the establishment of diplomatic relations. The Belt and Road initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping is highly compatible with Georgia's national development strategy of establishing itself as a logistics and transportation center between Europe and Asia. The mutual cooperation under the BRI is thriving. Georgia is the first country to sign a free trade agreement with China in the region. Since the agreement came into effect in 2018, it has continuously brought in increasing benefits, the level of bilateral trade liberalization and facilitation has been greatly enhanced and the integration of the interests of two countries expanded. China has become Georgia’s largest export market and is becoming second largest trading partner. High-quality Georgian products such as wine, mineral water and nuts are gradually managing their way into the vast consumer market of China. The China-Europe Railway Express continues to facilitate regional connectivity and injects vitality into the countries along the route, including Georgia. The railway modernization, combined cycle power plant construction and other projects undertaken by Chinese enterprises have played an important role in improving local infrastructure and have become conscientious projects that benefit people's livelihood. Bilateral cooperation in investment, communication, high technology etc. is witnessing broad prospects. The bilateral practical cooperation under the BRI and in various fields will continue to deepen and bring positive results.
Sincere friendship is key to inclusiveness and mutual learning. China and Georgia enjoy profound traditional friendship. The two peoples have had the tradition of mutual understanding and mutual learning since ancient times. In recent years, people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Georgia have become closer, cooperation in education, tourism, sports, publishing and other fields has continued to deepen. The Georgian government has incorporated Chinese language into the national education system. The "Chinese language fever" continues to grow vigorously in Georgia. The "Chinese Bridge" competition is becoming more and more popular. The two current two Confucius Institutes and one Confucius Classroom in Georgia have become the base for cultural exchanges and thought collision between the two sides. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia, also known as "God's back garden", became a new popular travel destination for Chinese tourists. The Georgian athletes overcame the obstacles caused by the pandemic to participate in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. They not only improved their results, but also gained the attention and affection of the Chinese audience.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, China and Georgia have stayed united in these difficult times, supported and helped each other. The two sides have actively cooperated in the fight against the virus, and demonstrated with practical actions that “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. The Georgian people expressed immediate support and solidarity towards China. With the strong support of the Georgian government, the vaccination process of the Chinese citizens residing in Georgia, ‘Spring Sprout’ program was successfully implemented. In the past two years, China has actively shared epidemic prevention and treatment methods with Georgia, and has provided an assistance totaling 200,000 doses of Chinese vaccines, as well as ventilators and other medical supplies and equipment. The two countries have overcome the difficulties together and jointly built a China-Georgian community of shared health.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Georgia. This is an important year that serves as a link between past and future. The two sides will jointly sum up the successful experience from the development of bilateral relations and make cooperation plans for the next 30 years. China will continue to work with Georgia to uphold the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, deepen pragmatic cooperation, and promote sound, steady and sustainable development of bilateral relations. Standing at a new historical starting point, the Chinese side is willing together with the Georgian side to forge ahead into the future, further deepen political mutual trust, expand the space for cooperation, and jointly write a new chapter of friendly relations between the two countries.
Boundless is the ocean where we sail with the wind. China has always regarded Georgia as a good friend and partner. I believe that loaded with the triumphant successes, the Chinese-Georgian ship of friendship will always maintain the correct course in the torrent of the times, moving forward steadily, helping all mankind to escape the shadow of the pandemic and war, and jointly building a world of lasting peace, universal security, common prosperity, openness, inclusiveness, purity and beauty, as well as enabling the two peoples to join hands towards a better future!

MEETING OF SHALVA PAPUASHVILI WITH THE TURKEY-GEORGIA PARLIAMENTARY FRIENDSHIP GROUP MEMBERS

Published in Politics
Friday, 27 May 2022 14:48

The Speaker, H.E. Shalva Papuashvili held a meeting with the Chair of the Friendship Group with Georgia of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Halil Etyemez and the Group members. According to the administration of the Parliament of Georgia, the parties overviewed the years of close and productive cooperation between Georgia and Turkey in various sectors and hailed the recent intensification of the links between the Parliaments. The parties touched upon the regional cooperation. Mr. Papuashvili noted that Georgia attaches utmost importance to the Georgia-Turkey-Azerbaijan trilateral cooperation.

The emphasis was made on the importance of the enhancement of regional peace.

The Speaker expressed his gratitude to the Turkish MPs for their support to the sovereignty, territorial integrity of Georgia and the non-recognition policy. The parties reaffirmed their commitment to further boosting the strategic partnership.

“This friendship will last longer than the war” – Georgia in support of Ukraine

Published in Politics
Thursday, 28 April 2022 13:26

Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February. For more than two months since then, every single day has begun with the latest news on Ukraine. Along with sad news, people tune in, hoping to catch some better news, or drawing home and inspiration from stories of heroism and solidarity. Indeed, from the very first day, thousands of Georgians have united in support of Ukraine, and ordinary civilians, volunteers and organisations engage in humanitarian activities every day.

On 18 February, five Ukrainian friends had arrived in Georgia for a short stay. On 24 February, they found themselves trapped in Gudauri, unable to go home. Left in a foreign country, they were scrambling for resources to keep going, while desperately worried about their family and friends in Ukraine and the fate of their country.

Some of the friends eventually went to the Ukrainian border in Poland, but Yuliana and Katerina stayed in Georgia.

That was when they met Rusudan Tskhomelidze, who published a post on social media, offering shelter to Ukrainian citizens for free. The search for lodging marked the beginning of a friendship between the young Ukrainians and Rusudan’s family.

“We feel enormous support from the Georgian people” – Yuliana

A sociologist by profession, Yuliana was born and raised in Kyiv. She has a cat who is with her father in Kyiv, and her mother lives near Irpin. Yuliana is in a state of constant worry, but at least she is happy she can regularly communicate with her family.

“As soon as the war started, I created a family chat and I check it once every few hours, to know what is happening,” says Yuliana.
“The American press constantly writes that the Russian aggressors will run out of strength, equipment, also their morale is weak, and all this gives me hope that everything will end soon. It is hard to be certain about anything, no one knows what Russia will do. I hope that the political and economic pressure will have an effect and yield the desired results.”

The relationship with Rusudan’s family and the support of the Georgian people have been an enormous help to Yuliana in these difficult times.

“The relationship with Rusudan’s family eases our sorrow, they try to support us as much as they can. In addition to us not having to think about financial issues, they support us mentally as well. We’ve become friends with Rusudan’s family and this helps us. Generally, we feel great support from the Georgian people.

“Good news from Ukraine help me to deal with these days, there are bad news in between too, but I try to feel a little relief from the good news. I have video calls with my friends and family, I see my cats, I check social media and see that life goes on in Ukraine, they have switched to a new routine – all this reduces the worry in a way,” says Yulyana.

“There should be no war in any country” – Katerina

Before the war, Katerina had helped refugees from Belarus, Russia and Uzbekistan – she provided legal assistance, and facilitated their access to social services in Ukraine. Now she has ended up as a refugee herself.

“We did not leave because of war, but we became refugees because we cannot go back to Ukraine. I helped refugees before the war, I was a volunteer and tried to change people’s lives for the better. Now that Ukrainians are leaving the country and Europe has given them the same opportunity, that makes me happy,” says Katerina.

Speech at the Reception of Korea-Georgia Friendship Night 2018

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 05 December 2018 15:37

First of all, congratulations on the election of new president of Georgia.
Thanks to this, I am certain that relationship between Georgia and Korea will achieve development.

Since the establishment of the diplomatic relations between the Republic of Korea and Georgia on December 14, 1992, the bilateral relations of our two countries have been developing smoothly on the basis of the principles of peaceful co-existence.

From the Korean side visited Georgia high level delegations such as, delegation of transportation committee of National Assembly on March, Deputy Minister of Interior and Safety on July for participation on OGP summit Tbilisi, Chief constitutional Judge to Constitutional Court of Georgia.

And from Georgia side visited Korea high delegation such as,
First Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Mikheil Giorgadze on Feburary,
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs George Sharvashidze on March,
Chief of Korea-Georgia Parliamentary Friendship Association Shota Khabareli on September,
Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Grigol Katsia on Global Infrastructure Cooperation Conference,
Member of Parliament Irina Pruidze on OGP Asia-Pacific Conference on October.

This is a good example of that mutual interest between Georgia and Korea is growing, and it gives positive dynamics on development of relationship between two countries.

Even more Korean companies have a strong interest and paying more attention to the Georgian economy because of its great growth potential, which was ranked on 6th position on Doing Business 2018.
The biggest economic project between two countries is Nenskra Hydroplant construction.
With the effort of recently newly appointed president, Mr. Kim Sun Young, K-water signed MOU with Government of Mestia, and is doing its best effort to accelerate the progress of this project

On October this year, KOTRA organized the visit of delegation of small-medium business to Georgia, Tbilisi, and they saw the great potential of Georgian market.

Regarding Tourism sector, many Korean tourists visit Georgia to enjoy its nature, historical and cultural wealth.
On September 2018, the growth of number of Korean tourists compare to same period of last year was 140%, furthermore, until the end of October, almost 13,000 koreans visited Georgia.
Until the end of the last year, this number was 7,200 people, and we can see that almost twice more Koreans visited Georgia already. We can expect much more growth next year.

In the field of Culture, I can see that the popularity of Korean Culture is growing.
On June this year, more than 500 students participated in K-pop Festival,
Also 2 days ago, on 1st of December, there was a Korean Culture Festival in Free University of Tbilisi, where participated many young Georgians, who enjoyed Korean songs and dance.

However in Korea, Georgian Language Lecture is opened at Hankguk University of Foreign Studies thanks to the ambassador Mr. Otar Berdzenishvili.
This is a really good chance to popularize Georgian language and culture.

From Korea will be dispatched qualified Taekwondo master, soon he will come to Georgia.
Georgia has strength on Judo, Basketball, Rugby and achieving great success on international competitions, so I hope that Georgia can this high success also on Taekwondo.

Ladies and Gentlemen!

Such partnerships for progress, built over the past 26 years, do not come without effort, or affection.
All our guests present here have made contributions in different categories to the development of the friendly relations between our two countries.

I am very confident that the Republic of Korea will have more and more friends in Georgia and much more Georgian people will devote themselves to the development of the cooperative relations between our two countries.

To the further development of cooperative and friendly relations between Korea and Georgia,
To the good health of all the guests present here tonight,

Thank you!

Holding the Events under the Auspices of Georgian Canadian Friendship is continued

Published in Society
Thursday, 19 October 2017 10:29

Regarding to the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Georgian Canadian Friendship, Georgian Canadian Friendship Association held next event. In the bounds of the project tree of Georgian Canadian Friendship was symbolically planted in one of the historical districts of Tbilisi – in the square located at Davit Agmashenebeli Avenue. Officials of the local government and representatives of different sphere of the society took part in tree planting ceremony. We celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Georgian Canadian Friendship and we have a great will to strengthen the friendship with the Canadian people more. I’m sure such events get the Georgian and Canadian people more close and our today’s event was held by this aspiration. Hence from this I believe our countries will have more collaboration and successes in cultural, sport, trade, tourism relations and relations between the people. I thank Canadian people and government which were strong legitimist of territorial wholeness and sovereignty of Georgia during the last 25 years, director of Georgian Canadian Friendship Association, Ilia Zukakishvili mentioned. It should be mentioned that several events will be held under the auspices of Georgian Canadian Friendship during the following months. The event was held supporting by Tbilisi City Hall.

China highly appreciates friendship with Georgia - Chairman of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA)

Published in World
Friday, 15 September 2017 10:51

The Georgian Vice Premier, Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze met with Chairman of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), Li Jinzao, on the sidelines of the 22ndGeneral Assembly of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The Georgian Foreign Minister emphasized Georgia’s successeful co-operation with China in many areas, including in tourism and welcomed the establishment of the world tourism alliance at the initiative of China.

Discussions focused on issues of bilateral relations. Mikheil Janelidze noted with satisfaction Georgia’s active participation in One belt One road Initiative. Special attention was paid to the signing of free trade agreement between Georgia and China, Georgia’s involvement in the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank and many other important projects.

The development of tourism, culture and people-to-people contacts was identified as the priority areas of co-operation between the two countries. It was underlined that Georgia with its winter and summer resorts is an attractive tourist destination for China. Special note, in this context, was taken of the importance of direct flights between China and Georgia and of Chinese businessmen’s rising interest in Georgia’s tourism potential.
 
At the end of the meeting Mikheil Janelidze invited Li Jinzao to Georgia.
The meeting with the Chairman of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) was attended by the newly-elected UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili and Georgia’s Ambassador to China Davit Aptsiauri.
 

“American Friendship Club” has been implementing the project “Freedom Tree”

Published in Society
Sunday, 10 September 2017 16:52
As you might be aware of our organization “American Friendship Club” has been implementing the project “Freedom Tree” since 2004, dedicated to the dreadful tragedy of New York, on 11 September 2001, taking lives  of thousands of peaceful citizens. This year marks the 16-th anniversary of 9/11 tragedy. In this regard I would like to inform you that I plan to hold events of 9/11 
 
"American Friendship Club" would plant One tree plants in commemoration of 9/11 victims. This initiative gained support from Tbilisi City Hall  and we were given a permission to use a grass-plat in front of David Aghmashenebeli avenue. Further care of the plants will be provided by the  Department of Ecology and Green Spaces of Tbilisi City Hall. 
 
Also, I would like to inform you that “American Friendship Club” Tomorrow 11 Septembers planning to organize an event dedicated to 9/11. Representatives of Georgian Government , members of Parliament, Diplomatic Corps accredited in Georgia , political parties,  civil society, and  media will be invited to this event. 

Georgia and the Swiss Confederation enjoy “long-term and solid friendship”

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 11:40

Georgia and the Swiss Confederation mark the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.  In connection with this fact, the two foreign ministers exchanged congratulation letters highlighting the close partnership between the two countries.  
“The Georgian-Swiss relationship has been significantly expanded throughout the last few years and nowadays we mark a number of striking and meaningful achievements in our cooperation” – reads the letter by Mikheil Janelidze.
The Foreign Ministers pay special attention to the intensification of economic relations and people-to-people contacts.
The Swiss Foreign Minister writes in his congratulation letter that “Last Year’s signing of the Free Trade Agreement between EFTA countries and Georgia represents an important step towards closer economic relations.“ According to Didier Burkhalter, the Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs: “the new Swiss Cooperation Agency for the South Caucasus region to be implemented in the years 2017-2020 will contribute to strengthening the links between the two countries and peoples”.

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