During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili had a meeting today with Gingko Bioworks CEO Jason Kelly. The discussion involved Georgia's biotechnology potential and prospects of enhancing Gingko Bioworks presence in Georgia.
According to the Prime Minister, the Georgian Government's reform agenda, among other directions, includes the development of innovative economy, which is expected to be a driving force of rapid economic development.
During the meeting, the parties also discussed the importance of academic-private sector cooperation and issues related to commercializing innovative products.
"It is with great sadness that I learned the news of the tragedy striking a mall in Tehran, claiming the lives of tens of firefighters and injuring dozens, including those suffering from heavy injuries.
I extend my sincere sympathies to the families of the victims, the Iranian people, and the Government of Iran, and I wish the injured speedy recovery."
Prime Minister of Georgia
During the World Economic Forum in Davos, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met today with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko. The parties discussed strategic issues pertaining to the relations between the two countries.
It was emphasized during the meeting that Georgia considers Ukraine its regional partner and is committed to deeper political, trade, economic, cultural, tourism, and other directions of cooperation.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Petro Poroshenko discussed European integration and visa liberalization as top priority issues for Georgia and Ukraine, expressing hope that Georgian and Ukrainian citizens will enjoy short-term visa-free travel in the EU as early as 2017.
It was emphasized at the meeting that 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The parties discussed a plan of different events in this format.
During the conversation, the leaders of the two countries reiterated their support of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and Ukraine.
The meeting in Davos was attended by Georgia's Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Gakharia.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili held a meeting today with Nicholas Logothetis, a co-owner of Libra Group, an international conglomerate, and informed him of Georgia's investment opportunities. The discussion involved prospects of tourism, energy, and transport cooperation. Giorgi Kvirikashvili described to the representative of this large business group Georgia's tourism potential and upcoming infrastructural projects. Libra Group has numerous subsidiaries in 35 countries across the globe, with its main sectors of interest including aviation, energy, finances, hospitality services, and real estate.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met with Philipp Rösler, Head of the Center for Regional Policies of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The parties discussed the importance of the World Economic Forum, with its participating countries, including the Georgian delegation led by the Prime Minister.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili emphasized Georgia's investment opportunities and thanked the organizers of the forum for invitation, also expressing hope that the bilateral meetings at the World Economic Forum in Davos would bring about greater foreign investments.
In 2011-2013, Philipp Rösler served as Germany's Vice Chancellor and Minister of Economics.
The Prime Minister of Georgia continues a series of meetings at the Davos World Economic Forum. Giorgi Kvirikashvili held a meeting today with Robert Dudley, CEO of British Petroleum, one of the world's energy giants. The parties discussed Georgia's ongoing projects and prospects of cooperation.
During the meeting, the importance of South Caucasus Pipeline expansion (SCPx) under the second phase of the Shah Deniz project was emphasized, which involves expanding the pipeline capacity to transport 16 billion cubic meters of additional gas to European countries every year.
The parties commended the 20-year successful cooperation between BP and Georgia, with BP as one of the largest foreign investors in the country. The parties expressed hope that, given Georgia's investment opportunities, more British investments will be made in the country.
"We had a very good discussion about the progress of the status of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, as well as the new expansion of the South Caucasus gas pipeline not only through Georgia, but the status of construction through Turkey all the way to Europe. We had a very good discussion about that. We also spoke about some work BP is doing, and the Georgian Government is doing on microfinancing programs in the country and the region," Robert Dudley stated after the meeting.
The BP Headquarters is located in London, England. The company operates in many countries across the globe. BP has been operating in Georgia since 1996, with over 500 employees working presently at the pipeline operations phase.
Prime Minister Delivers a Speech at the Inauguration of International Year of Sustainable Tourism for DevelopmentThursday, 19 January 2017 10:45
Georgia, as a European country of 3.7 million that hosts 6.4 million visitors a year, with an annual growth of tourist flow as high as 20%, has decided to nominate Zurab Pololikashvili, Georgia's representative in WTO and Ambassador to Spain, to the position of Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization. If elected, Ambassador Pololikashvili will be a worthy successor to assume these responsibilities, the Prime Minister of Georgia stated in his speech delivered at the inauguration of 2017 as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili is confident that Zurab Pololikashvili will support each nation and enhance contribute mutual goals on the global level.
In his speech, the Prime Minister emphasized the great contribution of the acting WTO Secretary General to the strengthening of tourism and thanked Taleb Rifai for his invitation.According to Kvirikashvili, 2016 marked manifold challenges and much success alike.
"The challenges include the unsettling threat of terrorism, to the tragic natural disasters, and governments around the globe facing numerous barriers throughout the year. However, 2016 has also been a year of success, a year when the world came together to express its unwavering support for free, safe and accessible travel as a right of all human beings. A year, to mark the unity of our nations and our people. A landmark time for innovation, entrepreneurship, and development. Today, we reach another milestone. With the launch of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, we once again emphasize that our nations all face common global challenges, which can only be resolved through advancing relations and furthering partnerships. By introducing this initiative, we have highlighted that Sustainable Development Goals are the focal point for future development, and will guide us to create long-term assets, and prevent relevant liabilities," the Prime Minister stated.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili thanked Secretary General Rifai of his initiative to inaugurate 2017 as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and his tireless efforts to strengthen the global tourism industry throughout his eight-year tenure.
"You truly are an exemplary leader, which has brought the sector and the UNWTO, to a new level of success and prosperity, and I know that every individual here, and across the industry, will agree with me; in saying that you are a great friend to each and every one of us. You have set a new benchmark for every Secretary-General that will follow in your footsteps," the Prime Minister addressed Taleb Rifai.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili thanked everyone who worked tirelessly for the inauguration of International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, also emphasizing that Georgia, together with other nations, will stand to uphold the values and principals of sustainable development.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met today with Prime Minister of Spain Mariano Rajoy. The conversation involved the bilateral relations between the countries and Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili thanked the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Spain for his unwavering support of Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration and the country's territorial integrity.
During the meeting, special attention was paid to the trade and economic ties between the two countries. The parties stressed that there is much room for further expanding the relations in these directions.
The Prime Minister of Georgia introduced Mariano Rajoy to the Georgian Government's four-point reform agenda. The discussion also involved sharing Spain's successful tourism experience and the importance of implementing joint projects. The Prime Minister of Georgia left his comments in the guest of honor album at the residence of the Prime Minister of Spain.
Georgia is participating in the International Tourism Fair in Madrid. Today, for the first time in the history of the fair, King Filipe VI of Spain, accompanied by Queen Letizia, visited the Georgian exhibition pavilion.
The King and Queen of Spain were hosted by Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili who informed them of Georgia's resorts, tourist potential, and ongoing projects. The royal family attended the screening of a video about Georgia and took great interest in Georgian polyphony. The king expressed his wish to visit Georgia.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili invited the King and Queen of Spain to attend the upcoming festive events celebrating the anniversary of the restoration of the autocephaly of the Georgian Orthodox Christian Church and honoring the enthronement and birth anniversary of Catholicos-Patriarch of All-Georgia Ilia II.The Georgian pavilion at the International Tourism Fair in Madrid features travel agencies offering international visitors different services and tourism products in Georgia. Together with the Spanish royal family, the Georgian exhibition hall was also visited by UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai.
"We are blessed and honored to have the Prime Minister of a country that I think of very dearly. When it is about Georgia, I am biased. Georgia is a wonderful country, a country full of life and energy, the most beautiful people, happy and smiling, making you feel at home. I am very touched and honored that the Prime Minister of Georgia took time from his verybusy schedule and accepted to be here with us today," UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai stated after a meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.
The Secretary General thanked the Prime Minister for making time from his busy schedule to visit Madrid.
"When you travel all over the world, you start seeing beautiful things in every situation, and I must say, Georgia is a beautiful country," TalebRifai stated.
Taleb Rifai also addressed Georgian Foreign Minister MikheilJanelidze.
"Let me also welcome a very dear and special person, the Foreign Minister of Georgia, a very good and dear friend.As you can see, Georgia is full of young political talents. He is probably one of few people not working directly with tourism, but I can tell you, when we were upstairs for a few minutes, he and the Prime Minister were talking about tourism as if it were their own baby. I am sure you understand what I mean, because each of you who has been in charge of tourism for many years knows what it means to have support from the Prime Minister, from the Head of Government," TalebRifai asserted.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili thanked the Secretary General for his years-long support of Georgia's tourism sector.
During the meeting, which was held at the UNWTO Headquarters in Madrid, the dynamically developing partnership between Georgia and the World Tourism Organization was discussed.
After the meeting, Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Taleb Rifai unveiled the plate honoring the Georgian Prime Minister at the WTO Headquarters.
According to the Head of Georgian Government, each plate at the WTO Headquarters symbolizes the high-level support that the tourism sector receives from governments across the globe.
"We have all gathered here because we believe in the transformative power of tourism; we are united by the values, principals and ideals that tourism is the key means of developing people-to-people relations, exchanging cultures, and achieving economic prosperity. Each of us is here to exemplify that no matter the challenges the sector will remain strong and supportive of every destination," Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated.
According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, under the leadership of Secretary General Rifai, the UNWTO and the tourism industry have achieved tremendous success to become one of the most important social-economic sectors.
"The candidate for the position of Secretary General that Georgia is humbly nominating, Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, Georgia's Ambassador to UNWTO and Spain, with his very strong background in tourism-he is a former Minister of Economy overseeing the tourism sector-will become an excellent candidate for this very, very highly esteemed position. He will be a worthy successor to uphold the values and priorities deeply entrenched in this organization, with the personal contribution of Mr. Taleb Rifai," the Prime Minister stated and wished success to the participants of the International Tourism Fair.
The Prime Minister invited the guests to taste Georgian wine.
"With 8,000 years of wine-making traditions recognized by UNESCO, Georgia is considered to be the birthplace of wine, and we are happy to be able to share these traditions with you today," Giorgi Kvirikashvili addresses the guests.