UNIDO hosted a German-Georgian Business and Cooperation Forum

UNIDO hosted a German-Georgian Business and Cooperation Forum

FRANKFURT, 9 October 2018 – A German-Georgian Business and Cooperation Forum to exchange innovative ideas and explore possibilities for joint projects took place today at the premises of the KfW Bank. The event was organized jointly by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Government of Georgia, and the United Nations Industrial Development (UNIDO).

More than 150 representatives of Georgian and German companies from various sectors, including logistics and transport infrastructure, tourism, and vocational education and training, participated in the event. Individual business-to-business (B2B) exchanges were arranged by the UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) Germany. The ITPO Germany is an honest broker fostering mutually beneficiary industrial cooperation between enterprises in Germany and in developing countries and economies in transition, with focus on small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“Georgia has a winning combination”, emphasized Mikheil Khidureli, Director of Enterprise Georgia, referring to the country’s recent economic reform process and its strategic location at the crossroad of Europe and Asia. He said that thanks to these, Georgia now is an even more attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI).

Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary at Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, said Germany acknowledges the efforts made by Georgia in terms of economic reforms which have created favourable conditions for German companies operating or investing in Georgia. He added that one area where German development cooperation has initiated a transfer of know-how is vocational training. “Efforts are made in implementing dual-structured courses of vocational training.”

While economic reforms are an important precondition for successful economic transformation, inclusive and sustainable growth cannot be achieved without enormous additional volumes of quality investment, stressed Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Director of the Department of Trade, Investment and Innovation at UNIDO.

Two examples of the type of projects that both countries would like to implement jointly in the coming years are the agreement between Germany’s KfW and the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation to enhance the country’s energy independence by building an underground natural gas storage facility, and a transportation initiative involving Deutsche Bahn and Georgian Railway.

The free trade agreement with the European Union, which officially entered into force in July 2016, presents an opportunity for Georgia. Access to the European market has already led to more growth through increased exports and access to additional investment. “The partnership between Georgia and Germany goes along way. It is now time to build on the successes and scale the cooperation up to an even higher level”, concluded Giorgi Kobulia, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.

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