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Eli Cohen and Dimitri Kumsishvili meet in Tbilisi, May 10, 2018. Photo: screengrab

Georgia, Israel Launch Free Trade Feasibility Study

The Minister of Economy and Industry of Israel, Eli Cohen, and his Georgian counterpart, Dimitri Kumsishvili, signed yesterday a declaration on launching a joint feasibility study on free trade agreement between the two nations.

Minister Cohen, who was on his first official visit to Georgia on May 9-11, said after the signing ceremony on Thursday that the two ministers agreed to work on increasing the trade volume “dramatically,” and on removing “any obstacles in front of the Israeli and Georgian investors.”

Minister Kumsishvili commented on the matter as well, stressing strengthening economic ties with Israel was “very important” for the country.

“We agreed to launch the feasibility study, and I am sure that the process will be completed successfully and will enable the country to create more jobs, increase its export volumes and ensure technological transfer from Israel,” the Economy Minister added.

Later on Thursday, the two Ministers attended the opening of a joint Israeli-Georgian factory for production of composite components for the civilian aircraft industry.

The Project, built in the outskirts of Tbilisi by a joint venture of the Israeli defense electronics firm Elbit Systems and the Georgian state-owned Partnership Fund, had an estimated investment cost of USD 93 million, will employ 300 people at its full capacity, and will issue its first production in early 2019, as reported by the Partnership Fund.

Georgia’s trade turnover with Israel, according to the State Statistics Office Geostat, stood at USD 20.25 million in 2017, with exports at USD 7.00 million (USD 5.45 million in 2016) and imports at USD 13.25 million (USD 10.05 million in 2016).

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