By James Lawrence - Georgia - 1 month ago

Georgian PM Attends China International Import Expo

November 4, Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze has attended a welcome banquet held by Chinese President Xi Jinping for leaders attending the China International Import Expo (CIIE). The CIIE opens on November 5 at the National Exhibition and Convention Center of Shanghai.

Many pundits have seen the inaugural event as a chance for President Xi Jinping to promote China as an advocate of globalization and free trade. The event has been snubbed by all US government officials in line with their ‘trade war’ rhetoric.

Also in attendance to the banquet was Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, who shared a tweet to commemorate Xi Jinping’s invitation, as well as a picture of all the international leaders representing their countries. Muscat has had a big weekend as he kicked it off as the keynote speaker for the Malta Blockchain Conference.

Xi Jinping will be delivering a keynote address also, to kick off the weeklong trade fair. The event is expected to attract around 3,000 international companies and traders, all of who want a slice of China’s massive consumer market.

PM Bakhtadze has so far met with several world leaders at the event, including Manager Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde, as well as the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite.

Speaking on the opening of a Georgian pavilion at the CIIE Bakhtadze, noted the stand will help more than 50 Georgian producers to promote their products and Georgia overall,

“We aim to ensure Georgia’s effective integration into the global economy and making the country an economic hub in the region. The Chinese market is the largest platform for our producers providing more opportunities for the development of their business and employing more people,” PM Bakhtadze said, adding that opening the Georgian Pavilion at the CIIE will help more than 50 Georgian producers to promote their production and the country overall.”

Early in the day, Bakhtadze met with the Chair of the Bank of China Group, Chen Siqing, taking the opportunity to discuss trade and economic relations between their respective countries. Relations have developed healthily in recent times due to the signing of a free-trade agreement which came into effect in January this year.

The PM’s Press Office reported that following the meeting a memorandum of cooperation was signed by the Produce in Georgia Agency Director Mikheil Khidureli and representatives of the Bank of China. The agreement seeks to promote the further enhancement of cooperation between Georgian and Chinese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to foster an exchange of information and experience in adopting new technologies.

Mamuka Bakhtadze is scheduled to deliver a speech later this week for the international trade and investment discussion panel.