Tehran, Tbilisi Sign Economic Agreements

Cooperation agreements between Iran and Georgia covered such areas as agriculture, communications technology, sports and environment
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili (L) and Iranian Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri attend a press conference in Tehran on April 22. Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili (L) and Iranian Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri attend a press conference in Tehran on April 22.

In line with the goal of fostering their millennia-old relations, Iran and Georgia are taking measures to forge closer ties in trade, business and economy, for which several memoranda of understanding in different fields were signed by the two countries on Saturday.

The documents were signed on the sidelines of a meeting between Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri and Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili in Tehran, ISNA reported. Kvirikashvili is heading a delegation to Tehran to hold talks with Iranian senior officials on promoting bilateral and regional relations.

The visit comes on the heels of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's recent trip to Tbilisi. Last week, Zarif embarked on a tour of the Caucasus and Central Asia at the head of a politico-economic delegation and held top-level meetings with Georgian officials.

On Saturday, Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze signed an agreement on agricultural cooperation with Iran's Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati and concluded another MoU with Iran's Minister of Sports and Youths Masoud Soltanifar to expand sports interactions.

Other documents included an agreement signed by the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and Georgia's Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, as well as a joint statement by Iran's Department of Environment and Georgia's Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection.

Besides, two MoUs were signed between the private sectors of the two countries over establishing a refinery and a tile manufacturing company in Georgia.

Developing a trade and transit corridor between the countries was among the most important topics of discussion at the meeting.

In a press conference held after the meeting, Jahangiri said the most prominent issue is "connecting the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea, through a corridor passing through Iran, Armenia and Georgia or Iran, Azerbaijan and Georgia."

He looked forward to activating banking ties between the two states as soon as possible to help boost trade. Trade volume between Georgia and Iran increased by 50% during the first two months of 2017 while there is bigger potential to further increase trade transactions.

The number of Iranian investments increased by 90% in Georgia last year due to the country's favorable business and investment environment.

During the presser, the Georgian premier said measures should be undertaken to pave the way for expanding economic cooperation between the private sectors of the two sides.

Kvirikashvili referred to the booming tourism relations between Iran and Georgia and said Georgia is ready to send tourists to Iran and host Iranian tourists. The two officials underlined the important role of diplomacy in strengthening bilateral ties.

Pointing to long-term mutual relations, Jahangiri said, "Both nations have a lot in common and [the governments] hold the same views on many regional and international affairs."

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