(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Discussions are underway between Georgian and Qatari officials on how to support food producers from both countries, as well as ways to increase bilateral trade and strengthen economic relations. Speaking to reporters at LuLu Hypermarket in Abu Sidra Mall Monday, Georgia's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alexander Khvtisiashvili, underscored the growing relations between Qatar and Georgia, saying LuLu has been playing a significant role in bringing more Georgian products to the Qatari market.
Khvtisiashvili is in Qatar to hold political consultations with several top Qatari officials. His delegation comprises Nikoloz Revazishvili, ambassador of Georgia to Qatar; Zurab Aleksidze, director of Middle East and Africa Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia; and Aleksandre Jishkariani, senior counselor at the Georgian embassy here.“We are discussing steps to increase the bilateral trade between Qatar and Georgia, as well as ways to strengthen our political and economic relations and to support each other in many international fora.
“We are also expecting Qatar to increase its investments in Georgia in the fields of energy, logistics, agriculture, and IT, as well as transportation, among others,” the minister stressed.
According to Khvtisiashvili, Georgia has increased its exports to Qatar, particularly food products, as well as meats, particularly lamb. Aside from meat and other agricultural products, Georgia is also eyeing to increase its exports of textiles and footwear products, said Khvtisiashvili, who described Qatar as“a good market not just for Georgia but for other countries.” Khvtisiashvili hailed the role played by LuLu in promoting the growth and exposure of Georgian products in the Qatari market, citing the hypermarket chain's extensive network of stores across Qatar. The minister, along with his accompanying delegation, toured LuLu Hypermarket Abu Sidra on Monday to view the wide range of Georgian food products on display.
Khvtisiashvili said Georgia is expecting high-level business and Qatari delegations to visit Georgia to discuss and explore investment and trade opportunities between both countries. Direct flights and Georgia's visa-free regime are also expected to play a role in increasing the number of tourists from Qatar to Georgia now that travel restrictions are slowly being relaxed and borders are opening, he said.
“Prior to the pandemic, the number of tourists from Qatar to Georgia and vice versa has increased. Many Georgians are expected to visit Qatar to celebrate and watch the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Similarly, we expect more Qataris to visit Georgia for business and leisure in the future,” the minister emphasised.
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