On February 4-6, 2008 the Prime Minister of Estonia Andrus Ansip and the delegation of Estonian businessmen paid an official visit to Georgia. His Excellency was hosted by the Prime Minister of Georgia Vladimer Gurgenidze whereas the delegation of Estonian businessmen was hosted by the Georgian National Investment Agency. The official meetings included meetings with the President of Georgia and the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia.
The sides discussed the prospects of deepening bilateral cooperation in political and economic fields. “We have a long and important path to travel to Europe, to NATO and there is still a lot left to do in terms of economic reforms. In all of these directions the example and the experience of our Estonian friends over the past 15 years is of utmost importance to us,” the Prime Minister of Georgia said. “Georgia has always been an interesting country for Estonians in terms of tourism and I have a great hope that this interest will grow even bigger. Estonian businessmen are very much interested in the Georgian wine and construction business and are ready to invest here. They are also interested in light industry. Thus, Georgia is a very interesting country to have as a partner. I hope that our businessmen will find good partners in Georgia,” the Prime Minister of Estonia said after his meeting with the Georgian counterpart.
According to Andrus Ansip, Estonia will support Georgias bid to move to the next level of integration into the NATO at the Bucharest Summit planned for April 2-4. Estonia will also support Georgia in the negotiations with the European Union. Estonia is ready to provide advice to the Georgian authorities regarding the upcoming parliamentary election and for this purpose will send to Tbilisi the delegation headed by the Chair of the Central Election Commission of Estonia.
A particularly important part of the visit of Estonians was the business delegation comprised by 22 large Estonian business representatives who came to Georgia to see the local business climate and investment opportunities on the spot. The businessmen attended a luncheon organized by the Georgian National Investment Agency where the Prime Minister of Georgia acquainted them with Georgias recent economic performance and plans for the next five years. The Estonian business delegation included the companies working in real estate construction and development, architecture, textiles, automobile trade, legal consulting, etc.
The delegation also included the Estonian watch center “Kellakeskus” that plans to open its jewelry shop in Old Tbilisi. “Germund Trading” that has been operating in Georgia for a few years already (exports nuts to Estonia/Europe) was also among the guests. The company plans to implement a real estate development project in Georgia this year. Another firm in the delegation was “Koger & Partners” that is reconstructing the Estonian Embassy in Tbilisi and has business interests in Georgia.
On February 4, after seeing the sights of Tbilisi Estonian businessmen also met with their local counterparts to make connections and discuss possible cooperation. The next day the delegation together with the Prime Minister of Estonia visited the Georgian-Estonian wine factory “Aguna” located in Gurjaani, the heart of Kakheti province where they tasted some of Georgias finest wines. Later the Estonian businessmen were invited to the traditional Georgia “supra” (feast) to take the best Georgian memories back home.