Tbilisi is hosting a Silk Road Forum with over 800 guests, including David Shark, the World Trade Organiztion (WTO) Deputy Directors-General.
In his interview with the IPress, David Shark talks about importance of the forum and Georgia’s perspectives.
-Mr. David, what should Georgia expect from the Silk Road Forum?
-The Silk Road Forum is a very important event, like all other forums that deepen international cooperation. It is very important for small countries to get integrated with other countries. Small countries do not have big markets to fully employ potential independently. The Silk Road countries are able to further deepen the cooperation and accelerate the process.
-What steps should Georgia take to strengthen its trade potential?
-The first step Georgia has taken for its market expansion was expressed in joining the WTO and obtaining opportunities for cooperating with more than 100 countries. Moreover, to increase the potential, barriers should be removed between Georgia and its neighbors. Georgia follows an open-border policy and provide free customs regime to both passengers and cargo transportation.
Georgia should ratify the recently signed agreement on cooperation. The Silk Road is an excellent opportunity for you in terms of expansion of trade relations. I believe Georgia is interested in penetrating various markets worldwide.
-What should the Silk Road countries expect from the project?
– All participant countries follow their interests in the Silk Road project that enables to attain implement all goals and satisfy all interests . Countries have various advantages in production, including various products, services, technologies. Major markets seek additional opportunities; small economies seek mechanisms for penetrating major markets. And you are able to apply complex and combined instruments.
– Georgia has signed a deep and comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, but Georgian exporters face certain barriers. What would you suggest Georgian businessmen to better employ this potential in the EU market?
-The free trade agreement does not suffice to expand the economy. There are small issues the country should resolve. The business doing simplicity is one of the advantages of the Georgian economy, as well as Georgia’s rating in the World Bank (WB) report. Countries often damage their interests themselves, when complicating business doing environment. In this light Georgia follows a correct direction