Hong Kong business and professional delegation continues visit to Georgia (with photos)

     The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, continued his visit with a Hong Kong business and professional delegation to Tbilisi, Georgia, yesterday (March 19, Tbilisi time) to explore investment and business opportunities in the region.

     Mr Yau met with the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, Mrs Maya Tskitishvili, and the Minister of Finance of Georgia, Mr Ivane Machavariani, in the morning to understand the latest government policies and infrastructure development plans as well as the overall investment and business opportunities in Georgia. Mr Yau also called on the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to Georgia, Mr Ji Yanchi.

     Mr Yau said Georgia, with its strategic location in the Caucasus region as well as its open and business-friendly economy, is an important gateway for Hong Kong to reach out to the markets in the Caucasus region and Central and Eastern Europe. The Hong Kong-Georgia Free Trade Agreement, being the first such agreement signed between Hong Kong and a country in the Caucasus region, not only enhances trade and investment flows between Hong Kong and Georgia, but also paves the way for Hong Kong business and professional services sectors as well as start-ups to tap into the enormous opportunities in the Caucasus region under the Belt and Road Initiative.

     Meanwhile, the delegation visited the Poti Free Industrial Zone Headquarters in Tbilisi in the morning to learn about the development of free industrial zones in the region and the investment opportunities there. The Poti Free Industrial Zone, the first of its kind in the region, became functional in 2010. With its tax-free environment and easy business setup process, the industrial zone accommodates businesses and investors from diverse segments.

     In the afternoon, Mr Yau and the delegation visited the Hualing Tbilisi Sea New City, a 420-hectare major comprehensive development project in Georgia. The project developer, Hualing Group, was Georgia's single largest foreign investor as of 2017. Through the visit, the delegation learnt more about investment in key projects in Georgia.

     The delegation then attended a meeting with representatives of the Anaklia Development Consortium on the development of the Anaklia Deep Sea Port and the Special Economic Zone in Anaklia. The first phase of the Anaklia Deep Sea Port is expected to be completed next year. Upon completion of all phases, it will be the first deep sea port in Georgia and a vital part of the Middle Corridor within the Belt and Road Initiative to serve as a logistics and transportation node between China and Europe.

     In the evening, the delegation joined a networking dinner with representatives of the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to better understand the business environment in Georgia.

     Mr Yau and the delegation will visit Chateau Mukhrani today (March 20, Tbilisi time) to learn about the latest developments of Georgia's wine industry and explore opportunities for the wine trade of Hong Kong.

Ends/Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Issued at HKT 8:00