Georgia to start new projects with Korea

Georgia, which is located at the heart of the Caucasus region, has a great willingness to improve relations with South Korea. The country’s newly appointed Ambassador Otar Berdzenishvili has shared his significant projects for the bilateral relations with journalists during a press meeting in early May.

The young ambassador who has worked as an ambassador at large at the Georgian Foreign Ministry, deputy minister of defense and ambassador to Brazil, now started his work in Seoul.

The two countries mark the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic relations and Berdzenishvili says the two countries will have a rapid rapprochement by using his motto of “More Korea in Georgia and more Georgia in Korea.”

“Georgia is a young but old country,” Berdzenishvili said by mentioning the ancient history of Georgia apart from the Soviet past. Contemporary Georgia strongly belongs to the ancient heritage with cuisine, traditions and human characteristics. Especially, the popularity of Georgian wine is also an unchallenged part of old Georgian existence in the region.

Currently, 20 percent of Georgia’s internationally recognized territory is under the Russian military occupation. The country lost big territories as a result of the military aggression by Russia in 2008. As a democratic country, Georgia supports the consolidation of peace in the region and strongly supports the peace talks. 

On the other hand, this young country had a great progress in the talks with EU and NATO. As a former Soviet member, Georgia puts big effort for a stable region. Recently, the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to approve visa liberalization for Georgia. It shows that Georgian state institutions and people can easily shape the political system in democratic ways and pursue a way to obtain global benefits.

At this situation, creating strong relations with South Korea is inevitable for the country since it is an economic attraction center which is located between Asia and Europe. For this, Berdzenishvili underlines that Georgia is ready for all types of Korean investments because of the country’s safe economic environment with zero corruption. 

This is an important reality that Georgia is one of the safest countries in the world for economic investments and living. There is no heavy bureaucracy and corruption. So the country has enjoyed rapid growth just after the 2000s. He frequently points out that Georgia is in the middle of great markets. According to him, the Georgian government is ready for all types of facilitation services for both Korean and other foreign companies. 

Currently, some of Georgia’s products are already sold in South Korea. Borjomi and Nabeghlavi are the well-known brands mineral water in CIS geography along with wine and honey.

Apart from economic projects, Berdzenishvili gives a big importance to education by saying: “Education is my main aim.” He plans to open branches in Korean universities to teach the Georgian language and culture. At the same time, Georgian universities are ready to open similar branches for Korean language education. In the near future, it is possible to provide scholarship programs to Korean students in Georgia. I should mention also the Georgian Embassy recently started literature programs in Korea. The 12th century’s Georgian historical poem “The Knight in the Tiger’s Skin” by Georgian author Shota Rustaveli was translated into Korean last year. 

New Georgian ambassador Berdzenishvili will make great contributions to the bilateral relations as a young, energetic and dynamic person. Georgian-Korean relations have a new start as of now. 

Mehmet Fatih Oztarsu – The Korea Times

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