Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 19 / Trend A. Akhundov /
Azerbaijan and Georgia must preserve the existing growth of trade turnover and mutual investments now, Georgian First Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Irakli Matkava involved in the work of the first hotel investment conference for the CIS and Georgia (iCON) told Trend in Baku today.
"The dynamics in mutual investments is increasing," he said. "Azerbaijan is among the top five countries and sometimes among three largest investors to Georgia."
He added that SOCAR with its subsidiaries is the largest taxpayer in Georgia.
According to the preliminary data of the Georgian Statistics Agency, Azerbaijan invested $48.8 million in Georgia in the first half of 2012 (share of the total investment volume is 10 per cent). The Netherlands ranks first (37 per cent), followed by the United States at 11 per cent.
SOCAR has invested more than $700 million in Georgia's economy. SOCAR's subsidiary - Socar Georgia Petroleum was the largest taxpayer in Georgia in 2010 and 2011.
After investing $32 million in the country in 2011, it became its largest investor. Besides expanding the network of filling stations, the company invested in two major projects - the construction of the multifunctional complex SOCAR - Goodwill Auto Lounge on the Batumi-Tbilisi highway and construction of SOCAR - McDonald's centres in Batumi and Marneuli.
At present there are over 100 companies with the Georgian capital in Azerbaijan, while there are 272 companies with Azerbaijani investments in Georgia. These companies have invested $454.4 million in the Georgian economy from 1996 to 2011. He said that trade relations are developing between the countries.
"It is important that the goods are supplied from both sides," he said. "The challenge now is to maintain the existing momentum and rapidly resolve any shortages."
As of January-July 2012, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Georgia amounted to $410.788 million. Export hit $340.075 million.