Guests are ‘gifts of God’ in Georgia

Republic of Ajara governor Tornike Rijvadze answers questions from Manila Times Chairman and CEO Dante ‘Klink’ Ang 2nd during a roundtable forum at the The Manila Times in Intramuros, Manila. PHOTO BY J. GERARD SEGUIA

EVERY tourist in Georgia will be treated as a “gift from God,” Autonomous Republic of Ajara governor Tornike Rijvadze said on Tuesday during a roundtable forum with The Manila Times led by its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dante “Klink” Ang 2nd.

“In Georgia, every guest, not only tourist, is considered as a gift from God,” Rijvadze, who is in the Philippines to promote Georgia as a tourism spot and investment destination, said.

Ajara, he said, is located southwest of Georgia. It shares the border with Turkey. He said the region is a “landmark” for business options.

Rijvadze said he considers Georgia as the “gateway” to Europe. He expressed hope that the Philippines will be Georgia's “bridge” to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

He said that there are ongoing talks to improve air travel between Georgia and the Philippines.

“That's what we are discussing — connectivity options. That's why we are considering some

flights that would be more efficient and shorter,” Rijvadze said.

Georgia has an embassy in Indonesia, which has jurisdiction over the Philippines.

“We are discussing more diplomacy and more representation here. We are quite confident that we will see a sort of a breakthrough for future bilateral cooperation,” the official said.

Rijvadze also said that Georgia has a consistent economic policy and liberal tax regime which are conducive for foreign investment.

“We also do quite well in terms of the general efficiency, and we are quite resource1ful when it comes to the labor, when it comes to the skilled personnel,” he added.

“Of course, we want to do more economic trade with the Philippines and Southeast Asia. We would like to extend our invitation to the Filipino investors to invest in our country,” he said.

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