Georgian Prime Minister embarks on Baku visit
By Aynur Jafarova
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili arrived in Azerbaijan with an official visit on September 11.
A guard of honor was lined up for the Georgian premier at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport decorated with the national flags of the two countries.
Garibashvili was welcomed by Azerbaijan's Deputy Prime Minister Abid Sharifov and other officials.
National anthems of Georgia and Azerbaijan were performed.
Azerbaijan and Georgia established diplomatic relations in 1992 -- a year after gaining independence from the Soviet Union. In October 1997, Azerbaijan and Georgia became two of the four founding members of GUAM, an organization which also comprises Ukraine and Moldova.
Along with broad cooperation in regional development, transport, economic and other important projects, Azerbaijan and Georgia have long-standing and successful cooperation in the energy sector. Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR is closely involved in the energy market of the neighboring South Caucasus republic.
Azerbaijan has long been the second biggest trade partner of Georgia. The trade turnover between them amounted to $372.02 million in January-July, 2014.
Azerbaijan imported Georgian products worth $55.93 million. Meanwhile, Georgia imported goods worth $316.09 million.
In 2013, the volume of direct investment into the Georgian economy increased by 60 percent. Azerbaijan invested $89.9 million to Georgia in 2013, thereby ranking fourth among the largest investors in Georgia.