France and Georgia

Presentation

Political relations

We have long-standing friendly relations with Georgia (the Georgian government in exile was hosted in France from 1918 to 1921), maintained through contacts at every levels, right through to the highest.

The most recent bilateral political consultations at Foreign Minister level were held in Tbilisi on 15 December 2016.

Visits

President Hollande made an official visit to Tbilisi on 13 May 2014, and received his Georgian counterpart on an official visit to France from 20 to 23 April 2016. He also met briefly with the Prime Minister, Mr Kvirikashvili, on 31 May 2016, during a visit to Bordeaux to inaugurate the Cité du Vin in Bordeaux.

Mr Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, visited Georgia on 24 April 2014 together with his German opposite number, and received his Georgian counterpart, Mr Giorgi Kvirikashvili, on 23 September 2015. His successor, Mr Jean-Marc Ayrault, received the head of Georgia’s diplomacy, Mr Janelidze, on an official visit on 7 February 2017.

Between mid-February and mid-June 2016, the Georgian President, Prime Minister and Ministers of Agriculture, the Interior, Justice, European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, and Defence, all visited France. Defence Minister Le Drian visited Georgia on 11 and 12 September 2016 and received his counterpart on 18 April 2017.

Economic relations

Georgia has received French investment in the areas of banking, distribution, transport, hospitality and agrifood.

Trade is developing but remains limited compared to that of our main competitors. With a market share of 1.5% in 2015, France is only the 16ᵗʰ-largest supplier to Georgia.

French exports (€125 million in 2016 as against €120 million in 2015) consist mainly of industrial products (83%), in particular pharmaceuticals (39%), which are our leading export item, followed by food products (15%) and chemicals, perfumes and cosmetics (15%).

Imports from Georgia (€35 million in 2016, as against €25 million in 2015) consist mainly of agricultural and agrifood products (43%) and chemicals, perfumes and cosmetics (25%). France is Georgia’s 22ⁿᵈ-largest client, as the destination for less than 1% of Georgian exports.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Our cultural cooperation relies in Tbilisi on the Institut français (French Institute) in Georgia, which opened in autumn 1998 (library and multimedia for the public). The Institute has been financially autonomous since 1 January 2002.

Furthermore, a policy to support the teaching of French has been put in place.
Our programme priorities centre on support for training of Georgian elites (development of French-language university courses, support for training of journalists, creation of a French school in Tbilisi, administrative training in cooperation with ENA), on agriculture (an agriculture financing expert was made available to the Georgian government in February 2014 for two years), on medicine, demography, palaeontology and archaeology, and on audio-visual cooperation and the development of a French cultural presence in Tbilisi and the provinces. The French School of the Caucasus, which was established in September 2006, moved to new premises in 2010 and had more than 360 pupils in 2017-2018.

The cultural cooperation and action budget stood at €274,000 in 2016. Through a co-financing agreement signed with the Georgian International Education Centre, the incentive scholarships programme for Master’s students has doubled in volume, offering 17 scholarships in 2016 as against 8 in 2015.

Other cooperation

Operational cooperation in mutual legal assistance is good and exchanges have intensified since 2008.

Updated: September 2017

SITE MAP