Georgia, Bulgaria recognized seafarers certificates for coastal navigation

Photo credit: Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia

Bulgaria recognized the certificates of Georgian seafarers involved in coastal navigation. The corresponding Memorandum was signed by the Director of the Georgian Maritime Transport Agency, Aleksi Akhvlediani, and the Executive Director of the Maritime Administration of the Republic of Bulgaria, Vencislav Ivanov in Sofia.

The signing of the memorandum took place within the working visit of the Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Guram Guramishvili, to Bulgaria.

According to the assessment of the Deputy Minister, the mutual recognition of certificates of seafarers involved in coastal navigation is very important in terms of supporting the activities of Georgian sailors.

It is important that the certificates of Georgian seafarers involved in coastal sailing are already recognized by four Black Sea countries: Turkey, Romania, Ukraine and Bulgaria, which increases the opportunities and scope of employment of Georgian sailors in the Black Sea region, said the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.

Before the signing of the Memorandum, the Georgian delegation led by the Deputy Minister held a meeting in the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Bulgaria, where the parties discussed ongoing projects in the maritime sector between the two countries and opportunities for deepening future cooperation. Ambassador of Georgia to the Republic of Bulgaria Otar Berdzenishvili also participated in the meeting.

As it was mentioned at the meeting, it is important for both countries to actively cooperate in the direction of maritime education, training and certification, as well as in terms of the development of direct sea transportation, including ferry traffic, in the Black Sea region.

Among other important issues, the parties also discussed the possibilities of increasing the frequencies of the Burgas-Batumi ferry service and starting the Burgas-Poti ferry service.

As part of the working visit to Sofia, Guram Guramishvili and the Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications of Bulgaria, Anna Mihneva-Natova, had a face-to-face meeting, where priority issues of the two countries were discussed, including land, sea and rail transport.

“Connectivity on the Black Sea is very important for Georgia – our country has a maritime border with Bulgaria, and the intensification of cargo transportation and the improvement of connectivity is an important factor for the development of the Middle Corridor. We talked about these and other important issues at the meeting with my Bulgarian colleague and set specific measures that include both infrastructural and procedural components,” Guram Guramishvili said.

As the Deputy Minister of Economy of Georgia noted, the Georgian side is interested in further increasing the direct ferry (as well as road and rail) traffic between the two countries, which will contribute not only to the growth of trade between the two countries, but also to increase the attractiveness of its transport corridor.

According to Guram Guramishvili, recently the role of the Middle Corridor as an alternative route connecting Europe and Asia has significantly increased, which allows Georgia and Bulgaria to better use their transport and transit capabilities.