8-12 October, Keti Tsikhelashvili (former ESI analyst, currently running EI-LAT from Georgia) visited Istanbul as part of her research on the effects of the Free Trade Agreement between Turkey and Georgia. ESI analyst Nigar Goksel set up and joined meetings with the second biggest Turkish investor in Georgia, Mehmet Habbab (Delta Petrol and Transteknik Holding), the staff of DEIK (the Foreign Economic Relations Board), and analysts such as Sinan Ulgen of EDAM, an expert on the EU-Turkey customs union and obstacles to trade.
The following themes were covered in discussions: Turkey's policy of lifting visa requirements and signing free trade agreements with neighbouring countries; Turkish perspectives on doing business in Georgia since the Rose Revolution; the activities of Georgian entrepreneurs in Turkey; the logic of quotas and exemptions; and the possible effects of an EU-Georgia free trade agreement. Nigar also surveyed the literature collected by EI-LAT. She plans to speak about the Turkish perspective at a conference launching the research project in Georgia in mid December.