The Serbian and Georgian diaspora have an important role and great potential for the economic progress of their home countries, it was pointed out at today's meeting of the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region Milimir Vujadinovic with the Chairman of the Georgian Parliament’s Diaspora and Caucasus Issues Committee Beka Odisharia and Committee Deputy Chairman Nodar Turdzeladze.
The officials exchanged experiences in the work of their committees, with special reference to potential joint activities, with which, as parliamentarians, they could contribute to the improvement of relations between Serbia and Georgia.
The Deputy Chairman of the Committee on the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region Milimir Vujadinovic informed the guest about the scope of the Committee's work, as well as the fact that over 50% of the Serbian people live outside their homeland, part of which is a diaspora and part people who live in the region autochthonously and cannot be considered a diaspora in the true sense of the word. He opined that they all represent a great potential for Serbia, while on its part Serbia is doing everything to preserve their connection with the motherland. Vujadinovic also said that peace and stability are extremely important for Serbia, thanking Georgia for its principled position when it comes to respect for international law and the issue of our southern province of Kosovo-Metohija, as well as for the support that Georgia provides to Serbia in international organisations.
The Chairman of the Georgian Parliament’s Diaspora and Caucasus Issues Committee Beka Odisharia informed Vujadinovic in detail about the scope of work of the committee he heads, as well as the activities that animate the large Georgian diaspora, especially the youth, for cooperation with the motherland and preservation of national identity. He pointed out that, in addition to numerous similarities, such as the same Orthodox faith, Georgia and Serbia are also linked by the fact that they have a large diaspora in the world. The political and economic Georgian diaspora numbers over 1.7 million people, who live both in Europe and the USA, as well as in Iraq and Russia. As a special type of cooperation with the diaspora, he mentioned the project of young ambassadors, which involves the engagement of Georgian youth who represent Georgia in the countries where they live, with a special emphasis on the preservation of cultural heritage. Following the Irish model, Georgia is also trying to attract foreign companies to invest in Georgia through its diaspora and is in cooperation with donor organisations creating the so-called road map for the diaspora, according to which the issue of circular migration is actively resolved with the countries where Georgians live illegally, Odisharia said.
The officials pointed out that both Serbia and Georgia are working to preserve peace and stability both in their countries and in their surroundings, which contributes to the economic growth of both countries, as well as to their progress in the European integration process.
They also discussed the situation in Ukraine, geo-political position of both countries, improvement of economic cooperation and trade exchange, European integration, as well as the Open Balkans initiative, which can serve as a good example of regional cooperation for Georgia.