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Silk Road Brings Enormous Opportunities, but There are Certain Prerequisites To Leverage Existing Potential

The impact of political and infrastructural investments under the New Silk Road on economic growth and harmonization between Europe and Asia was the issue discussed today at the Silk Road Effect Session of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Prime Minister of Georgia addressed the participants of the session.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili emphasized the importance of Georgia’s engagement in the One Belt-One Road project initiative by the President of China. The project, according to the Prime Minister, is a great opportunity for ensuring development in its participant states.

“It is a network of different alternatives, and each of them is important to growth healthy and have healthy economy in Eurasia. This is about competition and cooperation at the same time. It is more about cooperation, however. As mentioned by President Aliyev, the Silk Road brings enormous opportunities, but there are certain prerequisites in order to get the most of it in order to leverage on the existing potential. First of all, it is, of course, infrastructure. Second is stability across countries. This is about cooperation, cross-border procedures, and unification of tariff systems. Of course, this is about political cooperation and has multifold dimensions,” the Prime Minister stated.

According to the Prime Minister, Georgia has already signed cooperation agreements with its partner states. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad project is nearing completion, being an important part of the Silk Road going through Georgia to Azerbaijan and Turkey.

In his speech, Giorgi Kvirikashvili emphasized the importance of the Anaklia Deep Sea Port project.

“We are launching the construction of one of the largest ports on the Black Sea, which is the Anaklia Seaport. We already have a winning consortium, a Georgian-American consortium, and they are looking for port operators in the region. We are modernizing our railway, increasing the speed of our railway. We are investing a lot in the road infrastructure. Of course, we are cooperating with other countries across the Silk Road. We already signed a cooperation agreement with China. We have completed free trade negotiations with China, and we will sign the free trade agreement in the nearest future. In a nutshell, the Silk Road is about borderless cooperation. It is very important to mention that this economy is not only about transportation. This is about manufacturing cooperation and logistics,” the Prime Minister said.

The session, which was dedicated to the opportunities offered by the New Silk Road, was attended by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj.

As usual, the Davos Forum hosts heads of states and governments, global business leaders, scientists, economists, and political scientists. The slogan of this year’s forum is Responsible Leadership. Global political leaders and almost 1,000 large companies and organizations are participating in the forum. The Georgian delegation led by Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili consists of Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Gakharia, Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze, and Head of Georgia’s Co-Investment Fund Giorgi Bachiashvili.