More than a hundred international and regional leaders have convened in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi to explore key issues, opportunities and challenges facing the Greater Central Asia region.
Tbilisi is hosting a three-day event - the 2016 CAMCA (Central Asia-Mongolia-Caucasus-Afghanistan) Regional Forum - organised by the Rumsfeld Foundation together with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins University.
The event opened yesterday with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili delivering a speech this morning.
Photo by the PM's press office.
Kvirikashvili stressed the importance for Tbilisi to host such an important regional event and thanked the organisers for choosing Georgia as the host country.
He also talked about Georgia’s democratic and economic development and stressed Georgia was one of the easiest countries in which to do business, according to the World Bank.
The PM named several projects that Georgia was involved in, which he believed would transform Georgia into a hub linking East and West, North and South. The projects he mentioned were:
- Development of Anaklia Port in western Georgia, aiming to promote transport and logistics;
- Construction of two tunnels in Georgia’s eastern and western areas to increase the speed of Georgia’s railway connection by 50 percent;
- Developing of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project to connect Turkey with the European Union via Georgia and Azerbaijan.
- Construction of the West-East Highway across Georgia with assistance from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
Kvirikashvili also talked about increasing economic relations with China. He noted economic analysis showed exports of Georgian goods to China would increase 10 percent every year looking ahead.
Watch the PM’s full speech below.
Before speaking at the Forum, Kvirikashvili met with the former Secretary of Defense of the United States (US), President of Rumsfeld Foundation Donald Rumsfeld.
The Georgian leader thanked Rumsfeld for his continuous support for Georgia and said the Georgian Government greatly appreciated his efforts.
PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili and former Secretary of Defence of the United States, President of Rumsfeld Foundation Donald Rumsfeld. Photo by the PM's press office.
The CAMCA Regional Forum is a non-political and non-partisan entity established to promote region-wide discussions on means of advancing economic growth and development in Greater Central Asia (Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan).
It promotes this goal by fostering dialogue and interaction among rising young leaders from various sectors in the 10 countries of the region, as well as with international leaders and stakeholders.
The CAMCA Tbilisi event involved more than 150 delegates from 18 countries.