Georgia sets sights on becoming regional logistics hub

Georgia’s Economy Minister at the World Economic Forum in Tianjin, China on September 11, 2014. Photo by, 12 Sep 2014 - 13:23, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Kvirikashvili has told the World Economic Forum in China, that his country has its sights set on becoming a logistics hub in South Caucasus and Central Asia.

He also called on international leaders to strengthen cooperation at regional level and open their eyes to big opportunities despite challenges in the South Caucasus and Central Asia regions.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin on Thursday, at the "Scenarios for the South Caucasus & Central Asia” session, Kvirikashvili said "economic obstacles” that impeded the realisation of the region’s potential had to decrease.

"The region and particularly Georgia has significant untapped potential and successful development depends on close cooperation,” Kvirikashvili said.

"Since Georgia signed the Association and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreements with the European Union the potential of the country to become the hub of transportation, trade and logistics on the region, has increased.”

The Economy Minister believed Georgia’s new investment environment made the country more attractive for potential foreign investors.

He also spoke about the benefits Chinese businessmen would see if they invested in Georgia’s transport and industry sectors.

China's Premier pledges to strengthen economic ties with Georgia

In the framework of the 2014 Summer Davos Forum, Kvirikashvili met the Premier of China, Li Keqiang.

The meeting focused on Georgia-China relations, particularly strengthening trade cooperation and cooperation in the tourism sector.

"China's Premier expressed greatest interest to further develop a partnership cooperation with Georgia. Georgia has to use this opportunity as I believe China’s investments could surge Georgia’s economic potential,” Kvirikashvili said.

In 2013 China’s total direct investment in Georgia’s economy reached $89.9 million USD out of the total $941.9 million USD which was invested in the country, ranking China third of the top ten investor countries.

In 2012, China ranked in ninth position, with $36.1 million USD in foreign direct investments in Georgia.

Meanwhile China was Georgia’s fifth largest trading partner last year with a total turnover of $597.5 million USD.