Only hours after the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum started this morning Georgia has already signed its first agreements with regional partners to enhance bilateral partnerships in transport, energy and trade.
This morning Georgia and China signed a deal about exporting Georgian wine and mineral water to the Asian nation. The agreement stated Georgia will export 1.65 million bottles of wine and three million bottles of mineral water to China.
This is only the beginning. Khareba, one of the wine companies, signed an agreement today about exporting wine to China. This is an example of growing cooperation between us. I am pretty sure trade and commerce will promote peaceful cooperation,” said Geotgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.
The PM recalled his visit to China several weeks ago where he found more Chinese investors were interested in Georgia’s investment environment. Garibashvili expressed hope Georgia would utilise its potential as a "multiregional trade gate” that connected Europe, Eastern Asia, India, Central Asia and the Middle East.
Around 1,000 honourable guests from all over the world and ancient Silk Road are attending the inaugural Silk Road Forum. Photo from the PM's press office.
Meanwhile Georgia’s Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri said he was expecting a number of interesting project ideas to be voiced during the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum.
We have already listened to several interesting ideas from different companies who want to exchange their cargo through Georgia. In order to enhance trade facilities and improve Georgia’s abilities to be a transit country we are opening a new border checkpoint this Sunday, which will better connect Turkey and Georgia,” Khaduri said.
The Tbilisi Silk Road Forum, a joint effort by the Georgian and Chinese governments and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), aimed to promote the sharing of ideas, experiences and expertise along the revived Silk Road and beyond.
Government representatives from 30 countries, 20 international financial and donor organisation officials and envoys from about 300 large Chinese companies are in Georgia’s capital to attend the first Silk Road Forum.
Georgia’s Prime Minister said the aim of the Forum was not only to restore Georgia’s strategic importance as a transportation-infrastructural hub of the region but to revive the whole Silk Road route and give benefits to the countries "from Beijing to Brussels”.
One of the biggest historic nonsenses of the recent times is that there is no Silk Road route anymore, especially when global trade is modernising. Today our goal is to improve this failing,” Garibashvili said.
For this purpose Georgia gathered Caucasian, Asian, Chinese, US, European bank representatives to collectively discuss ways of uniting the two continents.