Georgia is the first country in the South Caucasus to officially meet China’s Silk Road Fund representatives to discuss the $40 billion USD project that’s designed to improve trade, drive investment in infrastructure and boost connectivity across Asia.
A Georgian delegation, led by Economy Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, went to China and met chairman of China’s Silk Road Fund and discussed how the New Silk Road initiative would encourage bilateral trade, attract foreign investments to Georgia and strengthen Georgia-China relations.
Today the Georgian and Chinese sides are expected to sign two documents regarding Georgia-China trade and economic cooperation.
The importance of the New Silk Road project for the Georgian side was mentioned at the meeting. The Chinese side said once the Silk Road project was operational, it would be easier to transfer cargo between the countries and regions that were participating in the project, including Georgia.
At the same time the initiative would strengthen trade-economic relations, attract additional investments, would create new jobs and foster the development of participant countries, the Chinese side said.
The New Silk Road project was initiated by China’s President Xi Jinping last November.
Meanwhile today, Kvirikashvili spoke about the initiative Georgia had and would soon introduce to develop the country into an effective transit corridor between Europe and Asia. One idea discussed was Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili’s idea of establishing the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum.
This plan aimed to revitalise the historic Silk Road and enhance partnerships between neighbouring nations in four spheres of cooperation: transport, energy, trade and people-to-people contacts.
At the same time, Georgia’s Economy Minister talked about the development of Anaklia Port in western Georgia and said this project also aimed to develop the direction of transport-logistics.
Finally, Kvirikashvili positively emphasized the progress made in terms of deepening foreign-economic relations between Georgia and China.