Georgia ready to perform as a regional data exchange hub - economy minister

The Georgian capital of Tbilisi on Wednesday hosted the international digital connectivity summit for the first time. Photo: ministry of economy press office, 14 Sep 2022 - 14:22, Tbilisi,Georgia

Levan Davitashvili, the Georgian minister of economy and sustainable development, on Wednesday said the country was “ready to perform” as a regional data exchange hub. 

Addressing the international digital connectivity summit hosted in Tbilisi for the first time, the minister said participants from Europe, Central Asia, South Caucasus and China had discussed Georgia’s prospects for setting up digital connections and data centres.

Pointing to the country’s “favourable geographical location” - in particular as an alternative for logistics and networks on the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine - Davitashvili stressed it could serve as a “reliable and shortest connectivity corridor” between Europe and Asia. 

The summit has also discussed the Black Sea submarine connection [project], which will allow Georgia to directly connect Europe and Asia in terms of data exchange and lead to establishment of data centres in the country”, said the minister. 

Stressing the presence of “all necessary factors”, from compliance of the country’s relevant laws with the European Union legislation and credibility of Georgia in development of the digital economy, Davitashvili said becoming a regional data exchange hub would allow Georgia to attract large investments.

Companies entering Georgia are likely to include Amazon, Google, Apple and many others, and data centres will be organised here with data exchange between the neighbouring countries of the region taking place”, he noted.

Georgia also has prospects to serve as a node establishing internet connection between various Asian countries and Europe via the shortest route", said the minister. 

Speeding up the digital transformation is related to the development of all sectors in the country, the official also mentioned, adding it was expected to increase the competitiveness of the country’s economy in general.

The ongoing summit in Tbilisi has been organised by the ministry of economy and sustainable development, the country’s communications commission and the World Bank, and is focused around the development of interregional digital corridors.

The summit is expected to close with the adoption of a joint declaration.