Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Tuesday said while Central Asian countries agreed on the need to diversify and develop new routes, a “special attention” was paid to the transport corridor involving Georgia, in his highlighting of the importance of port, railway and other infrastructure for realising the country’s role of a regional hub.
In his end-of-year summary of the Government’s work, Garibashvili noted his recent announcement on the search for a new investor for the construction of the Anaklia deep sea port on the Black Sea coast, with the infrastructure set to be 51 percent owned by the state.
He also noted the current limitations of the Poti and Batumi ports, and said the Government did not have “any leverage to make certain regulations in relation to tariffs or anything else”.
As for the railway, we have record-high revenues, with both the amount and volume of the transported freight also at record-high levels. We need to quickly complete the modernisation of the railways", he added.
Confirming 86 percent of the work of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway project had been completed, he said the project would be officially launched in 2024 and facilitate passenger and good transport between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey.
Garibashvili highlighted the task of transforming the country “not only into an energy and transport hub, but also into a digital hub which will connect Europe to Asia” as one of his team’s “main interests”. He said the Rothschild global advisory company had completed its work on the strategy for transforming Georgia into a regional financial hub.
Next year, we will already start the implementation of this strategy and plan, and we will report the results later", Garibashvili said.
The PM also mentioned a new information technology hub would be created in the former Parliament building in the western Georgian city of Kutaisi to promote development of the IT sector in the country.
"The hub will attract and employ young people working in the field of IT. Our Georgian students, young people will be supported in their development", Garibashvili said, adding “tens of millions of dollars" would be invested in the project.