Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Monday said the long-standing project for the development of a deep sea port in the country’s Black Sea town of Anaklia remained as his Government’s “main and ambitious priority”.
The PM told the China-Georgia Business Forum in Beijing the project aimed to create a “new and faster” maritime corridor between China and Europe by the use of the South Caucasus, as part of efforts in restoring the role of the historic Silk Road trade route.
Garibashvili said the initiative was a “brand-new” project of partnership between public and private sectors for development, construction, operation and transfer of a “high-level” deep-water port, the first of the kind in Georgia, to accommodate PANAMAX type container ships and attract big shipping and transport companies to the country.
He also said the Government’s efforts were reflected in a number of “large-scale” initiatives and projects that Georgia had created or engaged in, including in transportation, infrastructure, energy, trade, tourism, technology and innovation.
The PM told the Forum the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, also known as the Middle Corridor, had recently gained recognition as a “reliable and safe” route for the transportation of goods between Europe and Asia, on the backdrop of the “existing challenges”.
The link consists of two main routes, including Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line linking Azerbaijan with Turkey via Georgia, and involves Black Sea port infrastructure serving marine ties with the European Union.
He also emphasised the Corridor’s potential of taking 20 to 25 days to carry goods, making it “one of the fastest” methods to connect the two regions, and said the efficiency provided access to “vital” European markets.
The Government head referred to the comprehensive guide, signed last year with Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, that involved “tactical steps” to close gaps and expand the Middle Corridor between the years 2022–2027, adding the strategy outlined specific steps for improving the regulatory environment, optimising manufacturing, implementing a single price policy, digitising the corridor, and developing transportation and logistics infrastructure.
Garibashvili said the Government was “greatly invested” in the construction of transport infrastructure to ensure enough capacity for the foreseeable future, playing an “integral part” for the Middle Corridor and a role of a “responsible member” of the international community.
He also noted coordinating transport operations and building modern, international-standard transport infrastructure represented one of his Government’s main priorities, and added it was viewed as a requirement for increased freight traffic through Georgia.