“Historically located at vital crossroads, Georgia links the economies and cultures of the East and the West,” Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said at the Belt and Road Forum today.
The two-day Tbilisi Belt and Road Forum, second iteration of the Silk Road Forum hosted by Tbilisi in 2015, gathers senior politicians and businesspeople from 37 nations around the world and representatives of a number of international organizations.
“Being able to make its modest contribution to ensuring deeper and more reliable ties between continents is something that Georgia regards as a great opportunity and honor,” Kvirikashvili told the attendees.
He also said the Georgian government would “spare no effort to give, in cooperation with its international partners, fresh impetus to the diversification of transport routes along the Silk Road, while raising the effectiveness of these routes, and also stepping up the implementation of projects designed to boost stronger economic and civilizational ties between Europe and Asia.”
Listing Georgia’s advantages as a trade route, Kvirikashvili stressed the country was “an open economy ranking 8th and 9th in the world in economic freedom and ease of doing business, respectively.”
He also said: “We have one of the most liberal trade regimes in the world, and we enjoy free trade with all of our neighbors, the EU, the EFTA, Eastern European and Central Asian states, and China.” “We are also exploring similar opportunities with India.”
The Georgian Prime Minister noted that the country was ready “to make its contribution to the development of the so-called Middle Corridor of the New Silk Road,” reminding the audience of the launch of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars rail route and of other investments, including the highway network development in the country and the Anaklia Deep-Sea Port project.