Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia opened the two-day, biennial Tbilisi Silk Road Forum in the Georgian capital city of Tbilisi today. In his opening remarks PM Gakharia emphasized that thanks to its strategic location between Europe and Asia, “Georgia has a huge potential to become a hub, and reassume its important historical role as a facilitator of trade between the East and the West.”
“We consider and perceive Georgia as a gate to access not only the Caucasus, but Central Asia, Europe as well as the larger Western and Eastern markets,” Gakharia stated. In this context, the Georgian Prime Minister underlined the fact that Georgia benefits from the free trade agreements with the European Union, China, CIS, Turkey and Ukraine, adding that negotiations to seal free trade deals with India and Israel are also currently underway.
PM Gakharia also spoke of how Georgia’s “lesser administrative and logistic barriers as well as transport benefits, help to simplify and harmonize trade procedures, support the strengthening [of multilateral] trade amongst countries.” He then noted that [Georgia] maintains “one of the most liberal” trade policy lines in the world.
Held in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on October 22-23, the third iteration of Tbilisi Silk Road Forum brings together over 2,000 delegates from more than 60 countries around the world. Prime Minister Gakharia noted that the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum is an effective platform for the Chinese belt and road initiative member states, international organizations and private sector representatives to discuss the economic challenges in the region, find solutions, as well as to share [relevant] experiences.
Included in the participants of the forum is The Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia; The Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan; The Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications of Bulgaria; Tajikistan’s First Deputy Minister of Transport; The Turkish Minister of Transport and Infrastructure; Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure; and the Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan.