The Prime Minister of Montenegro, Dritan Abazović, highlighted the importance of peace for achieving progress in initiatives related to the Silk Road when addressing the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum.
In his remarks at the opening of the forum, the PM noted that Montenegro, like Georgia, tries to play role of bridge to bring neighbors together.
“Dear ministers, dear ambassadors, excellencies, and participants of this great forum, let me begin by congratulating the government of Georgia and our friend Irakli Garibashvili for organizing this great event and for the very warm hospitality in Georgia. I’m coming from Montenegro and look to my country as similar in many aspects to Georgia.
Today in a globalized world, it’s not important how big is one country. It’s important how big is idea we have and, which can be promoted and which we can accept. And in that way, it’s very important to talk about access. It’s very important to talk about the roads, about the airports, about the ports.
The most important thing to make the reconciliation, it’s access to the people. Easy moving of humans on people and goods. And in that sense, every initiative, Silk Road, everything, what we heard today from our colleagues and what we heard during this forum, will be crucially important for the future and the peace. But without peace, there is no possibility to make progress.
Today we are facing big global challenges. We have the problem, big problem in our country because of the war between Russia and Ukraine.
We need to talk, sit together, and in dialogue to find a solution. Violence, it’s not acceptable like a tool for coming to political goals. This is the primitive way of thinking. Violence, it’s not a tool. Killing all the people, making a problem, destroying the infrastructure, and houses, it’s not a tool.
The tool is to use diplomacy, to sit together, to use our friends, to share good energy, find a solution. Maybe to spend more time, but to have better results. And in that sense, we just want to say that our country, also in the role of the Western Balkans, with very clear foreign policy and with very clear goal, which is to become the first new member of the European Union in that sense, support the political aspiration of another countries for joining EU, especially Georgia and another countries, of course. And we think that the open door policy should be like a principle. Countries should decide what kind of organization want to join and in which club want to participate, but not to make the problems to another.
These are the key principles in the context of the economy, the prediction of the international monetary fund, Montenegro, in the year 2023 will have a growth of 4. 9%, which is the best result in Europe. Better than Germany, better than France, better than Italy, better than any country in Europe. It will be hard to keep that also in the next years, but we think in a way to talk less about the past and to talk more about the future.
I think that we will have success. We need to move the focus for the some big political topics, which was very famous also in the region of Western Balkan to some another topics, which are extremely important for a globalized world, we need to invest in digitalization to use new technologies, including artificial intelligence, to make our system more productive to have administration, which will be more effective, to kill the barriers for the business, and to make the decision process much more effective. If we come to this, I am more than sure that we will have a very big success.
Big success, we wish to all other countries. I wish also one more time to congratulate the government of Georgia. We’re looking on Georgia like a good example. I follow them very closely in what they do in tourism. They are very good and have very good marketing, but also to say that this is the way how we can fix the problem.
We should sit together and I am really glad to hear from the Prime Minister of Armenia and Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, how openly talking about the project of infrastructure, which we want to build together. Roads are for connecting people and investment, it’s not important are they coming from China, are they coming from Japan, from Saudi Arabia or from somewhere else?
Importance is at the end of the day to have the projects, to realize the projects because, at the end of the day, people all around will use those ports or airports or this way to connect each other and maybe to bring more stability and peace everywhere,” he stated.
Tbilisi hosts the Silk Road Forum for the fourth time, featuring more than 2,000 delegates and guests from 60 countries. The event includes ten thematic panel sessions and parallel discussions on crucial trade, economic, and connectivity topics.