Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia participated in a Panel Discussion on Eurasia Middle Corridor: From Pathway to Highway, held within the scope of 2023 World Economic Forum in Davos.
“The war in Ukraine. It is catastrophic for the entire region. Of course, it affects us as well. I think this war has shown us that countries and nations need to diversify their economies. I think before the war less countries paid less attention to the Middle Corridor, but after the war the attention is growing. It is increasing. We have an excellent relationship with Azerbaijan, with Kazakhstan; with Turkey we have a strategic partnership. And, I think, the chemistry is here and we have a strong foundation to work together,” stated Garibashvili.
As the Head of Government of Georgia noted that the country is investing heavily in its infrastructure.
“We in Georgia are investing heavily in infrastructure right now. First of all, I want to mention that we are building highways, which will be completed by the end of 2024. We are spending 2 or 3 BLN USD to complete this highway. Of course, this will facilitate transportation.
“Secondly, the port capacity of the Black Sea of Georgia is quite big, but we need to increase it. Therefore, I want to mention the Anaklia Deep Sea Port. We have decided that the Government of Georgia will start the construction of this port. 51% of this port or consortium we want to build will be owned by Georgia – by the Government of Georgia. The rest – 49% – will be put on an international tender. We are talking with many potential investors about this. Now, why are we doing this? Why do we want to build this port? President Aliyev mentioned about the increase of capacity of Azerbaijani ports. I think Kazakhstan has the same intention. So, Georgia now has a capacity of about 550 000 TU in Poti Port, around 200 000 in Batumi Port. This is not enough. So, that is why we want to implement this project” added the Prime Minister.
The Head of Government of Georgia focused on the Black Sea Submarine Electricity Cable, as an ambitious project, thereby referring to it as a very interesting initiative.
“Thirdly, I want to mention that we are together with Azerbaijan in developing different initiatives. For example, I want to mention the Black Sea Submarine Electric Cable, which is also very interesting. We are doing this together with Azerbaijan, Romania and Hungary. This initiative is backed by the European Union. In fact, we were in Bucharest in September, where we signed a Memorandum. All 4 countries will implement and invest in this – I would say – ambitious project. But this is very interesting. And, therefore, we must be ready for the increased flow of goods. I also want to mention that this corridor and this route is the shortest to connect Asia with Europe. For example, trains from China can come to Georgia within 15 days, maximum 20 days. Compared to transportation by sea, it takes 45 days, right? So, therefore, this is a very interesting, very important corridor. Of course, all these countries are definitely motivated and determined to develop this corridor,” noted Garibashvili.