Georgia has become a major hub for China’s Silk Road plans, despite being left out entirely in the early stages.
By Revaz Topuria
THE DIPLOMAT - April 28, 2016
Better later than never? For Georgia, the answer is a resounding yes.
Back in 2013 when Chinese President Xi Jinping announced his
ambitious Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road projects (also
called One Belt, One Road or OBOR), Georgia was not even mentioned. That
wasn’t surprising; Georgia was not a part of main route on the ancient
Silk Road, so neither was it included in Xi’s new route. But things have
Right now Sino-Georgian relations are at their peak. The two
countries are negotiating a free trade agreement and both sides admit
Georgia has a key role to play in the New Silk Road project as a hub
between Asia and Europe. “There is no country in the region that is more
open to Chinese business and investment, Chinese people and culture or
Chinese innovation and ideas than Georgia,” then prime minister Irakli
Garibashvili said in a speech at Peking University in September 2015. In an op-ed for China Daily, he added
that “Georgia is Europe’s natural gateway to Asia, as it is Europe’s
eastern most point both by land and sea.” Right now, Georgia is
attracting China and plans to transform itself into a logistics and
transportation hub to connect Asia and Europe.