16 October 2015
The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development talked about the importance and the results of the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum. According to Dimitri Kumsishvili, the Forum is very successful and the most interesting panel was the one where the investment opportunities of Georgia were discussed.
The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development also talked about the positive outfits that the Silk Road project will bring to Georgia’s economy.
“The second day of the Tbilisi Silk Road Forum was also successful – we had several discussions, including discussions on investment opportunities of Georgia. The panel was represented by the eight speakers and over 200 interested people attended the discussion.
We discussed important, interesting issues and the capabilities our country has. The Chinese side confirmed once more their intention to continue investing in Georgia and they encourage other investors to enter our market.
At today’s panel, all the speakers highlighted the improved situation in our country in terms of business environment, property rights and copyright protection and the capabilities that our country has. However, I would like to note that all of this should find its reflection on the wellfare of our citizens.
We managed to provide the investors with even more detailed information about our country within this two days. We also delivered this information to the very companies and people who plan to invest in Georgia and create additional jobs.
The participation of local businesspersons in the forum is of outmost importance since it enables them to introduce themselves to the investors in a comfortable environment and attract the investors for further expansion of their business activities. Early this year, in February, we witnessed the first pilot railway transportation through the new transportation corridor. Together with China and Georgia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan were actively involved in this project and I would like to confirm our gratefulness to all of the participants. It took the first train from China 9 days to come to Georgia, while the second trained that arrived on October 15, managed to cover the distance only in 7 days. This is the confirmation of the fact that this corridor is one of the shortest line among the other existing routs.
I want to explain the actual benefits of this fact – imagine that it takes 40 days to deliver your goods for selling at the European markets. You will definitely need a large warehouse for keeping a 40-day supply there.
Now imagine that you can deliver these goods to Europe in 10 days. This completely changes the business model and the volume of investment necessary for ensuring smooth business activity.
There is no doubt that it is very attractive for business since the new and effective transportation corridor allows more timely transportation, while the expenses on supplies are reduced and therefore, business has more sums for its operations. At the same time, it allows to respond to the market demand really fast.
Several Chinese companies expressed their interest regarding the Rikoti tunnel development. I am deeply convinced that the decision-making process will be transparent and any interested candidate will have the opportunity to express the interests. All decisions we make are for the benefit and welfare of our citizens and the prosperity of our country.
We should see very clearly that it will be useful for our country and our population. We have received several expression of interest and the best one will be identified shortly.
When discussing the importance of the Silk Road Project for the Georgian economy, I would like to mention the statement made by Simeon Jankovich yesterday, who predicted at least additional 2% GDP growth upon the implementation of the project.
Jankovich is a person with a great experience, who has worked for ages at the World Bank and is one of the creators of the Ease of Doing Business Index and currently he delivers lectures at the London School of Economics. According to him, we will receive an additional increase of the GDP by 2%, which means an extra 600 million annually. It means that we will create over ten thousand jobs every year,” – The Minister stated.