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Silk Road Forum brings benefits to Georgia

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, October 19
Dongfang Electric, a leading Chinese corporation, will finance construction of a coal-fired thermal power plant in Tkibuli.

The deal was made between Dongfang Electric and Georgian International Electric Corporation in the framework of the Silk Road Forum, held in Tbilisi on October 15-16.

The 150 MW Tkibuli TPP will be fully financed by Dongfang Electric, while the project will be implemented by the Georgian Industrial Group. The total cost of the project is USD 200 million.

The details of the deal were first discussed in September, when the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, was on his working visit to China.

Moreover, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending Georgia EUR 100 million to finance wastewater collection and treatment infrastructure in the country’s second largest city of Kutaisi.

The loan will be used to fund the rehabilitation and extension of the municipal sewerage system and the construction of a mechanical biological wastewater treatment plant in Kutaisi.

According to the EIB the total project cost, which addresses water supply and wastewater investments in several municipalities in western Georgia, is EUR 280 million, co-financed with EUR 172 million by the Asian Development Bank (ADB); the project also includes grants from the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (EUR 4.75 million) and the Eastern Partnership Technical Assistance Trust Fund (EUR 3.25 million).

Touristic potential and bilateral economic cooperation were discussed at the meeting of Georgian PM and Vice PM of Kyrgyzstan Valery Dil.

In addition, trade and economic relations were strengthened with Slovenia. Georgia’s Economy Minister Dimitri Kumsishvili and Slovenia’s Infrastructure Minister, Peter Gasperic signed an agreement on International Road Transport of Passengers and Cargo.

The prospects for deepening cooperation between Georgia and the United Arab Emirates were discussed at the meeting of the Georgian PM and Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan.

“Georgia has a good location that will help the country play an important role as a regional hub,” said Nahayan and assessed the Forum positively.

Soon after the Forum was opened, Georgia and China signed a deal about exporting Georgian wine and mineral water to the Asian nation. According to the agreement, Georgia will export 1.65 million bottles of wine and three million bottles of mineral water to China.

Among one of the first and major projects to be implemented within the New Silk Road initiative was named as the Anaklia Black Sea Port.

According to the Minister of Economics and Sustainable Development Dimitri Kumsishvili, “a free industrial zone will be set up behind the Anaklia Port, on 600 hectares, that will also create additional workplaces”.

Other projects implemented in Georgia through the efforts of Silk Road Forum participant investors was the Rikoti Pass toll road, the Tbilisi railway bypass and others.

Chinese investors expressed interest in building a new toll road through the Rikoti Pass, connecting the eastern and western parts of Georgia.

The Tbilisi Silk Road Forum was organized in association with the government of the People's Republic of China, by support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). It was attended by nearly 1000 guests from 32 countries.