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Cargo from China to Europe will pass through Georgia, bypassing Russia

Thursday, December 3
Georgia will play an important transit role connecting China, Turkey and Europe via a new railway.

Turkey and China - together with Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Georgia - have formed a syndicate to transport cargo from China to Europe, bypassing Russia.

Representatives of large transport logistic operators from Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Lithuania signed a deal cementing the multi-national partnership on November 28, 2015 in Istanbul.

The representatives also attended a presentation of prospects and opportunities of the Transcaspian International transport route China-Turkey-Europe on November 19, which was also held in the Turkish capital.

During the event, the Turkish side expressed its readiness to take part in the development of the Transcaspian route. Results of a subsequent meeting saw agreements be reached regarding the organisation of the first demonstrative train from China to Europe, as well as commissioning of a regular container service along the same route.

Trans Caucasus Terminals LLC, a full subsidiary of JSC Georgian Railway, together with the co-founders of the International Consortium, have begun working and carrying out activities in Georgia and other partner countries involved in the rail route.

“Correspondingly, we already met in China, in Ukraine and now we are together in Istanbul,” said company director Levan Sulaberidze.

He noted the new route would see several thousand cargo containers pass through Georgian territory next year.

“In this way, freight from China will travel towards Turkey in the near future, and from next year freight will pass through Ukraine to northern and eastern Europe. Within this project, Georgia will return again to that big, trade, traditional historical way, which is called as the Silk Road,” Sulaberidze added.

Meanwhile, the head of Turkey’s Soyvgan Group Yalmaz Soikan claimed Georgia would become one of the most important links in the Transcaspian International transport route, which allowed cargo to travel from China to Europe "in the shortest possible time”.

“The opening of a new railway line has created an alternative to sea routes, and at the same time trade between our countries Turkey and Georgia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, China and Europe will develop to the utmost,” Soikan declared. (