It is my great pleasure to welcome all of you to the 4th Tbilisi Silk Road Forum “Connecting Today, Resilient Tomorrow” which will take place in Tbilisi on October 26 -27, 2023. This important event will gather up to 2000 delegates, high-ranking officials, as well as business representatives from over 60 countries.
I am truly delighted to renew this very important biennial global Forum in Georgia for the first time after the global pandemic has raged around the world. It is no coincidence that this year’s forum focuses on the importance of economic, political, social and cultural connectedness for providing a resilient future. Global challenges in a fast-paced, changing environment require consolidated efforts of global leaders with a clear vision for creating a sustainable and resilient future. The theme of the forum resonates well with the historic nature of the Silk Road, which has in many ways shaped today’s global political and economic architecture. Ancient trade routes running from Asia to Europe were the main arteries of transport and communication for merchants and travelers. It was through these very trade routes, both maritime and overland that traders conveyed basic goods and commodities from Asia to the West and provided the venue for cultural influences to the distant corners of the world. Long-distance trade passing through the regions of Central Asia and Eurasia paved the way for the exchange of ideas and innovation ultimately leading to modern-day globalization.
Georgia with its geostrategic location has always played a pivotal role in the development of the Silk Road, providing alternative safe routes for the flow of wealth from one continent to another. In light of current geopolitical developments Georgia’s historic role as a regional actor and a connector of the East with the West has become even more important and so has our government’s commitment to develop our country into a regional hub, bringing more prosperity to our citizens and contributing to the global growth.
In the era of rapid advancement of communication and technology, infrastructural development for ensuring cheaper and shortest transport has become one of our top priorities. By upgrading Georgia’s roads, railways, sea ports and airports, as well as through developing new transportation and tourism infrastructure, boosting investments in energy projects, we actively contribute to bringing the concept of Silk Road into reality.
This year, Silk Road Forum’s primary objective will be promoting cooperation for elevating the connectedness of the region and beyond. With resilient economy and intensive trade relations in the region, as well as improved infrastructure and increased connectivity to the world, Georgia will offer greater opportunities for our partners both in Asia and Europe to reach out to the regional actors.
The upcoming Tbilisi Silk Road Forum will provide a unique chance for all participants to discuss a wide range of issues and explore new horizons for deeper cooperation. The first day of the Forum will focus on the following topics:
- Increasing role of the Middle Corridor;
- New architecture of the East-West Trade;
- Digital connectivity;
- Diversification in the energy sector;
- Tourism sustainability;
- Diversified investments for a resilient future.
The second day will be devoted to the Investment Forum, which will offer companies opportunities to network and establish partnerships within regional and international investment projects.
I hope that this important event will be helpful and engaging for the participants, contributing positively to our common goals and aspirations. Let me wish all of you a pleasant stay in Georgia and success as we embark on a journey for a resilient tomorrow for our future generations!