Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Natia Turnava has met with Asset Asavbaev, the new Secretary-General of Europe - Caucasus - Asia Transport Corridor Program (TRACECA). The program focuses on the development of the East-West Transport Corridor, which originates in Europe and extends through the South Caucasus to Central Asia. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Minister Akaki Sagirashvili.
Natia Turnava met with Traceca’s new Secretary-General
By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Tuesday, February 25
At the meeting, the sides discussed Georgia's participation in the TRACECA program and prospects for future cooperation.
Natia Turnava informed Traceca’s new Secretary-General about Georgia's economic trends, ongoing and planned economic reforms, as well as decisions taken by the Georgian authorities to increase Georgia's transport-logistics capacity.
The minister paid attention to major infrastructure projects such as modernization of the Georgian Railway, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway, East-West Expressway, as well as projects aimed at enhancing port capacity. According to Turnava, after the completion of these projects, Georgia's transport infrastructure will significantly increase its capacity, as well as increase the safety of transportation.
The meeting also tackled the increased rate of container shipments. Specifically, in 2019, Georgia's ports served a record container rate of 647,816 TEU, which is a 42 percent increase after 2018. However, the number of containers shipped by the Georgian Railways has also increased by 39 percent compared to the previous year.
At the meeting, particular attention was paid to the digitization project of the transport corridor passing through the territory of Georgia, which is one of the priorities of the Government of Georgia. According to Turnava, the project will significantly increase the competitiveness and attractiveness of the corridor, which will connect China and Europe through Central Asia and the Caucasus. The parties agreed to deepen cooperation in the development of the corridor.
TRACECA is an international transport programme involving the European Union and 12 member States of the Eastern European, Caucasian and Central Asian region. The programme aims to strengthen economic relations, trade and transport in the regions of the Black Sea basin, South Caucasus and Central Asia.
TRACECA was established in May 1993 in Brussels, upon the signing of a Multilateral Agreement on International Transport for the development of transport initiatives between the EU member states, the Caucasus and Central Asian countries.