Georgia secures more investment from China

By ZHONG NAN | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-17 07:55

Georgia secures more investment from China

Dimitry Kumsishvili, first deputy prime minister of Georgia PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Georgia will see more Chinese investment in its power, financial services, railways and port construction sectors this year, said Dimitry Kumsishvili, the country's first deputy prime minister.

"The opportunities come from growing demand for infrastructure projects, trade and investment channels, tourism activities and financial cooperation brought by the development of the Belt and Road Initiative," said Kumsishvili.

He said the investment will focus on sustainable development in urbanization and industrialization and in the service and communication sectors. It is also about connecting cultures, economies and people. It will add new growth factors by creating infrastructure projects that are based on modern expertise and governance standards.

Located at the crossroads of the Middle East and Eastern Europe, Georgia is seen as one of the most important traffic and logistics hubs in Europe.

The country plans to invest between $7.5 billion and $10 billion to upgrade the East-West highway and the country's freight train network, and build the Anaklia deep sea port mainly for bulk vessels, with an annual handling capacity of 100 million metric tons of cargo.

The Georgian government signed a memorandum of understanding with the Shanghai-based CEFC China Energy Co on Sunday, and the Chinese company plans to set up a commercial bank in the country.

The equity of the bank will be $300 million in the first phase and eventually reach $1 billion to support the country's services, infrastructure, transportation and power project development.

CEFC China acquired a 50 percent share in J&T Finance Group, the second-largest financial group by revenue in the Czech Republic, in March 2016, becoming the first Chinese private company to control a European bank.

Kumsishvili said Chinese companies, including Dongfang Electric Corp and China Tianchen Engineering Corp, are in the process of building a coal-fired power plant and a gas-operated power plant in Georgia.

Kumsishvili hoped more Georgian goods such as wine and agricultural products will be shipped to China through the international railway with a zero tariff rate next year, thanks to the newly signed China-Georgia Free Trade Agreement.

Feng Yaoxiang, spokesman for the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, said the FTA can further facilitate cooperation in sectors including infrastructure, agriculture, aviation, and railways.

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