Belt and Road Initiative: Implications for Georgia and China-georgia Economic Relations

China International Studies (English) - - News - Vakhtang Charaia & Vladimer Papava

Georgia’s economic relations with China have been especially activated in the past couple of years. This includes both direct trade relations between the two countries as well as Chinese direct investment in the Georgian economy.1

China’s interest to expand its international economic outreach is quite clear and that includes Georgia as well. This naturally begs the question about why China is interested in developing economic cooperation with a geographically remote Georgia.

Belt and Road Initiative in the Context of Georgia

Answering this question is not at all difficult based upon new global projects put forward by Beijing, including the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, both of which together create the Belt and Road Initiative.2 It is certainly noteworthy that this global initiative includes the Asia-pacific, Europe, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, West Asia and Africa. Vakhtang Charaia is Associate Professor at the Business and Technology University in Tbilisi, Georgia; Vladimer Papava is Senior Fellow at the Rondeli Foundation–georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, and Professor at the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University in Georgia.

1 Joseph Larsen, “Georgia-china Relations: The Geopolitics of the Belt and Road,” Georgian Institute of Politics, Policy Paper, October 2017, pp. 5-10, http://gip.ge/georgia-china-relations-geopolitics-belt-road; Mariam Zabakhidze, Giorgi Bakradze & Batu Kutelia, “Georgia and China: ‘Carry Away Small Stones to Move a Big Mountain’,” Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC), Issue #6, January 2017, pp. 13-16, https://www.eprc.ge/admin/editor/uploads/files/china_a5_web2.pdf.

2 Su Ge, “The Belt and Road Initiative in Global Perspectives,” China International Studies, March/april 2016, pp. 5-27. No. 57,

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