Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday told Tbilisi Silk Road Forum that the international event that has brought together more than 2,000 delegates from 63 foreign states to discuss trade and connectivity in the Georgian capital was an “important opportunity” to promote the country’s progress in recent years.
Noting Tbilisi was hosting the fourth edition of the Forum, the PM pointed out the historical Silk Road route had ensured a “vital connection” between Europe and Asia, and added his country’s connection with it was “undeniable”.
The significance of the Silk Road, both historically and presently, extends far beyond mere trade. Beyond the famed silk, this ancient route facilitated the exchange of porcelain, flourishing of tea culture and a vital connection between Europe and Asia. In doing so, it bridged Western and Eastern cultures, serving as a conduit for the propagation of innovations and knowledge”, Garibashvili said.
The PM noted the route had passed through Georgia before reaching the West, as confirmed by Greek historians and archaeological evidence, such as Chinese porcelain shards unearthed in digs near the central Georgian town of Dmanisi, and a Chinese coin dating back more than 1,200 years discovered in the country’s central city of Mtskheta.
From prehistoric days, Mtskheta – Georgia’s ancient capital – served as a vital logistical nexus along the Silk Road, where the primary routes of the Caucasus converged”, the PM added.
Garibashvili said the Silk Road’s enduring influence on Georgian land was “profound”.
It stimulated the growth of crafts, trade and urban life within Georgia while nurturing cultural and political ties with the broader world of its era. In this convergence, the cultures, religions, customs and traditions of the East and the West united in the place we proudly call Georgia”, he said.
Garibashvili highlighted he had “conceptualised the significance” of the route and the “importance of collaborative efforts required to harness its potential” at a United Nations Assembly session nine years ago, leading to the establishment of the Forum in 2015 through his initiative.
He stressed his country had been “steadily building upon this legacy” since then, and added “today there is no doubt that Georgia has become an integral part of East-West exchanges”.
Source : Agenda