Georgia welcomes first Silk Road cargo train from China

Updated: 2015-12-14 11:23


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TBILISI - The first container cargo train from China's eastern port city of Lianyungang en route to Turkey's Istanbul on Sunday arrived in Georgia's capital of Tbilisi.

"This is a really historic day," Georgia's Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said at a welcoming ceremony in Tbilisi, adding that cooperation of countries along the Silk Road will make it possible to deliver cargo from China to Europe faster and cheaper.

"The Silk Road project will make Georgia a hub linking Europe and Asia, which will allow us make our country much more attractive for investments," said the Prime Minister at the ceremony.

Garibashvili, who visited China in September, said that Tbilisi has significantly intensified its cooperation with Beijing over the past two years and emphasized on the importance of futher strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries.

According to the Georgian Economy Ministry, the 21-container train with consumer electronics departed from China's port city of Lianyungang on Nov 29 toward Kazakhstan, from where it was ferried via Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan and then headed again on rail to Georgia. The cargo will finally be shipped by sea to Istanbul from Georgia.

The total journey will take just 15 days, 25 days shorter compared to the regular sea route, according to the Georgian Economy Ministry.