Georgia welcomes first cargo train from China

Tbilisi, Dec 14 (IANS) The first container cargo train from China’s Lianyungang city en route to Turkey’s Istanbul on Sunday arrived here.

“This is a really historic day,” Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said at a welcoming ceremony here, 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.

Garibashvili, who visited China in September, said Tbilisi has significantly intensified its cooperation with Beijing over the past two years and emphasised on the importance of further strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the Georgian economy ministry, the 21-container train with consumer electronics departed from China’s port city of Lianyungang on November 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 ministry.

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