A China-Europe freight train laden with goods departs from Yiwu west station in Yiwu, east China's Zhejiang Province, Nov. 8, 2017. (Xinhua/Xu Yu)
TBILISI, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Tbilisi Belt & Road Forum 2017 kicked off here Tuesday, with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili stressing the forum aims to explore opportunities stemming from the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
"The revival of the Great Silk Road, encapsulated in the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by the President of the People's Republic of China, rests upon five fundamental principles: peace, prosperity, openness, innovation, and exchange of civilizations," Kvirikashvili said in a welcome speech delivered at the two-day event.
He highlighted Georgia's strategic location on the crossroads of the East and the West and the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative.
He noted that Georgia will spare no effort to give, in cooperation with its partners, fresh impetus to the diversification of transport routes along the Silk Road and raise the effectiveness of these routes, while stepping up the implementation of related projects to boost economic and civilization ties between Europe and Asia.
Chinese Deputy Commerce Minister Qian Keming said in his keynote speech at the forum that the Belt and Road Initiative had moved to a new phase and opened new perspectives for the future of the world.
A series of agreements were signed on the sideline of the forum attended by around 2,000 participants from all over the world, including a memorandum of understanding on developing economic zones and entrepreneurial capacity between China and Georgia.
According to the Georgian government, Tbilisi Belt & Road Forum aims to establish a platform for high-level meetings where regional partners get together to explore opportunities, align visions and enhance bilateral partnerships in four main areas of cooperation: transport, energy, trade and business-to-business contacts.