Belt and Road Initiative: Implications for Georgia

In the modern world, major economic initiatives possess the potential to have effects similar to those of major empires’ expansionist policies that reshaped the fate of many regions and nations. Despite always finding themselves on the fringes of those empires, relatively shielded from the largest waves, countries of the South Caucasus (SC) were still affected significantly. China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI) has the potential to turn into a fate-altering development for the SC region. Key regional powers already have a long-lasting history of dealing with the countries and nations of the SC. This article will examine China’s engagement in the SC region as a newcomer and, in this context, the determination of the SC countries to become an integral part of the BRI. The article argues that these initiatives will create a sense of engagement with the global economy for the SC Region, attract an influx of new sources of investment, and create more jobs that are not related to traditional economic sectors of the economies of the respective countries. If effectively managed, European and Chinese initiatives can balance out other regional actors' economic and political interests within the region.

Authors: Temuri Yakobashvili