Vladimer PAPAVA, Vakhtang CHARAIA


Vladimer Papava, D.Sc. (Econ.), Professor, Rector of the Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (Tbilisi, Georgia).

Vakhtang Charaia, Doctorate Candidate at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (Tbilisi, Georgia).


REGIONAL RAILWAYS IN THE CENTRAL CAUCASUS AND GEORGIAS ECONOMIC INTERESTS

ABSTRACT

This article examines two regional railway projects, one of whichKars-Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi-Baku (KATB)is already reaching completion and the secondrestoration of the Abkhazian Section of the Trans-Caucasian Railway (ASTCR)is still being discussed at the political level.

The article also looks at such important aspects of both projects as construction or restoration cost, financial and freight turnover, profitability, direct and indirect economic benefits, and social effects. It also gives recommendations for improving these regional railway transportation projects.

Keywords: railway, regional cooperation, the Central Caucasus, conflict resolution, investments, transport corridors, KATB, ASTCR.

Introduction

The Georgian economy has undergone enormous changes during the twenty years of its independence. Since the beginning of the 1990s, railway routes in the Central Caucasus have, for many, primarily political, reasons, been essentially disrupted. The conflicts that erupted at the beginning of the 1990s and continue to this day have remained an insurmountable obstacle to social and economic integration and the development of certain countries and the region as a whole.

The prospects for restoring transport routes in the Central Caucasus are being examined not only from the commercial and social and economic angle, but primarily in the security context.

The geopolitical reality that has developed today in the Central Caucasus offers certain advantages for Georgia. In particular, the other two Central Caucasian countries (Armenia and Azerbaijan) only have access to.


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