Minister Rossen Jeliazkov and Georgian Prime Minister discussed the transport and digital connectivity development across the Black Sea

Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Rossen Jeliazkov and the Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia discussed the transport and digital connectivity development across the Black Sea. The meeting was held within the Silk Road Forum - 21-23 October 2019 in Tbilisi, Georgia.

The transport minister emphasized that the optical connection, which was constructed from Balchik to Batumi was the important topic of the conversation. It gives connectivity from the UK to Southeast and Central Asia and is extremely important. "At this stage, the line’s capacity is 12,6 terabytes per second with a very low delay, due to the peculiarities of the placement of the cable along the bottom of the Black Sea. There has been no disconnection in the last 9 years, and given the increase in data traffic, this type of infrastructure will increasingly need to be deployed. I am sure that this digital connectivity is as important as the transport connectivity,” said Rossen Jeliazkov.

Internet connectivity between Europe, the Middle East and Asia is at the heart of the global digital economy and in this regard has a high profile in business. "I expect the laying of optical fiber cables under the Black Sea to attract more investor interest in the coming years," added Minister Jeliazkov. He noted that the new Connecting Europe Facility 2 plans to finance underwater cables between EU Member States and third countries.

Another major focus in the talks between Rossen Jeliazkov and the Georgian Prime Minister was the traffic increase in the ferry between the two countries. "The line to Georgia is 100% loaded and only 30% to Bulgaria, so we talked about launching another ferry on the same line. We had the assurance from the hosts that this issue will be discussed soon. "We also talked about the increasing intensity of the Burgas-Poti-Batumi ferry line, as regarding this issue there will be talks with the Ukrainian side" commented Rossen Jeliazkov.

Bulgarian Transport Minister also had a meeting with the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Natia Turnava, on which the need to enhance co-operation between the two countries by promoting pilot projects to support the transport corridors development, rail transport and low-carbon smart mobility was discussed.