After the remarkable success of the first International Maritime Forum 2016, the port town of Batumi will once gain host the high-level international conference - “Georgia International Maritime Forum - #GIMF2018” on 12th-13th September, 2018. The Forum will be held under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Georgia, H.E. Mr. Mamuka Bakhtadze along with the full support of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. The organiser of the event is the Maritime Transport Agency of Georgia.
As the Embassy of Georgia to the United Kingdom, Permanent Representation to the International Maritime Organization (#IMO) was actively engaged in the preparatory process of the event, H.E. Ambassador Tamar Beruchashvili, Permanent Representative of Georgia to the IMO will participated in the GIMF2018.
The event will be attended by a number of high-ranking guests from 53 countries around the world, including the representatives of the government, private sector, industry, shipping and environmental bodies as well as officials from the international organisations, to discuss the critical need of ensuring healthy oceans, development of a sustainable blue economy, the role of major partnerships and international collaborations and, the action required for the attainment of these goals. GIMF2018 will also focus on promotion of Georgia as an emerging maritime country of the Black Sea region, thus, the implementation of the major projects, such as construction of #Anaklia Deep Sea Port and development of small cruise industry on the Black Sea will be also discussed.
Georgia will sign several important bilateral documents within the GIMF2018, including with Germany, Croatia and Ukraine. Namely, the Georgian side will sign the Memoranda of Understanding on mutual recognition of seafarers certificate of competency with the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Croatia; MoU on initiation of negotiations for sharing the Automatic Identification System Information with Ukraine; and finally MoU on promotion of maritime industry amongst women in Georgia with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women.
It is noteworthy that one of the panels of the Forum will be dedicated to the prospects of the newly established partnership between the IMO and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (#EBRD). This is particularly important for Georgia, along with five other target-countries of the MoU signed by the IMO and the EBRD in February this year, which aims to provide experience sharing and technical assistance for safe, secure and environmentally friendly shipping.
On 12th September the participants of the GIMF2018 will be welcomed by the performance of the prominent Georgian pianist Mrs Elisso Bolkvadze, dedicated to the opening of the event, within the Batumi Classical Music Festival, coinciding with the Forum.
The 13th of September, the main day of the GIMF2018 will be entirely dedicated to the high-level discussions and to the adoption of the #BatumiDeclaration 2018.
It is important that the GIMF2018 is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the International Maritime Organisation, which is celebrated throughout this year. With the active facilitation of the Embassy of Georgia in London, the Secretary-General of the IMO H.E. Mr Kitack Lim will visit Georgia as the special guest of the Forum, accompanied with the IMO delegation. As the key speaker, the IMO Secretary-General will open the Forum and hold bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Georgia.
After the GIMF2018, the IMO Secretary-General will visit Tbilisi, where the meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr. David Zalkaliani will be organised. This should be the very first time that the IMO Secretary-General will attend the meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
Aside of the high-level discussions the Georgia International Maritime Forum 2018 will serve as the functional platform for holding various thematic gatherings and workshops. In particular, on 10th-12th of September, the Regional Workshop on Prevention and Control of Shipping and Port Air Emissions will be held under the #GIoMEEP Project and IMO-EBRD Partnership, whereas on 11th-14th of September, the Regional Seminar on the IMO Conventions on Responsibility and Compensation will be organised for the representatives of the 12 countries. Both of the above-mentioned workshops will be opened by H.E. Ambassador Tamar Beruchashvili, in her capacity of the Permanent Representative of Georgia to the IMO and the Vice President of the IMO General Assembly.
Holding of such thematic workshops has a particular importance for Georgia, taking into consideration the rapid development of its maritime shipping industry. In this regard, according to the statistics of the first 7 months of 2018, comparing to 2016, the number of containers (#TEU) entering Georgian ports increased by 40%, while dry cargo was increased by 13% during this period.
For more information about the programme of the GIMF2018 and its participants please visit: http://maritimegeorgia.ge/