ADB President Holds Official Meetings in Georgia

Asia Development Bank (ADB) President, Takehiko Nakao, paid an official visit to Georgia on June 13-16.

During his three-day stay, Takehiko Nakao met President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili and Acting Minister of Finance and ADB Governor, Mamuka Bakhtadze, who was nominated as candidate for Prime Minister last week.

During his visit, Nakao announced that ADB plans to mobilize over $1.2 billion in financing during 2019–2021, including support for two flagship projects of the government: the development of the East-West and the North-South transport and economic corridors.

He noted that these projects are very important for Georgia as they pursue a goal of its becoming a regional hub through increased connectivity and trade, opening the land-locked markets of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and extending the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation corridors to the Black Sea and Europe.

“ADB will continue to support transformative energy as well as urban transport and water projects, while helping the government to implement reforms in such areas as pensions, capital markets and private sector promotion. It will strengthen non-sovereign operations. It will also expand assistance to education, including technical and vocational education and training and using solar energy in schools,” he stated.

The ADB President also commended Georgia’s impressive economic progress over the last decade, noting the government’s sound management of the economy amid regional economic pressures.

“The country has become an important gateway between European and Asian markets,” he said. “Georgia’s economic growth has accelerated to 5.0% in 2017 from the 2.8% recorded in 2016.”

Nakao visited ADB-assisted projects during his stay. Along with Tbilisi City Mayor Kakha Kaladze, he visited the University Metro station which has improved mobility for over 300,000 passengers a day. ADB provided $34 million in financing to refurbish the station.

The ADB President also met the Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Maia Tskitishvili, Minister of Education and Science Mikheil Chkhenkeli, and the Head of the National Bank of Georgia, Koba Gvenetadze.

Nakao then had a meeting with the representatives of TBC Bank, which has received ADB loans through non-sovereign operations.

Partnering with local banks and microfinance institutions, ADB supported more than 14,000 micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in agribusiness, retail, small manufacturing, and tourism in 2014–2016. During the meeting, it was noted that ADB will continue to support MSMEs through sovereign and non-sovereign operations.

Georgia became an ADB member country in 2007 and since then it has supported both infrastructure and institutional development.

Georgia has received over $2.4 billion in development assistance from the ADB since 2007. Moreover, the bank’s operations and staff in Georgia have doubled in the last two years and continue to grow to bring better services and infrastructure to the people of Georgia.

By Thea Morrison

18 June 2018 18:15