Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to Allocate $114m for Georgia

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is to allocate $114million for the construction of the Batumi Bypass Road in the Adjara region of Georgia.

Georgian Finance Minister and Vice-Premier Dimitry Kumsishvili and the AIIB Bank President Jin Liqun signed the agreement within the AIIB 2nd annual meeting in South Korea on June 17.

The construction process will be launched this year and will be completed in 2022.

The road section to be constructed runs through the touristic and residential zones of Batumi and aims to alleviate the current problems experienced in international transit, promoting city bypasses for transit vehicles and enabling transit companies to increase cargo turnover.

Another agreement was also signed by Asian Infrastructure Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) representatives concerning cooperation in the same project.

Georgia’s Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, Otar Berdzenishvili, also attended the signing ceremony.

The second Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the AIIB took place in South Korea on June 16-18, gathering officials and representatives from 57 countries.

Kumsishvili delivered a speech at the conference and informed participants about the projects implemented in Georgia.

“We have full support from the AIIB in implementing structural reforms as well as infrastructural projects in Georgia. Georgia is the founding member of the AIIB and the project to be implemented is on the list of the Bank's top 20 investment projects,” Kumsishvili stated.

The Georgian minister also discussed the Tbilisi-Lars road project with the representatives of the AIIB and ADB and underlined the importance of the route for Georgia, highlighting that it is a large-scale project and can be financed by two banks at the same time.

Prior to the meeting, Kumsishvili spoke about Georgia’s convenient geo-political location, pointing to the fact it is the shortest route connecting Asia and Europe.

The minister also stated that the Government of Georgia is implementing important investments for the development of the West-East transit corridor infrastructure, including the Express Highway, Anaklia Deep Sea Port and Georgian Railway Modernization projects.

He also introduced the government’s Four Point Plan, which envisages modifying Georgia's income tax rules, improving governance, developing higher education and accelerating infrastructure projects.

“The aim of the spatial development plan is to use the full potential of Georgia as a transit country, as well as to develop Georgia's tourism capabilities, which in turn will positively affect the welfare of the population,” Kusmishvili stated.

The AIIB is a multilateral development bank that focuses on the development of infrastructure and interconnectivity in Asia. It opened its doors on January 16, 2016, following a 15 month participatory process during which its 57 founding members worked collaboratively to shape its principles, policies, value system and operating platform.

The capital of the Bank is $100 billion, equivalent to 2/3 of the capital of the Asian Development Bank and about half that of the World Bank.

Thea Morrison

19 June 2017 17:25