Georgian Finance Minister: Tbilisi hosting 2024 Asian Development Bank meeting will be “largest event ever organised in Georgia”

The Georgian Finance Minister sat down with to talk about the importance of holding the Annual Meeting in Georgia and shared plans for the upcoming event. Photo: Ministry of Finance, Jun 19, 2023, Tbilisi, Georgia

About 4,000 participants - including finance ministers, central bank governors, and government officials from Asian Development Bank member countries - will gather in the Georgian capital city of Tbilisi for the 57th Annual Meeting of the institution next year under the theme “Bridge to the Future”.

Georgian Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili told the occasion would be the “largest event ever organised” in the country, surpassing all previous annual meetings of international financial institutions that have been hosted in Georgia.

The status of the Host Country was formally handed over to Georgia during the 56th ADB Annual Meeting in Incheon, South Korea in May, with Tbilisi set to host the next meeting in May 2024.

The opening day will see a welcome reception, where participants will be served Georgian wine. The popular state ensemble Basiani will also entertain them, along with the Sukhishvili National Ballet. 

Photo: ADB

The programme of the event also includes welcome remarks by Khutsishvili, who will also serve as the ADB Governor over a year, and an address by ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa. 

Asakawa explained the connection between the next Host Country and the 2024 theme, saying “Georgia is a vibrant hub for regional trade — and a crucial bridge between Asia and Europe”. 

The Georgian Finance Minister sat down with to talk about the importance of holding the Annual Meeting in Georgia and shared plans for the upcoming event.

Q. How important is it for Georgia to host what you have described as the “largest event ever organised” in the country?

A. Hosting the Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Tbilisi in May 2024 holds immense significance for our country. 

This signifies commendation of the projects and reforms being undertaken by our country in collaboration with the ADB. Georgia has been the recipient of substantial investments amounting to $4.5 billion from the Bank. Notably, the ongoing projects have reached a remarkable cumulative value of $2 billion. The ADB-supported initiatives have played a pivotal role in fostering the country's economic growth. The cooperation encompasses a wide range of sectors, including infrastructure, education, logistics, energy and healthcare. We have received unwavering support and positive assessments for these projects at all levels. 

Muhammad Ehsan Khan of the ADB, Lasha Khutsishvili signed a joint memorandum on holding the 57th annual meeting of the ADB in Tbilisi. Photo: Ministry of Finance

Q. It is still early to talk about preparatory works, but in your opinion, what impression would Georgia make as the Host Country of the next Annual Meeting?

A. In order to ensure the successful organisation of the Annual Meeting, we have established a Cross-Government Commission and entered into a memorandum of understanding with the ADB. 

While it is premature to delve into specific details at this stage, I can assure you that every effort will be made to host this significant event in our country with utmost dignity and excellence. I would say the expectations are quite high, since the word about Georgia’s hospitality is already well known, and the Host Country event we held in Incheon, Korea in May did give the institution a flavour [of our hospitality].

Q. You joined finance ministers, central bank governors and government officials from ADB member countries in the Bank’s 56th Annual Meeting, and held meetings with different high officials in Incheon. Please summarise those meetings.

A. First and foremost, I would like to highlight a significant meeting held with Masatsugu Asakawa, the President of the ADB. Our discussions revolved around areas of cooperation between Georgia and the Bank, encompassing both bilateral and multilateral formats.