Georgia and EBRD unite to improve Georgia’s investment climate

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti and Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili after signing a Memorandum of Understanding today., 12 May 2015 - 17:29, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Government of Georgia and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)are uniting to promote investments in the country.

Today EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti and Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) about the establishment of an Investors Council at a meeting in Tbilisi.

Investors Council 

The Investors Council will actively work in the direction of increasing investments in Georgia,” said PM Garibashvili at a joint press conference with the EBRD top official.
The Council will create a new platform between Government and businesses and will provide for the development of cooperation and improvement of business climate in Georgia,’ he said.

The EBRD President said by facilitating mutual understanding and trust, the Council would strengthen the foundations for the expansion of business activities that would benefit Georgia. In addition, the Council would focus on practical steps needed to address investors’ needs and concerns.

"The agreement is a milestone for Georgia towards improving and strengthening the business environment and stimulating domestic and foreign investments. With this initiative Georgia is taking an important step towards further improving the development of the private sector,” Chakrabarti said.

The MoU was signed today at the Government Administration building within Chakrabarti’s official visit to Georgia. The EBRD official arrived in Tbilisi earlier today to attend the EBRD’s 24th Annual Meeting, which will be held in Tbilisi on May 14-15. It is the first time an event of this magnitude has been held in Georgia.

Chakrabarti noted the EBRD was the largest investor in Georgia, with over €2.3 billion investments in more than 175 projects.

The MoU noted the Council would consist of 15 members and be led by the Prime Minister of Georgia.

Members of the Council will be Georgian and foreign business associations, the Georgian Business Ombudsman and donor organisations who are active in the sphere of developing the private sector,” said Garibashvili.

Kvemo Karti Solid Waste Project 

Earlier today Chakrabarti and his wife were greeted at Tbilisi International Airport by Georgia’s Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri.

Chakrabarti and Khaduri then signed an agreement regarding the implementation of the Kvemo Karti Solid Waste Project at the Ministry of Finance.

Within the project, EBRD will extend a sovereign loan of €7 million to Georgia to introduce a modern solid-waste management system that covers the collection and disposal of municipal solid waste in Georgia’s southern Kvemo Kartli region.

We know that solid waste management is a key priority for Georgia. The Bank is happy to help address this issue through the Kvemo Kartli project, which is a very good example of international cooperation. We hope it sets an important industry pattern, which will be replicated in other municipalities across the country,” said Chakrabarti.

The EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti and Georgian Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri signing an agreement of the Kvemo Karti Solid Waste Project. Photo by Finance Ministry

EBRD 24th Annual Meeting in Tbilisi 

Chakrabarti also noted Georgia had proven itself as a worthy host country of the EBRD Annual Meeting.

First of all I would like to note how proud I am that the annual EBRD meeting and business forum is being held in Georgia this year, for the first time in the Caucasus. It is very important that with the implemented reforms, Georgia created an example of why EBRD should invest in this region,” he said.

"The Annual Meeting is definitely an event of utmost importance, especially because the EBRD will approve its five-year Action Plan,” Chakrabarti noted.

The EBRD President touched on the economic situation in the country and noted that not only Georgia, but the entire region faced hardships in this sphere.

In general the economic situation in Georgia is currently hard but it is not insurmountable. The region’s economic growth has slowed due to the condition of the Russian economy. I think that fundamentally, Georgia has a strong basis for economic growth and that is why the EBRD has carried out most investments in the region in your country,” Chakrabarti said.

In addition, the EBRD official said this week’s Annual Meeting and business forum would give Georgia an opportunity to demonstrate its ability for economic development.

Georgia’s Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri then stressed the importance of the EBRD forum for Georgia.

A very important event is beginning in Tbilisi. Many interesting bilateral meetings are planned, both at Governmental and business level. It is especially important that the forum is starting with the visit of the EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti, who has already planned meetings with Georgian Government members,” Khaduri said.

Before the official opening of the EBRD’s 24th Annual Meeting, Chakrabarti planned to hold bilateral meetings with the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, President of the National Bank of Georiga Giorgi Kadagidze and other Cabinet Ministers.