Georgian Economy, Finance Minister review cooperation, projects with World Bank Executive Director

Georgian Economy Minister Levan Davitashvili and Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili met with Eugene Rhuggenaath, the Executive Director of the World Bank. Photo: Ministry of Economy, 02 May 2024 - 14:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Economy Minister Levan Davitashvili and Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili met with Eugene Rhuggenaath, the Executive Director of the World Bank in meetings to discuss cooperation between the sides and progress achieved by Georgia in economic growth and improvement of its fiscal parameters.

In the meeting with Davitashvili, the two officials discussed economic trends and forecasts of Georgia and the wider region, World Bank’s ongoing and planned projects in the country and the importance of infrastructure initiatives like the Anaklia deep sea port in the Black Sea town of Anaklia and Black Sea submarine cable international project,  a new transmission route to deliver green energy from the South Caucasus to Europe.

The Ministry of Economy said the meeting noted a new framework document for cooperation between the Georgian Government and the World Bank was currently in progress and aimed to identify and develop “key areas” to boost the country's economic growth.

The meeting highlighted Georgia’s “high” economic growth, which the officials said set the country apart from other states in the wider region, as well as among European Union candidate countries and Europe in general. 

Restoration of economic activity in tourism, civil aviation, transportation, logistics, energy and other areas in the post-pandemic period was “positively evaluated”, the Ministry said.

The parties also discussed their cooperation in the development of the capital market, pension reform, insurance policies and other priority areas in Georgia, the body added.

The meeting also focused on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Support project, which is being implemented by the World Bank in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Enterprise Georgia - the state agency promoting entrepreneurship, investment and exports.

The €85 million project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2026 with regional consulting centres launched to support entrepreneurship. Three of the centres are already operational in Zugdidi and Batumi in the west and Telavi in the east of the country, with 11 expected to be established throughout the country by late 2025.

Rhuggenaath’s meeting with the Finance Minister highlighted Georgia’s “significant progress” in economic growth and other fiscal improvements, the Ministry of Finance said.

The body added Khutsishvili expressed gratitude to the Executive Director for support in the milestones being achieved in the country’s development.

Rhuggenaath also met the country’s Prime Minister Irakli Kobakhidze earlier today, with the sides highlighting the “important role” played by the Bank's support in the process of economic growth and development of the country, the Government press office said.

Georgia has had a 30-year-long cooperation with the World Bank that has seen over $4 billion being invested by the latter in road infrastructure construction, energy, information technology, digital ecosystem, agricultural support, access to finance and institutional development.

The Bank’s current portfolio in the country is $1.5 billion.