New ADB Country Director to Enhance Support for Georgia

The new Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director for Georgia, Yesim Elhan-Kayalar, assumed office this week and said she will strive to enhance ABD’s support for Georgia in order to foster inclusive and sustainable growth, and to strengthen regional connectivity.

“ADB and the Government of Georgia have forged a strong partnership for enhancing infrastructure and service delivery to the people of Georgia through public-sector support and private sector development initiatives since 2007,” Elhan-Kayalar said in a statement, “I look forward to building on these achievements as the portfolio grows in collaboration with our key stakeholders in Georgia.”

ADB’s website states that under its current Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) with Georgia for 2014-18, they provide support for roads, energy, water supplies and sanitation infrastructure and service delivery, public sector management, private sector management, financial sector deepening and financial inclusion, good governance, gender equality and knowledge solutions.

Earlier this year, ADB approved a $75 million program to assist the government’s reforms on resource utilization, and issued the first Georgian lari-denominated bonds, raising 100 million GEL to support the development of the Georgian capital market and small businesses.

Georgia became a member of ADB in 2007, and their portfolio has grown rapidly since then, with $1.6 billion in loan approvals as of 31stDecember 2014. Financing for the current CPS is estimated at around $1 billion.

Prior to her current appointment, Elhan-Kayalar led the public management portfolio of ADB in 10 central and west Asian countries. She has over 25 years of work experience in development agencies, the private sector and academia in 27 countries.

Elhan-Kayalar has a PhD in Economics from the University of California, and qualifications in Finance and Management from Havard University and Univeristy of Michigan. She has published in, and taught, economics and finance, and has led research on behavioral finance and competitiveness policy.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1996, it is owned by 67 members. In 2014, ADB assistance totalled $22.9 billion, including con-financing worth $9.2 billion.

01 October 2015 20:08