Finance Minister Khaduri Optimistic After EBRD Business Forum

Georgia Today met with Nodar Khaduri, Minister of Finance of Georgia, to review the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Tbilisi.

Q: What does the EBRD Business Forum mean to Georgia and its economy?

A: The EBRD annual meeting gave us the opportunity to introduce the investment opportunities and business environment to the forum participants and invited guests. As you know, within the framework of the annual meeting the Georgian investment review session was held and our Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili spoke about our country’s economic and investment potential. I think that the potential investors received detailed information about the investment and business environment in our country. We hope that EBRD’s annual meeting will further increase the interest in Georgia. On the website of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, you can read information and assessments made by our partners at the annual meeting and business forums as to why Georgia is an attractive country for investments.

Q: How do people benefit from the projects implemented by EBRD?

A: First of all, it should be noted that the European Bank for Reconstruction has provided significant financial support for Georgia. It can be said that the bank is one of the largest foreign investors for our country. EBRD has invested more than 2.6 billion euro in more than 170 projects in different directions. Namely these have been in energy, the private sector, also, to foster small and medium-sized enterprises, infrastructure, communications, financial, banking and other sectors. The government and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will work together to attract investment and to improve the business environment. Prime Minister Garibashvili and EBRD president Sir Suma Chakrabarti have signed the Memorandum of Understanding about the establishment of the Investors Council.

The Investors Council will work to promote economic development and to attract additional investments in Georgia.

Q: Which sector of Georgia was most interested by the EBRD annual meeting?

A: During the annual meeting, specific agreements have been signed. In the aim of the imp- mentation of “Kvemo Kartli Solid Waste Project”, we have signed an agreement with EBRD that aims to build a new landfill in Kvemo Kartli region (Marneuli) and purchase all the necessary machinery/equipment for solid waste transportation and for functioning of the landfill. The new landfill will serve 5 municipalities in Kvemo Kartli - Marneuli, Bolnisi, Dmanisi, Tetritskaro and Tsalka. Within the framework of the EBRD annual meeting a 24 million euro investment in Georgia was signed. A concrete agreement about the allocation of 10.9 million euro for financial resources was signed between EBRD and Aversi Farma. That will be used for the reconstruction of hospitals. Part of the money will be spent on improving the supply of drugs and to buy pharmaceutical products. Another agreement has been signed between EBRD and Georgian Energy Development Fund to finance the “Kartli” wind farm project. EBRD will finance the project with $25 million. The loan aims to build and operate a wind power plant in Georgia. Additionally, EBRD has granted a $31.5 million loan to Basis Bank. The loan is intended to finance local small and medium production, energy efficiency and trade. That will be a significant contribution to the process of the development of the Georgian economy.

So, I think that very interesting agreements have been signed. Business ideas will not be transformed into investments instantly. However, it is important that during the annual meeting, the work on specific projects have begun and I hope that soon we will get real results.

Meri Taliashvili

23 May 2015 14:06