TBILISI, GEORGIA (29 November 2017) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Wencai Zhang met with the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili on 29 November, where he highlighted ADB’s robust and expanding partnership with Georgia and reaffirmed ADB’s commitment to support the country’s economic development.
“In our decade-long partnership, we have mobilized over $2.3 billion dollars to help bring better infrastructure and public services to the people of Georgia,” said Mr. Zhang. Mr. Zhang added, “ADB’s operations and office in Georgia are growing, and we have undertaken our first cofinanced project in Georgia this year, leveraging an additional $114 million cofinancing from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to further strengthen Georgia’s transport network. It has been our privilege to be part of Georgia’s impressive economic development.”
Mr. Zhang noted that ADB has recently approved its Country Operations Business Plan in Georgia for 2018–2020, which reflects the government’s key development priorities and supports its strategy, the Four-Point Action Plan. ADB will continue to provide lending, capacity development, and knowledge assistance to support the government to create an enabling infrastructure network for private sector-led growth, with increased regional connectivity and international trade.
During his 4-day visit, Mr. Zhang met with the First Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Dimitry Kumsishvili; Minister of Finance and ADB Governor Mamuka Bakhtadze; Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Zurab Alavidze; Mayor of Tbilisi Kakha Kaladze; and other senior counterparts from the public and private sectors.
Mr. Zhang visited the ADB-financed University Metro Station in Tbilisi, which serves 350,000 passengers a day, the flagship North-South Road Corridor project for regional connectivity and trade, and regional development project areas in eastern Georgia. He also attended a high-level panel inaugurating the Tbilisi Belt and Road Forum and a panel discussion on the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Strategy 2030.
“CAREC will strengthen linkages with other regional cooperation initiatives, including the Belt and Road Initiative. The Belt and Road Initiative and ADB’s regional cooperation programs share common goals of promoting connectivity and sustainable development. As CAREC Ministers just recently approved CAREC 2030, a new strategy towards 2030, together with the member countries, we will transform CAREC into an open and inclusive platform to further motivate participation of the private sector, civil society, development partners, and other stakeholders, and Georgia is an important link in this development chain,” said Mr. Zhang.
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 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.