The EBRD’s Board of Directors has adopted a new strategy for Georgia, which reinforces the Bank’s commitment to further support the Georgian economy and sets out the priorities for its activities in the country over the next three years.
The new strategy acknowledges the progress made on structural reforms in Georgia, which include improvement in the legal and regulatory framework for businesses, liberalisation of the customs regime, simplification of tax system, and completion of large-scale privatisations. It also outlines the main challenges that remain to be addressed - strengthening the country’s financial sector, rehabilitation of outdated infrastructure and further diversification of the economy.
In the forthcoming years, the EBRD’s activities in Georgia will focus on helping to minimise the effects of the crisis on the economy in the short term, and supporting recovery and progress with reforms in the longer term.
In the financial sector the Bank’s priority will be to facilitate the resumption of lending activities by helping banks to ensure adequate levels of capital and improve risk, liquidity and portfolio management. The EBRD will also focus on supporting local currency lending with the view to creating a sustainable funding model.
Another priority for the Bank is supporting the modernisation of infrastructure in Georgia. The EBRD will aim to finance investments in the country’s power sector, helping Georgia achieve security of energy supply, as well as transport infrastructure projects that will enable the country take advantage of its geographic position as a major transit link between South Caucasus, Central Asia and Europe.
In the municipal sector the EBRD will support water supply, waste water and solid waste management projects and the rehabilitation of urban transport.
In addition, the new strategy has a special focus on promoting energy efficiency projects and helping the Georgian industrial companies to benefit from financing under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), a tool developed under the Kyoto Protocol in order to encourage the private sector and developing countries to contribute to emission reduction efforts.
The Bank will continue to support the growth of micro, small and medium-sized businesses, developing various facilities that will address their financing needs.
Since the beginning of its operations in Georgia, the Bank has committed over € 700 million in approximately 120 projects in the financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, mobilising additional investment in excess of € 2.7 billion.