EBRD adopts new strategy for Georgia

By Loretta  Martikian

The Board of Directors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has adopted a new strategy for Georgia, setting out the Bank’s priorities in the period of 2013-16. The strategy aims to support the further development of the corporate sector, the growth of the renewable energy sector, and the country’s integration into regional and global markets, through the Bank’s investments and continuous policy dialogue.

The new strategy acknowledges Georgia’s efforts to remain the region’s leading reformer, and the progress made on structural reforms in Georgia, which include improvements in the legal and regulatory framework for businesses, liberalisation of the customs regime, and further simplification of the tax system.

The strategy, which covers the period 2013-16, defines the following priorities:

  • Fostering private investment. The Bank will continue to pursue operations with private sector clients, both directly, and indirectly via commercial banks operating in Georgia.
  • Completing the modernisation of the energy sector. The Bank will complete the energy sector projects that were started during the previous Georgia strategy, which aim to increase energy production and access to export markets. Future projects will foster private sector participation, and will be supported by policy dialogue in the areas of domestic markets reform and the introduction of modern regulatory frameworks.
  • Supporting Georgia’s regional and global economic integration. The Bank will focus on projects in various areas – including infrastructure, logistics, telecommunications and the financial sector – to further develop those sector, enhance the value added and support cross-border economic activities. The Bank will support opportunities for skills transfer to enable Georgian companies to take advantage of trade opportunities and to become more competitive in a wider regional and international context.

The EBRD has been operating in Georgia since 1993 and to date has signed 159 projects, with a net cumulative business volume of €1.8 billion. Nearly 66 per cent of cumulative commitments are in the financial sector, followed by 19 per cent in the energy sector, 11 per cent in the industry, commerce and agribusiness sectors, and around 4.5 per cent in the infrastructure sector.