“Investing for Change” is the theme of the EBRD’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Tbilisi.
Investment has been a positive force for change in Georgia - and Georgia in turn has encouraged investors with its successful policies and reforms.
It has certainly encouraged the EBRD: our total investment in Georgia now stands at €2.6 billion.
And last year saw a record investment of €214 million across many sectors of the Georgian economy - from energy to small and medium-sized businesses.
Already this year, we have co-financed the largest ever foreign direct investment project in the Georgian renewable energy sector - the Shuakhevi hydropower plant.
Georgia is one of the most innovative of the more than 30 countries of operations where we support transition to free and open markets.
EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti explains why “Investing for Change” is the theme of the EBRD’s 2015 Annual Meeting in Tbilisi.
This has allowed us to introduce new investment instruments in Georgia before bringing them to other countries in our regions.
We launched a risk-sharing facility that allowed banks to lend in local currencies. Equity investment lines for small corporates, and a local currency financing facility for agribusiness firms, also started life in Georgia.
At the same time, we’re introducing innovations here which were pioneered elsewhere - such as a credit line for women entrepreneurs that is already popular in Turkey and the Balkans.
And innovation is not limited by borders: a good example is the unprecedented boost in hydropower investments brought about by the opening of the Turkish market. The EBRD co-financed the Black Sea Transmission Line - the first connection between the former Soviet electricity grid of the Caucasus and Turkey.
In Georgia, and in all the countries where we invest, we are working towards a more sustainable economic future by building stronger institutions, promoting regional integration and addressing global economic challenges.