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EBRD loan for “Friendship Bridge” between Georgia and Armenia

By Loretta  Martikian

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Sovereign loan to co-finance construction at Sadakhlo-Bagratashen border crossing

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a sovereign loan of up to €6 million to Georgia to co-finance works to improve the cross-border bridge connecting Georgia with Armenia.

Located 60 kilometres from Tbilisi, the bridge at the Sadakhlo-Bagratashen checkpoint is the main crossing between Georgia and Armenia. An upgrade of the existing infrastructure that allows the transit of people and goods across the border is essential to support regional trade and cooperation between the two countries.

The project is part of the European Union’s Integrated Border Management regional initiative. It represents another step forward in the implementation of Georgia’s plans to modernise and upgrade its infrastructure to EU standards. Total project costs are €10.3 million, the remainder of which has already been financed by the EBRD to Armenia as part of the Northern Corridor Modernisation Project.

Bruno Balvanera, EBRD Director for the Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus, said: “This investment fits well with the EBRD’s latest country strategy for Georgia, which is aimed at supporting the modernisation of infrastructure and helping to expand regional connectivity. We look forward to continuing our successful cooperation with the country’s authorities and other international organisations to support the further development of Georgia. By working together with our partners, we can make a difference.”

Sue Barrett, EBRD Director for Transport, added: “We are delighted to be part of this joint effort. Improvement of the border crossing infrastructure will create a more efficient economic transport corridor facilitating regional trade and passenger flows.”

Dimitry Kumsishvili, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Georgia, commented: “We are delighted that the fruitful cooperation between Georgia and the EBRD continues. The EBRD is a reliable partner in terms of financial cooperation, intensified interaction with Europe and attraction of foreign direct investment from Europe. I hope that our successful partnership will continue and that significant projects will be implemented for the advancement of water supply and sewage systems, energy, transport, agriculture and tourism.”

The EBRD is the leading institutional investor in Georgia. Since the start of its operations in the country, the Bank has invested over €3 billion in 197 projects in the financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 91 per cent of these investments in the private sector.

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