The President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Sir Suma Chakrabarti, made an official visit to Georgia on 6 March, during a one-week tour of the Caucasus and Belarus. This was the President’s fourth official visit to Georgia.
During his visit, Sir Suma met Georgian government officials including the Prime Minister, Mamuka Bakhtadze; the Minister of Finance, Ivane Machavariani; the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Giorgi Kobulia; the Central Bank Governor, Koba Gvenetadze, as well as the President of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili.
During the meetings, the President outlined the Bank’s strategy for the country, which combines a high level of investment with substantial support for policy reform, for instance through the Investors Council. Supported by the EBRD, the Investors Council is a platform for dialogue between the public and private sector that works to strengthen the investment climate.
President Chakrabarti stressed the importance of continuing to support the private sector, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, while trying to expand EBRD’s support for human capital development through vocational training. He also stressed the importance of strategic infrastructure projects such as the Anaklia deep sea port, the North - South Corridor and several renewable energy projects.
After arriving in Tbilisi from Azerbaijan, he continues his visit in Yerevan, Armenia, on 7 March.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Georgia. Since the start of its operations in the country, the Bank has invested over €3.3 billion in 231 projects in the financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with 90 per cent of those investments supporting private sector development. 2018 was a record year for the EBRD in Georgia, with €270 million of new investments in 26 projects.