EBRD President to visit Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia

By Rezo Bitsadze

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  • EBRD President to meet senior government officials and business clients and partners
  • Focus on renewables, sustainable infrastructure, reforms and financial resilience
  • Bank has invested over €10 billion in 652 projects in the region since starting operations 30 years ago

President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Odile Renaud-Basso will tour the Caucasus from 12 to 16 September, first visiting Azerbaijan, then Georgia, before concluding her trip in Armenia.

This is President Renaud-Basso’s first in-person visit to the region since assuming office in late 2020. The visit was set to take place in 2021, but Covid-19 travel restrictions led to its postponement.

Prior to her departure, the EBRD President held virtual meetings with a diverse group of Azerbaijani, Georgian and Armenian civil-society representatives.

Ms Renaud-Basso said: “I am very much looking forward to visiting the Caucasus, where the Bank has achieved some remarkable results during its 30 years of operation.

“Despite its size, the region remains an important investment destination for us, one where we have already invested more than €10 billion.

“During my visit, I will reiterate our unwavering support for the Caucasus and its green transition agenda, but also the enhancement of transport connectivity, sustainable infrastructure and policy dialogue.

“I will also meet with our partner financial institutions to discuss further support for the private sector, including small and medium-sized enterprises.”

Mrs Renaud-Basso will first travel to Baku, where she will meet Azerbaijan’s political leaders. She will also meet diplomats, leaders of the business community and the Bank’s existing partners.

The EBRD President will sign an agreement on the Bank’s second Green City project in Azerbaijan and inaugurate a joint project with AzPromo, the national investment promotion agency, aimed at boosting the country’s telecommunications, media and technology (TMT) sector.

In Tbilisi, the EBRD President will hold high level meetings with Georgia’s political leadership. She will also meet diplomats, regional heads of international financial institutions, heads of business associations and existing business partners from the private sector, including local banks.

Mrs Renaud-Basso will further sign loan agreements with long-standing partners in the financial and healthcare sectors.

Her visit coincides with the 30th anniversary of the launch of EBRD operations in the country. It has since invested €5 billion in 270 projects there.

The EBRD President will conclude her trip in Yerevan, where she will meet Armenia’s political leadership. The visit will include meetings with representatives of the diplomatic community and international development partners. Ms Renaud-Basso will also visit the central bank and attend a roundtable discussion with the CEOs of local partner banks.

President Renaud-Basso will further visit the Centre for Creative Technologies (TUMO), where she will meet leaders of Armenia’s hi-tech sector, and attend celebrations for the 15th anniversary of the EBRD-supported Investment Council of Armenia.

Since the start of its operations in the Caucasus in 1992, the EBRD has invested more than €10.64 billion in 652 projects in the region’s financial, corporate, infrastructure and energy sectors, with majority of these investments in the private sector.

Upcoming investment projects in the Caucasus are available to view here.

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