The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has today endorsed a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Georgia.
The 5-year partnership strategy, from 2019–2023,
supports the Government of Georgia’s overall development strategy to increase
productivity and reduce poverty through closer economic integration with its
neighbors and the rest of the world.
The new CPS will focus on expanding trade, creating
jobs, and combating poverty through the development of economic and transport
corridors in Georgia and for Central and West Asia. It will also strengthen the
country’s private sector and support the government’s emphasis on market-driven
growth by further developing an enabling business environment and skills among
the labor force.
Located at the crossroads between Asia and Europe,
Georgia is well-positioned to take advantage of its strategic location. The
country has over 30 free trade agreements with its major trading partners,
attracting high levels of foreign direct investment. In 2018, Georgia’s economy
grew by 4.7%. Yet a high unemployment rate, especially among young people, and
a persistent current account deficit caused by low productivity has prevented
the country from achieving its full potential. Helping the government address
these issues is a key focus of the new CPS.
“We are delighted to continue our strong partnership
with the Government of Georgia to help develop the country and improve the
lives of its people,” said ADB Country Director for Georgia Ms. Yesim
Elhan-Kayalar. “The priority of our new country partnership strategy is to
further develop the country’s openness to the global economy as a means to
drive growth and reduce poverty. We will do that through our support for regional
cooperation and integration, trade facilitation, the development of transport
and economic corridors, improved infrastructure, more livable cities, a better
trained workforce, and institutional reforms and business development to
support the private sector.”
ADB’s sovereign lending to Georgia to support the new
CPS is projected to reach over $2 billion over five years, supplemented by the
mobilization of additional cofinancing from development partners. This includes
support for three flagship projects of the government: the development of the
East–West and the North–South transport and economic corridors, and the Anaklia
Deep Sea Port and Special Economic Zone. These projects are critical for
Georgia’s goal of becoming a regional hub through increased connectivity and
trade, opening the landlocked markets of Armenia and Azerbaijan, and extending
the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation corridors to the Black Sea and
In parallel with the development of transport
corridors, the new CPS will support the government’s vision of connecting them
to local centers of economic activity, major tourist destinations, and the
rural population engaged in agricultural production. Priority will be placed on
creating livable cities that offer prime business, logistics, and investment
destinations that will drive economic growth and job creation.
“The ultimate objective of the new CPS is to help
develop the Caucasus as a gateway to the world and complement other regional
cooperation initiatives in neighboring countries. The CPS is fully aligned with
the Government of Georgia’s development strategy—Freedom, Rapid Development,
Prosperity: Government Platform 2016–2020—and ADB’s Strategy 2030, both of
which call for closer regional cooperation and integration,” said ADB Director
General for Central and West Asia Mr. Werner Liepach.
ADB has supported Georgia since 2007 and is one of the
country’s largest multilateral development partners. Sovereign and nonsovereign
loans to Georgia to date total about $2.8 billion.