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ADB endorses new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS)

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Monday, August 26
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has endorsed a new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Georgia. The 5-year partnership strategy, for 2019-2023, supports the Government of Georgia’s overall development policy to increase productivity and reduce poverty through closer economic integration with its neighbors and the rest of the world.

According to the ADB, the new CPS will focus on expanding trade, creating new job opportunities, 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.

As the official statement of ADB reads, “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.”

According to the ADB Country Director for Georgia Ms. Yesim Elhan-Kayalar, ADB is delighted to continue their strong partnership with the Government of Georgia to help develop the country and improve the lives of Georgian people.

“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,” noted Ms. Yesim Elhan-Kayalar.

The sovereign lending of ADB to Georgia to support the new CPS is projected to reach over $2 billion in five years, supplemented by the mobilization of additional co-financing 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. According to the ADB, “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 Europe.”

As the ADB Director General for Central and West Asia, Mr. Werner Liepach stressed, “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.”

ADB started supporting the development of Georgia back in 2007, since then, it has become one of Georgia’s largest multilateral development partners.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. ADB assists its members and partners by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic development.