Georgia’s economy is gaining momentum, thanks to favorable domestic conditions, strong external demand, and landmark achievements including the country's association agreement with the EU in mid-2014 and the coming into effect of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.
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Memorandum of Understanding signed on working together in the areas of development finance, financial management, and corporate governanceTbilisi, May 14, 2015 – The International Bank for Reconstruct... Show More +ion and Development (IBRD) and the International Investment Bank (IIB) have launched the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set the framework for collaboration between the two development institutions in the broad areas of development finance, financial management, and corporate governance. The MoU was signed by Laura Tuck, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, and Nikolay Kosov, Chairman of the Board of the International Investment Bank.“We look forward to sharing our global experience in using our financial, analytical, and advisory instruments with the International Investment Bank for the benefit of all its member countries,” said Laura Tuck. “We have engaged with a number of other national and international development banks, helping strengthen their capacity and supporting alignment of their practices with the standards of leading development banks.”As stated by Nikolay Kosov, “since late 2012 the IIB has been undergoing a major reform. Thanks to our efforts, the bank is now operating as a fully-fledged international financial institution and has joined the broader community of multilateral development banks with the World Bank in the center. However, we understand that there is still progress to be made and, in order to increase our capacity to support the economic development of our member states, we have decided to engage in a capacity-strengthening exercise with one of our key partners.” The MoU defines key thematic areas for cooperation, including but not limited to:Improving the efficiency of financial instruments which the IIB currently uses, and the development of new onesCapacity-building to further strengthen IIB’s project cycleDiverse aspects of corporate governance, treasury and risk management practicesImprovement of compliance procedures and development of independent accountability mechanismCooperation and consultations in respect of raising capital and participation in investment funds Business and strategic planningFacilitation of IIB’s participation in professional networks of international and national development banksStrategic communicationsThe first World Bank’s knowledge transfer program will support the IIB in further strengthening its governance and anti-corruption mechanisms, in order to fully align them with the practices of leading multilateral development institutions.About the World BankThe World Bank Group (WBG) is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Bank’s private sector arm; the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). The World Bank works closely with the rest of the World Bank Group to help developing countries reduce poverty, promote economic growth, and build shared prosperity. The institution provides a combination of financial resources, knowledge and technical services, and strategic advice to developing countries.About the International Investment BankIn 2012, the member countries of the International Investment Bank decided to re-launch it under new management. Since then, the IIB received two investment-grade ratings from Moody’s (Baa1) and Fitch (BBB-), issued its first bonds, and in 2014 alone increased its assets by almost 50% and its loan portfolio by 150%. The bank is unique in that it brings together a relatively small number of countries from three continents – Bulgaria, Cuba, Czech Republic, Hungary (a newcomer), Mongolia, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Vietnam. In 2013, these countries approved an increase in IIB’s paid-in capital of at least EUR 176 million, supporting the bank’s expansion, assisted by the recently established IIB European Regional Office and IIB’s local representative in Vietnam, first such in the 45 years of its existence that the IIB celebrates this year. Show Less -
TBILISI, May 4, 2015 – A Conference - Gender Biased Sex Selection in Georgia: Context, Evidence, Implications and Proposed Solutions - jointly organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) a... Show More +nd the World Bank took place today in Tbilisi, Georgia.The conference discussed the findings of the research undertaken recently in the South Caucasus including Georgia on the causes, consequences and implications of gender-biased sex selection, as a collaborative initiative co-funded by the World Bank under the Umbrella Trust Fund for Gender Equality and the UNFPA within the framework of the UN Joint Programme “To Enhance Gender Equality in Georgia” funded by the Government of Sweden in partnership with the Gender Equality Council of the Parliament of Georgia.“Our study used quantitative and qualitative methods to show how in the South Caucasus most parents’ wish to have at least one son can add up to a situation where fewer girls than boys are born each year and consequently a situation that is unfavorable to women and to the society. And data indicate that Georgia is currently moving away from this imbalance so it is the right time to think of ways in which this trend can be encouraged. This conference gave us a valuable opportunity to come together with stakeholders and reflect on policy lessons that are relevant for Georgia”, said Nistha Sinha, World Bank Senior Economist and a co-author of the study “Missing Girls in the South Caucasus”.“The comprehensive country report for Georgia developed by Prof. Guilmoto in cooperation with GeoStat offers the first systematic inquiry of the long-disputed existence of sex selection in Georgia, leading to a reasonable estimate of the extent of the phenomenon and its variations across the country. Most probably, the main source of change will be the transformation of cultural attitudes resulting in a decline in son preference. The more quickly these transformations in gender discriminatory attitudes take place, the smaller the overall consequences of sex imbalances at birth on Georgia's future demographic structures will be. We hope that the policy recommendations elaborated at the conference will be implemented so that the positive trend observed during the last few years in reducing the sex imbalance is encouraged and sustained”, said Lela Bakradze, Assistant Representative, UNFPA Country Office in Georgia.Gender-biased sex selection, manifesting in birth ratios strongly skewed in favor of boys, is an emerging concern in the South Caucasus and recently, evidence and research for these countries is building up. This practice emerged in the South Caucasus after independence in the early 1990s. Amartya Sen famously described this skewed sex ratio as a phenomenon of “missing women” – women who could still be with us if there were no harmful practices that reduced their chance of birth and survival. The issue of “missing women” has received significant attention at the global level in the last few decades, particularly in China, India, and South Korea. The 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development calculated that each year 3.9 million women under 60 years of age could be considered “missing”. The 2012 UNFPA report on Sex Imbalances at Birth put the number of missing females at 117 million. A small yet significant contribution to this global figure comes from the South Caucasus countries.The research in the South Caucasus proceeds from growing concern about potential sex imbalances at birth in several East-European countries, following the United Nations interagency statement of 2011 on gender-biased sex selection (OCHR et al. 2011) and the report prepared the same year for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on prenatal sex selection in Southeast Europe and in the Caucasus. The studies presented at the conference described the root causes to be parents’ wish to ensure birth of at least one son (“son preference”) which is exacerbated by a trend towards smaller families and economic uncertainties compound this trend. Greater availability of sex-detection technology has enabled many parents to act on this preference for sons.In Georgia, it had already been estimated that in 2010 about 25,000 girls aged 0-19 years were missing from the country's population owing to the sex imbalances at birth that occurred since the 1990s. During the last years the sex imbalance at birth appears to have begun to reduce. According to the latest figure, it is now below 110 male births per 100 female births, getting closer to the normal ratio.The participants of the conference, representing key stakeholders, civil society, academia and professional associations, engaged in a dialogue to discuss the recommendations for policy options that address causes of this harmful practice by tackling the root causes. Promising policy approaches consist of fighting against forms of gender inequity within family and society, empowerment of girls and women and advocacy, awareness and education that help raise the value of daughters to become equal to that of sons. Show Less -
WASHINGTON, April 28, 2015 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved an IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) loan of US$60 million for the First Programmatic... Show More + Private Sector Competitiveness Development Policy Operation for Georgia. This is the first in a series of three Development Policy Operations (DPOs) aimed at strengthening shared prosperity and eliminating extreme poverty in Georgia through policies that stimulate private sector productivity, foster investment and create a fair business environment that enables growth by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and new firms.The development objective is to increase private sector competitiveness through second generation business environment reforms, financial sector deepening and diversification, and increasing firms’ capacity to innovate and to export.“These policies have been prioritized in the Government’s development strategy Georgia 2020, which sets out its vision for inclusive development. The DPO series is also a core element of the World Bank Group Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for 2014-2017, and contributes to the CPS goal of enabling the private sector to become the main driver of employment creation and provider of income opportunities for the bottom 40 percent of the population,” said Henry Kerali, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus.“The policies supported by this DPO are expected to improve the living conditions of Georgian households by enhancing private sector competitiveness and increasing the country’s growth potential. Promoting a business-friendly environment, financial sector development, enhancing social and financial safety nets, and spurring innovation and trade lie at the center of Georgia’s inclusive growth agenda,“ said John Gabriel Goddard, World Bank Senior Economist and Task Team Leader for this Program.This DPO series will support the reforms addressed in the Government’s strategy by strengthening public-private dialogue, connecting small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to markets and information, and enhancing the public procurement system. Reforms are also being introduced to strengthen social and financial safety nets, particularly through comprehensive pension reforms and the introduction of a deposit insurance system. Reforms in the capital and insurance markets will help to address supply and demand-side constraints to accessing financial services. Reforms to upgrade the telecommunications sector; the introduction of an innovation support framework aligned with European Union (EU) practices; and upgrading of the services provided by state institutions in the areas of metrology, standards and accreditation, will underpin long-term productivity growth and leverage the benefits of membership in the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) and the Association Agreement with the EU.This DPO is part of a larger package of reforms supported by the World Bank Group. The Inclusive Growth DPO that is being implemented in parallel supports reforms to strengthen fiscal oversight of public institutions and improve the coverage and quality of health and education services.This is an IBRD flexible loan of US$60 million with a 25 years maturity and 14 years grace period.World Bank commitments to Georgia since 1992 total approximately US$ 2.27 billion. Show Less -
WASHINGTON, April 28, 2015 – The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors today approved an IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) loan of US$60 million for the First Incl... Show More +usive Growth Programmatic Development Policy Operation (DPO) for Georgia. This is the first in a series of three operations spanning 2015-2017.This operation will support the government in improving public service delivery and strengthening fiscal oversight by implementing reforms in public financial management, social services, and the framework for civil services. The policy actions are anchored in the Country Partnership Strategy for 2014-2017 and are consistent with the government’s development strategy – Georgia 2020.The DPO supports two objectives: strengthening fiscal oversight of public institutions and improvements in budgeting and the framework for civil service reform; and improvements in the coverage and quality of social services and in monitoring of outcomes."This operation supports the government in improving its public service delivery and fiscal management to make growth more inclusive. The first generation reforms which started a decade back have helped Georgia improve its business environment, achieve sustained growth rates and maintain low inflation,” said Henry Kerali, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus. “However, socio-economic vulnerabilities persist in the country. To tackle these issues, further improvements in the living standards of Georgians will need to come from investment in human capital, enhanced private sector competitiveness, and fiscal, social and environmental sustainability.”“The main development challenge faced by the country is achieving more inclusive growth, which will require investment in human capital and improvements in private sector competitiveness,” said Mona Prasad, World Bank Senior Economist and Task Team Leader of the DPO program. “While private sector development, supported by another DPO series in Georgia, will help create more jobs, this DPO series will help build human capital and support macroeconomic stability and effective policy making.” The new operation approved today builds on previous development policy operations that concentrated on building competitiveness for sustained growth. The current DPO series lays the foundation for inclusive growth by supporting further reforms in the areas of public financial management and the social sectors. The design of the reform program was led by the government. The areas chosen were those where the World Bank had a strong track record of engagement, and the reform actions were based on a realistic assessment of the country’s implementation capacity.This is an IBRD flexible loan of US$60 million with a 25 years maturity and 14 years grace period.World Bank commitments to Georgia since 1992 total approximately US$ 2.27 billion. Show Less -
IBRD Loan: US $60.0 million Terms: Maturity = 25 years, Grace = 14 yearsProject ID: P149998Project Description: The objective of the project is to support the government’s efforts to spur inclusi... Show More +ve economic growth through second generation business environment reforms, financial sector deepening and diversification, and initiatives to increase firms’ capacity to innovate and export.For more information, please visit here: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/georgia Show Less -
IBRD Loan: US $60.0 million Terms: Maturity = 25 years, Grace = 14 yearsProject ID: P149991Project Description: The objective of the project is to support the government in its efforts to improve... Show More + public service delivery and strengthen fiscal oversight.For more information, please visit here: http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/georgia Show Less -