PRESS RELEASE May 22, 2018

World Bank Group Supports Georgia with New Country Partnership Framework

Georgia’s impressive track record of economic reforms has led to economic growth and poverty reduction

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2018 – The World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors today endorsed the 2019-22 Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Georgia, which aims to support sustainable and inclusive growth and improve living standards in the country.

The new CPF is fully aligned with the government’s vision for the country’s development, which is driven by the “Georgia 2020” program that emphasizes freedom, rapid development, and prosperity through four policy goals—economic reform, education reform, spatial arrangement and infrastructure, and governance.

To support the government in achieving the twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity, the World Bank Group’s CPF envisages support to Georgia across three areas: enhancing inclusive growth and competitiveness, investing in human capital, and building resilience.

“We look forward to a Georgia endowed with the human capital that will lift people out of poverty, improve their prosperity, and increase the country’s competitiveness and resilience in the next four years,” said Mercy Tembon, Regional Director for the South Caucasus. “I would like to thank the Government of Georgia for its commitment and steadfastness during the strategic discussions we had to identify the main priorities. I would also like to express our appreciation to the private sector, academia, civil society and other development partners for engaging with us during this process.”

Implementation of the program will be maximized by using the comparative strengths of the World Bank Group institutions, notably IBRD, IFC and MIGA, in collaboration with other development partners, as well as with feedback from engagement with citizens.

IFC, with its focus on private sector development, will continue its strong engagement in Georgia. IFC will support the financial sector and sustainable development of clean energy. It will increasingly prioritize operations to promote the expansion of export oriented sectors with high job creation potential, particularly agribusiness and tourism. It will also explore opportunities in new areas such as urban and transport infrastructure, including through public-private partnerships and direct investments.

IFC’s advisory work will remain an integral part of its program in Georgia, supporting implementation of “last mile” investment climate reforms, providing upstream support for the development of competitive sectors, and strengthening the capacity of the financial sector to reach underserved segments, such as MSMEs.

“Recent economic reforms have earned Georgia a reputation as a ‘star reformer.’ However, challenges remain, and our new strategy aims to help the country use its private sector potential to transition from a strong reformer to a high performer,” said Jan van Bilsen, IFC Regional Manager for the South Caucasus. “Through IFC’s investment and advisory work, we aim to boost the productivity of agribusinesses, helping them enter new markets, improve connectivity, and spur crucial sources of financing for businesses.”

Building on the strong foundation put in place by the previous Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Georgia, the new CPF will work to consolidate gains and move the economy toward addressing next-generation development challenges for sustained and inclusive growth and poverty reduction. To this end, the World Bank Group has committed to allocate approximately US$600-800 million for the period 2019-2022.


PRESS RELEASE NO: 2018/ECA/107

Contacts

Tbilisi
Inga Paichadze (World Bank)
(995 32) 291 3096
ipaichadze@worldbank.org
Tbilisi
Tamar Barbakadze (IFC)
(995 32) 234 0300
tbarbakadze@ifc.org
Washington
Meriem Gray
(202) 473-7870
mgray@worldbank.org
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