Tbilisi, 12 May, 2010. The World Bank hosted the Fourth Donors' Coordination Meeting on Transport Perspectives in the South Caucasus on May 12-13, 2010. The participants of the Meeting were the Government Officials from the three South Caucasus countries, as well as of all the donors involved in the transport sector (EU, EBRD, Council of Europe, BSTDB, EIB, KFW, ADB, JICA, MCC, OSCE, WB). The Armenian delegation was headed by the Minister of Transport and Communication Manuk Vardanyan, the Azerbaijani delegation was headed by Musa Panahov, Deputy Minister of Transport. Georgian Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Davit Tkeshelashvili led the Georgian Government delegation.
“Today’s donor meeting is very important for Georgia and for all participating parties as it is a step forward for coordinated cooperation between the governments of the South Caucasus countries and International Financial Institutions in the transport development sphere,” said Davit Tkeshelashvili, Georgian Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.
Similar to the three previous Coordination Meetings held in Paris, the overall objective of the meeting was to encourage better donor coordination in the transport sector in the South Caucasus, share views among donors on the current state of the transport sector and related policy matters, and discuss issues and strategy going forward with the governments of the three countries.
“The objective of this particular meeting was to maximize development impact of donor programs through their better alignment with respective national programs and strengthened donor coordination. It provided an opportunity for the top government officials in this particular sector to present their national programs, clarify investment needs and promote new project ideas for donor support,” said Asad Alam, World Bank Country Director for the South Caucasus.
Presentations were made by the respective government representatives on Transport Program and Strategy in their countries. Each donor also presented their country programs and the alignment with the Government needs. The meeting was also an opportunity to share best international practices and this year’s presentations focused on Road Maintenance Funding and Organization and Road Construction Quality Assurance issues.
“This meeting is extremely useful for Armenia, as it offers a chance to seek regional possibilities, as well as to know what each of our countries is doing in the transport sphere. We hope that our cooperation in this area will continue”, said Manuk Vardanyan, Minister of Transport and Communication of Armenia.
“Development of international transport corridors and integration with European and Asian structures is of particular importance under current circumstances. This meeting allows the participating countries and donors to exchange views on these and other issues of common interest, and discuss further cooperation in the transport sector,” said Musa Panahov, Deputy Minister of Transport of Azerbaijan.
During discussions, Donors agreed that transport investments are important for the three South Caucasus countries for their medium and long term competitiveness and overall development. Efficiency and sustainability of investments were essential for lasting results. Participants agreed that the meeting was important in better addressing the very large investment needs in the South Caucasus transport sector.