EBRD Concentrated on Enhancing Energy Security in Georgia, EBRD President States
Jean Lemierre, the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), stated in an exclusive interview for Trend that EBRD is concentrated on enhancing energy security and efficiency: considering the importance of the power sector to the overall political, social and economic stability of Georgia and the region. As an example the completion of the rehabilitation of the Enguri II power plant remains a priority for the Bank and the works have already started. Bank will be actively working toward investments supporting renewable energy projects, such as construction of mini-hydro power stations.
Supporting critical municipal and other infrastructure and state-owned enterprises: improving decaying and underinvested physical infrastructure is of high importance, for example Bank plans to invest in improving Adjara Solid Waste process, in rehabilitation of Tbilisi metro and transport system in Batumi. Bank also works with donors such as Millennium Challenge Corporation (MMC) on improving the water supply in the cities such as Tbilisi, Rustavi, Borjomi.
Financing for the enterprise sector Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) & Medium and Small Enterprises (MSEs): the Bank provides credit lines to local partner banks for on-lending to small and medium size entrepreneurs in support for development of private businesses. It also uses various other instruments, such as newly introduced Medium-sized Co-financing Facility (MCFF) with local banks and a streamlined Direct Investment Facility (DIF), the new Direct Lending Facility (DLF) and the Trade Facilitation Program (TFP). Additional support will be provided by the Turnaround Management (TAM) and Business Advisory Services (BAS) programs. Strong emphasis on improving the rural areas of the country, through more MSE financing especially in agriculture sector
Expanding the Bank's presence in the financial sector (banking and non-bank microfinance institutions): the Bank will seek new equity investments in local banks to enhance their operations and bring them up to international standards, paying particular attention to issues of transparency and corporate governance and building local capacity. The Bank will also seek to play a role in the development of the non-bank financial sector with a specific focus on leasing, insurance and private pension schemes.
Improving the investment climate in Georgia: the Bank hopes to facilitate the public-private sector dialogue. New funding instruments will continue to be designed and implemented, while cooperating with various donors will remain of high importance. Continue and enhance the policy dialogue with the authorities focusing on the power sector and the development of SMEs and micro-enterprises.