The Georgian Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili, highlighted the significant contribution of the Central Asian Development Regional Program and the Asian Development Bank to various projects and events in Georgia.
Speaking at the 22nd ministerial of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC), Garibashvili noted that the Central Asia Regional Program aligns with Georgia’s aspirations to become a regional centre.
Emphasizing the growing importance of the Middle Corridor, the PM expressed Georgia’s readiness to undertake large-scale infrastructure projects, including the Anaklia port, railway modernization, and the construction of a new international airport in Tbilisi.
“I would like to extend a warm welcome to the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) – His Excellency Mr. Asakawa, the honorable ministers, delegations of member states and representatives of international organizations. It is a great pleasure to address all of you today at the 22nd Annual Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Ministerial Conference in Tbilisi.
In 2023, Georgia had the privilege of chairing CAREC and as this year ends, I proudly state that we have successfully fulfilled this important responsibility. I convey my sincere gratitude to all state agencies and individuals, who were involved in accomplishing this significant mission.
Looking ahead, we are delighted to host the ADB’s 57th Annual Meeting in 2024 in Tbilisi. I am confident that this event will provide an outstanding platform for deliberating on regional and global development issues and the proposed solutions.
Dear Friends, let me underscore the pivotal role of CAREC and ADB in promoting regional economic development. Notably, both have immensely contributed to numerous projects and events in Georgia. Since Georgia joined CAREC in 2016, approximately 3 BLN USD worth of investments were mobilized in our country.
It is gratifying to observe that CAREC’s key policy directions are closely aligned with Georgia’s aspiration to serve as a regional hub that offers a simplified and accelerated trade and transport route between Europe and Asia.
As the significance of the so-called Middle Corridor is growing as a stable and secure alternative to traditional routes, we are committed to implementing large-scale infrastructure projects to facilitate the improvement of transportation and logistic connections. These include the development of a new Deep-Sea Port in Anaklia, the Black Sea Submarine Electric Cable, Railway Modernization Project and the construction of a new international airport in Tbilisi to name a few.
We acknowledge that numerous barriers still impede the swift movement of goods, vehicles and individuals among CAREC countries. The seamless functioning of the Middle Corridor necessitates the establishment of joint checkpoint infrastructure enabling simultaneous border crossings between neighboring countries through a one-stop principle. This approach aims at minimizing the costs of transporting goods and maximizing the effective utilization of latest technological advancements,” PM stated.
Garibashvili stated that despite global challenges, Georgia successfully maintained economic stability through consistent and effective economic policies.
“I believe that given Georgia’s unique role in the region, my country’s economic development will considerably contribute to the shared regional prosperity.
Our Government focuses on enhancing the competitiveness of our private sector, integrating the country into global value chains, upholding a business-friendly environment and efficiently leveraging the nation’s transit and renewable energy potential. In fact, due to our consistent and effective economic policies, Georgia has successfully maintained economic stability despite the challenges of regional and global scale.
To illustrate some of our progress, let me highlight that following the Covid pandemic, Georgia’s economy rebounded with a double-digit growth rate of more than 10% in 2021 and 2022. My Government has maintained this positive trend in 2023, with an average economic growth rate of 7% in the first 9 months, along with the inflation rate of less than 1%.
Overall, the country’s national economy has tripled since 2012. In 2012, the nominal GDP was 27 BLN GEL, while in 2024 it is projected to reach 86 BLN GEL. With 8000 USD expected at the end of 2023, in just 3 years, GDP per capita has nearly doubled. Additionally, our official reserve assets reached a historic high in July this year, while the unemployment and poverty rates are at historical lows.
Dear Friends, acknowledging the growing energy demand and the urgency of addressing climate change, we are pursuing state-of-the-art ventures in renewable energy, including hydropower, wind, solar and other sustainable sources. Our objective is to attract investors to establish more power plants to utilize Georgia’s abundant green energy potential.
Also, we work hard to develop projects in the field of energy efficiency and stand ready to develop relevant policies in accordance with the obligations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as well as the EU-Georgia association agenda.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize the significance of CAREC for the whole region and the feasibility of implementing the goals set by this Program. I hope that today’s ministerial conference will be successful and fruitful, aiding our shared aspiration for a prosperous and sustainable future,” the PM added.