Meeting with the Vice President of the European Investment Bank

Published in Politics
Thursday, 15 September 2016 15:35

In terms of the economy and politics, Georgia is the most stable country in the region, - Vice President of the European Investment Bank (The EIB) Laszlo Baranyay noted during his meeting with the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili. According to Laszlo Baranyay the EIB intend to double its financial exposure in Georgia throughout the next few years.
Conversation during the meeting held at the Administration of the Government of Georgia touched upon the infrastructural projects funded by the EIB and prospects of cooperation.
The head of the Government presented the Government's four-point reform plan. Particular attention was paid to the ways of implementation of the infrastructural projects and the importance of the EIB support in this area was highlighted.
According to Laszlo Baranyay, the EIB actively support the reform course of the Government and plans on expanding cooperation.
"We discussed the ongoing issues with the Prime Minister. I believe that Georgian people are well aware of the active cooperation between the EIB and Georgia as well as with EIB's partnership with its economic representatives in both public and private sectors. As of today the amount of our investments is over 700 million EU, and we plan to increase this exposure in the coming 2-3 years. Our activities cover following economic and infrastructural areas, including support of SMEs and cooperation with several Georgian banks. Of course, we intend to intensify our activities, since your country has respective potential and relevant conditions. We discussed various methods of intensification of the cooperation, including in the area of education and social infrastructure. Our cooperation is very good and I hope that it will deepen in the near future," - stated the Vice President of the EIB after the meeting.

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  • Team Europe: EIB immediate Covid-19 response support to the Georgian MSME sector reaches milestone with additional support to Liberty Bank
    • The EU bank will extend Covid-measures to the existing credit line at the Liberty Bank for a total of €17.5 million, including a €2.5 million multi-currency top-up.
    • Loan reinforces Team Europe support for the recovery of Georgian MSMEs from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as sustains jobs, maintains liquidity and operations, and fuels the economic recovery of Georgia.
    • In 2020 alone, EIB provided  €70 million to support faster recovery of Georgian businesses from COVID-19 pandemic

    The European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the European Union, and Liberty Bank agreed to expand an existing credit line for Georgian micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with additional €2.5 million to a total of €17.5 million. With this signature, the EIBs total Covid-19 immediate response comprises additional lending exceeding € 70 million, and existing loans benefiting from Covid measures exceeding € 90 million.
     
    The EIB loans inject fresh capital into the national financial market at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is burdening SMEs with liquidity issues and restricting their ability to access finance for maintaining daily operations or funding expansion plans.
     
    The loan agreement was signed in presence Charles Michel, the President of the European Council.
     
    Please find the video materials here: https://we.tl/t-HjPiBizZZK
     
    EIB President Werner Hoyer, said: Team Europe and the EIB will continue to build up our support for the Georgian MSMEs and fuel the economic and social recovery of the national economy from COVID-19. Last year alone we boosted Georgian recovery from COVID-19 with EUR 170 – 70 million in new lending for MSMES, and 100 million for the reinforcement of the national healthcare sector`s ability to deal with the pandemic. Today, the EIB increased both the amount and the attractiveness of our loans available to MSMEs, as this is the first loan the EU Bank provides to a counterpart in Georgia in local currency. We look forward maintaining our position as the trusted ally of the Republic of Georgia and a key source of support for sustainable social and economic development.”
     
    CEO of Liberty Bank Vasil Khodeli commentedI would like to thank EIB and the EU for their continuous support and the confidence they have shown in Liberty Bank. Thanks to the increased loan amount, Liberty Bank will unlock significant additional lending for MSMEs in Georgia. The coronavirus has hit MSMEs very hard and this facility will provide much needed support for our clients to overcome short-term liquidity shortages, maintain jobs and support economic recovery in the upcoming months. The additional multi-currency facility equivalent to GEL 10 million includes the possibility to make financing available in local currency, which provides us with greater flexibility to finance and support wider range of MSME businesses in Georgia. This is also a further sign of our commitment to help businesses of all sizes to get through the turbulent times.”

    Further increasing affordability of EIB loans
     
    The loan introduces the option to make funding available in synthetic lari, Georgia’s national currency, and increases the affordability of the loans for MSMEs. The expansion will help Georgian MSMEs sustain jobs, maintain liquidity to continue operations, and fuel the economic recovery of Georgia from the COVID-19 pandemic.
     
    The investment from the EU bank forms part of the EIB’s SME Outreach Initiative, which promotes access to finance for MSMEs by supporting smaller local banks to better service their clients. MSMEs are the backbone of the Georgian economy and major employers in the country. The loan expansion comes with a €450,000 in technical assistance to support Liberty Bank improve and expand its offer for MSMEs.
     
    Team Europe adds value for Georgian companies
     
    Covered by a guarantee from the European Union, the loan from the EU bank will enable increase in lending activities to MSMEs without jeopardising the long-term stability of the country’s financial sector or its ability to support the economic recovery from the pandemic in the long term.
     
    This credit line comes with increase attractiveness to SMEs benefiting from the more flexible lending terms enabled by the EIB’s COVID-19 emergency measures. These measures are extended as part of the Team Europe’s efforts to Georgia and other EU partner countries during the pandemic.
     
    To date, the EU bank has invested more than €290 million in credit lines for Georgian businesses, sustaining more than 54,000 jobs in the country.
     
    Background information
     
    About the EIB:
    The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
     
    The EIB in Georgia:
    The EU Bank has been supporting economic and social development of Georgia since in 2007, providing to date some EUR 1.85 billion to local economy. The EU Bank activities in the country supported key infrastructure projects (EUR 1bn), MSMEs and mid-caps (EUR 290m), Municipal infrastructure (EUR 280m) and green energy generation projects (EUR 23.5m). COVID-19 recovery activities in 2020 totalled EUR 170m.
     
    Georgia is among a few non-EU countries eligible to benefit from the European Investment Fund (EIF) operations, designed to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with risk-sharing instruments.  Today, the EIB Group portfolio of guarantees in Georgia cover EUR 382.9 million of SMEs loans.

    The EIB finances most projects in Georgia under the EU External Lending Mandate. This provides the EIB with a guarantee covered by the EU budget for projects in the fields of social and economic infrastructure, local private sector development and climate action. Projects may also benefit from EU grants made available under the DCFTA program funded by the NIP, which amongst others promotes EIB’s efforts to make funding available in local currency.
     
    About JSC Liberty Bank:

    Liberty Bank is one of the largest Banks in Georgia, with total Assets of over GEL 2 bln and Capital GEL 200 mln. The Bank operates the largest branch network comprised of over 360 branches and 570 ATMs. The Bank is the exclusive agent of the Government of Georgia for the distribution of pensions and social benefits. The Bank employs over 4600 employees serving over 1.7 mln customers. 

    For more information on the EIB’s activities in Georgia please follow: https://www.eib.org/en/publications/the-european-investment-bank-in-georgia

    Source: The EU Press Release

  • EIB and ProCredit to support faster recovery of Georgia`s SMEs from the COVID-19 crisis with €10 million

    The European Investment Bank /EIB/ will provide €10 million to the ProCredit Group to offer a new credit line for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and midcaps.

    The EU bank and ProCredit create a €10 million credit line for the recovery of SMEs and midcaps from the COVID-19 pandemic in Georgia.
    EIB and ProCredit Group agree on similar credit lines in Ukraine (€25 million) and Moldova (€20 million), bringing the total support to companies to €55 million.
    The operation is part of the Team Europe’s COVID-19 emergency response to help sustain jobs, maintain liquidity and operations, and fuel the economic recovery of the EU partner countries.
    The European Investment Bank, the lending arm of the European Union, will provide €10 million to the ProCredit Group to offer a new credit line for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and midcaps in Georgia and support their faster recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The credit line can be made available in multiple currencies, including in the local currency.

    The investment is a part of a €55 million regional agreement with the ProCredit, which allows creation of similar credit lines at ProCredit Group in Ukraine (€25 million) and Moldova (€20 million), all in support of faster economic COVID-19 recovery of the EU partner countries in the Eastern Neighbourhood.

    This transaction provides much-needed financing to companies in Georgia to address working capital issues created by the ongoing pandemic. The EIB loan also strengthens the national banking sector in Georgia and reinforces its ability to finance the economic recovery of the country.

    EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, who is in charge of operations in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, said: “Team Europe continues to support economic recovery of EU partner countries in the Eastern Neighbourhood from COVID-19, reinforcing pan-European solidarity in these difficult times. We have thus created new sources of financing at a moment when such aid is crucial for the survival of our SMEs. We look forward to expanding our partnership in the future, so as to allow even more companies benefit from our shared dedication to support SMEs and midcaps grow and develop.

    EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell said: The EU stands by Georgia during the pandemic. The EU has mobilised an unprecedented GEL 1.5 billion COVID-19 support package for Georgia, of which economic recovery of businesses is a fundamental part. This top-up by the EU bank strengthens this component by providing more assistance via local Georgian banks. Thanks to this agreement, an additional number of Georgian small and medium businesses will be able to access finance to get them through these challenging times.

    The management of ProCredit Holding AG & Co. KGaA, the parent company of the ProCredit group, said:
    “Thanks to the well-established relationships with our clients and partners such as the EIB, we have been able to provide efficient support to numerous SMEs during these turbulent months. These EIB credit lines will support SMEs in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to overcome short-term liquidity shortages and will provide much-needed support in local currencies for their investment projects. We expect that this will open them up to new lines of business and opportunities and thus will support economic recovery in the coming years. We are confident that this will be stimulated by a structural shift towards investments that are climate-friendly as well as socially and ecologically sustainable.”

    Team Europe: Strengthening pan-European solidarity in times of crisis

    The EIB investment is a part of Team Europe’s overall response to COVID-19 and supports the sustainable social and economic recovery of the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood. The operation reinforces both SMEs and mid-caps, which are the backbone of national economies and a major source of employment in three countries.

    Covered by guarantees from the European Union, the EIB investment enables the ProCredit Group to increase its lending activities without jeopardising the long-term stability of the local financial sectors or their ability to support the economic recovery from the pandemic in the long term.

    The credit lines will be even more attractive due to the more flexible terms enabled by the EIB’s COVID-19 emergency measures. These emergency measures are a part of Team Europe’s efforts to support partner countries in the Eastern Neighbourhood during the pandemic.

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  • Team Europe - EIB and Bank of Georgia expand credit line for SMEs and mid-caps with €25 million to aid recovery from COVID-19 pandemic
    • The EIB will top up its existing credit line at the Bank of Georgia €25 million to a total of €75 million to support the recovery of Georgian SMEs from the pandemic, extending coverage to include mid-caps.
    • The operation is part of the Team Europe’s COVID-19 emergency response to help sustain jobs, maintain liquidity and operations, and fuel the economic recovery of Georgia.
    • Since 2007, the EU bank has invested close to €2 billion in all key sectors of the Georgian economy, including connectivity, healthcare and SMEs.

    The European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the European Union, will invest €25 million to expand a credit line for Georgian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps available at the Bank of Georgia, helping to accelerate the recovery of the national economy from the COVID-19 pandemic. The credit line can be disbursed in multiple currencies, including in lari, Georgia’s national currency. 

    The EIB loan will inject fresh capital into the national economy at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is burdening SMEs with liquidity issues and restricting their ability to access finance and maintain daily operations or fund expansion plans. 

    The investment from the EU bank will reinforce SMEs and mid-caps, which are the backbone of the Georgian economy and major employers in the country, and the country’s financial sector, boosting their ability to drive the economic recovery from the pandemic.

    EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, who is in charge of operations in Georgia, said: As the bank of the European Union, we are proud to be bolstering Georgia and its economy in this hour of need, no matter how difficult the situation is. The EIB financing will support both Georgian SMEs and the country’s financial sector so that they can continue to operate despite the pandemic and drive the Georgian economy forward. This means we will save jobs, incomes and revenues. Together with our partners in the country’s public and private sector, we look forward to building a prosperous and sustainable future for Georgia.”

    EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell said: The EU stands by Georgia during the pandemic.  The EU has mobilised an unprecedented GEL 1.5 billion COVID-19 support package for Georgia, of which economic recovery of businesses is a fundamental part.  This top-up by the EU bank strengthens this component by providing more assistance via local Georgian banks. Thanks to this agreement, an additional number of Georgian small and medium businesses will be able to access finance to get them through these challenging times.

    Bank of Georgia CEO Archil Gachechiladze commented: “I am very glad to see that our very successful partnership with the EIB is continuing. The multi-currency long-term facility gives us flexibility to utilise the funds according to the currency and maturity needs of our SME and mid-cap clients. Such facilities are key for the private sector, especially during these challenging times, and this further strengthens our position as a leading provider of long-term financial resources on the market. I would like to thank the EIB for its cooperation with us and look forward to many more successful deals in the future.”

    Team Europe adds value for Georgian companies

    Covered by a guarantee from the European Union, the loan from the EU bank will enable the Bank of Georgia to increase its lending activities without jeopardising the long-term stability of the country’s financial sector or its ability to support the economic recovery from the pandemic in the long term.

    The credit line is even more attractive due to the more flexible terms enabled by the EIB’s COVID-19 emergency measures, extended as part of the Team Europe’s efforts to support partner countries such as Georgia during the pandemic.

    This is the third operation between the EIB and the Bank of Georgia supporting the country’s SMEs and mid-caps. To date, the EU bank has invested more than €330 million in credit lines for Georgian SMEs and mid-caps, sustaining more than 54 000 jobs in the country.

    Source: https://www.eib.org/en/press/all/2020-367-team-europe-eib-and-bank-of-georgia-expand-credit-line-for-smes-and-mid-caps-with-eur25-million-to-aid-recovery-from-covid-19-pandemic

  • DETAILS RELEASED OF GEORGIAN GOVERNMENT’S CAMPAIGN TO STRANGLE ANAKLIA PORT PROJECT

    Ruling Georgian Dream Party Reversed its Support for Vital Project,

    Wiping Out Economic Benefits for Georgia

    TBILISI, GEORGIA, 9 September, 2020 – The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC), the company originally selected by the Government of Georgia to develop the strategic Anaklia Port Project, today shared additional details of the Government’s campaign, directed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, to undermine the project by dissuading potential project investors, lenders, contractors and suppliers from joining the project in order to kill it.

    The following statement is issued on behalf of the ADC Supervisory Board:

    All infrastructure projects of such scale require government support; namely the encouragement of lenders and investors, the assistance in permitting, regulatory approvals and a favorable tax regime, and providing any ancillary support; in this instance, the provision of land and the construction of road and rail infrastructure.  For a government to actually oppose an infrastructure project that it had itself approved is highly unusual in the global economy. 

    “The Georgian Government’s campaign to strangle ADC’s ability to develop the Anaklia Port Project represents a self-inflicted wound for itself and considerable injury to Georgia’s economy and its role in the region.

    “Taken together, the Georgian Government's specific actions are part of a deliberate and well-orchestrated campaign to destroy a project which the Government itself originally sponsored and endorsed, but subsequently chose to destroy as a result of what appear to be the political and economic self-interests of the Georgian Dream Party and its principals.

    “The Government manufactured all sorts of excuses for not wanting to see various investors, lenders and partners involved in the project, but the Government really only had one purpose:  to choke the project to death by scaring away everybody who might have an interest in supporting it.

    “Also, is it beyond coincidence that government ministers – including two Prime Ministers -- who voiced support for the project or otherwise expressed concern about the growing controversy with the project were tendering their resignations shortly after such comments were made?  

    “The damage to Georgia caused by the Government goes well beyond the potential loss of the Anaklia Port and the associated Special Economic Zone.  The conduct of the Government is scaring away investors at a time when Georgia cannot afford to lose any more foreign investment.  According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of foreign direct investment in Georgia has fallen from nearly US$  2 billion in 2017 to just over US$ 1.3 billion in 2019, and in the first quarter of 2020, stood at only US$ 171.8 million[1] - a catastrophic decrease even before the Covid crisis began to take effect.  As Retired U.S. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges of the Center for European Policy Analysis said, ‘the government only has itself to blame.’[2]

    Some examples of the Government’s efforts to strangle ADC and the Anaklia Port Project include:

    November, 2017

    • Georgian Dream party leader Bidzina Ivanishvili requested to meet with ADC to discuss the Anaklia Port Project and asserted that the expansion of Poti Port could achieve the same objectives of the Anaklia Port at a far lower cost. 

    June 2018

    • During a June 12 meeting of the Georgian Dream party, attended by more than 100 party officials, Party Leader Bidzina Ivanishvili personally blamed Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili for his actions in support of the Anaklia project and for having close ties to ADC investor Mamuka Khazaradze.  Mr. Kvirikashvili resigned the day after that meeting.

    October 2018

    • In February 2019 ADC learned that during an October 2018 meeting with senior U.S. State Department officials in Tbilisi, Mr. Giorgi Gakharia  (then Minister of Interior) advised the U.S. officials that the Anaklia Port project was not in Georgia’s interests.

    January 2019

    • SSA Marine, which was selected as the Anaklia Port operator and was a potential investor, alerted ADC of its concerns about what seemed to be the Government’s support of an expansion of the Poti Port.  (Following detailed studies sponsored by the Government back in 2013-14, it had been determined that Poti Port could never meet Georgia’s needs for a Deepwater Port, which is why the government itself selected Anaklia for development at that time.  The Government’s subsequent expressions of support for expansion at Poti was a clear signal to the lending and investment community that the Government was no longer supportive of Anaklia.)

    February 2019

    • A sovereign European development bank advised ADC that it had decided against supporting the project because of the negative actions of the Georgian Government, and the possible shift of support to the Poti Port.

    February 2019

    • Another sovereign European development bank advised ADC that it was withdrawing its support because one of its counterparts had just done so (above) due to the state’s apparent shift of support from Anaklia to Poti.

    March 2019

    • It has been reported that Infrastructure Minister Maya Tskitishvili, in ministerial hearings before Parliament, undermined SSA Marine as a potential investor and as the port operator, claiming the company lacked experience and financial capacity.  These assertions were not true. In the process of her speech, the minister also breached legal obligations of confidentiality that were associated with the investment agreement.

    April 2019

    • SSA Marine advised ADC that it was suspending its activities related to the Anaklia Port project.

    April 2019

    • Mr. Giorgi Kobulia, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, told “Forbes Week” that the negative public discussions and media reports of the Anaklia project were having a negative impact on the business climate within Georgia.  He subsequently resigned within days of the interview.

    May 2019

    • A major U.S. private equity firm which was in advanced negotiations with ADC to join the project revealed to ADC that Government officials warned the firm to stay away from the project.

    June 2019

    • Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, in a trade visit to the U.S., met separately with SSA Marine, the leadership of the U.S. private equity firm that were interested in investing in the project, and with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, D.C.  Secretary Pompeo expressed support for the Anaklia project with the prime minister standing next to him, saying it would “strengthen Georgia’s ties with free economies and not allow Georgia to be under the economic influence of Russia or China.”  Upon his return to Georgia, Mr. Bakhtadze resigned, and this again put the project in unchartered waters.

    September 2019

    • At a meeting in Tbilisi, a large Hong Kong-based private equity group with significant Central Asian transportation synergies that was considering joining the project was told bluntly by Infrastructure Minister Tskitishvili that the Government did not desire their participation in the project.  At this same meeting Ms. Tskitishvili reaffirmed the Government’s seeming opposition to SSA Marine’s involvement in the project.

    September 2019

    • Giorgi Volski, Vice Speaker of Parliament, falsely claimed that the Hong Kong private equity group mentioned above is a “Russian” company,  with the intention either of disparaging it or sowing further confusion about the government's position in respect of the project.

    September 2019

    • In a meeting between Prime Minister Gakharia and an Anaklia Supervisory Board member, Mr. Gakharia stated that “things had to get quiet” before he could reassure the major potential U.S. investor of the state’s support for the Anaklia Project, which the board member understood to be a condition that ADC and Mr. Khazaradze stop criticizing the government publicly on its opposition to the Anaklia Project, and the government would stop criticizing ADC.  
    • Also, the Supervisory Board was promised a letter of support to a U.S. investor from the highest levels of the Government, but this never materialized, even though ADC did comply with the Government’s request.

    September 2019

    • A delegation from the U.S. (in Tbilisi to participate in the 5th annual Tbilisi International Conference sponsored by the McCain Institute) met with new Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, and subsequently with Mamuka Khazaradze.  Representatives of the delegation told Mr. Khazaradze that Prime Minister Gakharia told them the Anaklia project was not commercially viable when this was patently not the case.

    October 2019:

    • Fadi Asly, chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce in Georgia, is quoted in the media saying, “No one will invest in Anaklia project as long as Bidzina Ivanishvili wants to destroy it.”

    Taken together, these are only a selection of the instances where the Government of Georgia actively undermined the project in an effort to prevent ADC from developing the project.  ADC intends to present evidence during the upcoming arbitration proceedings to demonstrate the degree to which the Government took such steps.

    Further details of the Anaklia Port project and ADC can be found at http://anakliadevelopment.com

     

  • Prime Minister of Georgia Congratulates Azerbaijanis with 100th Anniversary of First Democratic Republic

    "It is my honor to cordially congratulate this most important national holiday of the Republic Day personally to you, Ambassador and to the friendly nation of Azerbaijan. This date has a special significance this year. Our countries celebrate a centenary jubilee from the creation of the first democratic republic. It is symbolic that we have gathered today within the historic walls that served as a venue for our nations to choose their path of progress and prosperity a hundred years ago. Exactly one century ago, on May 28th 1918 National Council of Azerbaijan announced the independence of the First Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan right in this building. Two days prior, National Council of GGiorgieorgia unanimously endorsed the Independence Act in the same building" stated Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia in his address to the guests gathered at the 100th Anniversary of the First Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan.

    Head of Government noted that it is unfortunate that in the beginning of 20th century independence of Georgia and Azerbaijan turned out to be short-lived, though these spells of liberty left an irremovable trace in the history of statehood of both countries.

    "Recently, on 26th May we celebrated the Jubilee of our Republic together with Mr. Ogtay Asadov, Speaker of the Parliament of Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, our independence turned out to be short-lived. Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan existed for only 23 months, while Georgian - almost 3 years, though these spells of liberty left an irremovable trace in the history of our statehood. Within these hundred years, our countries overcame many obstacles and challenges. Friendship of our people and kind neighborhood counts many hundreds of years. Today we are building a better region with shared efforts to create more peace, stability and prosperity for all. Peaceful and stable region is the primary aim of all of us nowadays" noted the Head of Government in his address.

    According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, peaceful and stable region is most important for the strategic projects that are jointly implemented by Georgia and Azerbaijan. Prime Minister focused on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway project and Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP). According to him, relationship between the two countries is an outstanding example of the kind neighborhood.

    "Azerbaijan is one of the largest investors and trade partners of Georgia. This trend is constantly rising. Close economic and cultural links further solidify the foundation of our cooperation. Today our countries are working together on implementing large scale and ambitious transit and energy projects, which will completely change the dynamics in the region and its international significance. We officially launched the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway last August in Baku. Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) will be launched in June this year, which also evidences our regional cooperation this time between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Friendship existing between our countries is priceless and we take a special care of it. Azerbaijan was always standing by Georgia, be that during energy challenges over decades, as the Ambassador has mentioned in his address or - massive fire-led natural disaster last year. Georgia will never forget this support. I believe that our links will further strengthen and deepen to serve as a basis of a far wider and successful regional cooperation with the active engagement of other participants and partners" noted the Prime Minister of Georgia.

    Head of Government congratulated Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan and his family, as well as the people of Azerbaijan with 95th Jubilee of late Heidar Aliyev. Giorgi Kvirikashvili wished peace, prosperity and success to Azerbaijan.

    "I hope that with shared efforts and engagement we will manage to carry out this greatest mission and leave a peaceful, stable and affluent region to future generations. When we talk about building the state of Azerbaijan, we forget the name of Heydar Aliyev, whose contribution in this mission is tremendous. Recently, 95 years were celebrated from his birth on May 10. I wish to use this opportunity and express my slightly belated, but most cordial congratulations to Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan, his family and the people of Azerbaijan. I want to wish a much greater success to the President of Azerbaijan in the building of statehood. Once again please accept my congratulations with 100th Anniversary of the First Republic of Azerbaijan and I wish peace, prosperity and success to the people of Azerbaijan" concluded Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

    Jubilee reception held at the Youth Palace of Georgia marking the 100th Anniversary of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan was attended by the Government Members, representatives of the diplomatic corps and other invitees, who were also addressed by Dursun Hasanov, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Georgia.
    Prime Minister's Press Office

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