Irakli Garibashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia met Praveer Sinha, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tata Power today.
Turkmenistan’s delegation participates in online workshop of the ministers of finances and health protection of Asian and Pacific countries
Aspects of universal health coverage in Asian Pacific region in the context of response to COVD-19 pandemic and its impact have been discussed at joint online workshop of the ministers of finances and health protection with participation of Turkmenistan’s delegation.
Share of practice in prevention and combat against the spread of coronavirus and further measures for investment to health protection sphere and universal health coverage have been the main goals of virtual meeting organized by Asian Development Bank and the Ministry of Finances of Japan.
It was highlighted that pandemic of dangerous infectious disease has caused global crisis, having made negative impact on all aspects of life activity of humankind.
At the same time, consolidation of efforts in support and promotion of universal health coverage, which is to provide access to qualitative medical services for the population, receives special currency. The achievement of this goal will support to dynamic rehabilitation of the economies and protection from similar major threats in future, having provided favourable opportunities for sustainable development and progress in Asian Pacific region.
In this regard, it is worth to mention that important initiatives of the Head of the State, which are aimed at consolidation of international efforts in combating against new threat including initiatives for activation of fruitful cooperation in scientific diplomacy and in WHO direction, were approved and supported by the world community.
All conditions are made in the country for assertion of the principles of healthy life style in the country together with provision of wide spectrum of quality medical services.
TBILISI, GEORGIA (1 August 2019) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $415 million loan to Georgia to build a new highway as part of a wider government program to improve the country’s transport network and enhance Georgia as a regional trade and tourism hub.
The Kvesheti–Kobi Road Project is the first in a series of upgrades planned for the North–South Corridor, which is a vital transit route for Georgia, Armenia, and regional trading partners. The corridor also intersects with the East–West Highway to the north of Tbilisi, the capital, providing access to the shortest link connecting Central Asia with Europe and East Asia.
The 23-kilometer (km) bypass will be built between the towns of Kvesheti and Kobi and pass through the spectacular Caucasus Mountains in the country’s northeast. It will provide a safer and faster travel alternative for residents, tourists, and freights trucks who face worsening delays on the current road, especially on the Jvari Pass section, which is highly exposed to avalanches in winter.
The bypass will follow a new alignment through the Khada Valley and include engineering features such as Georgia’s longest tunnel (9 km) and its most advanced arch bridge spanning the Khadistskali River. The road will also provide a much-needed link to services and job opportunities for the valley’s remote communities.
Currently, the 3,500 vehicles that use the existing 35-km road each day face high accident risks as well as road closures of more than 40 days a year, mostly in winter. With traffic numbers expected to double over the next 10 years, building a shorter, safer, and faster road that is operational all year is a national priority.
“A high-quality road network is essential for the growth and development of Georgia, which is located at the center of transit and trade routes linking Europe and Asia,” said ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Mr. Werner Liepach. “The new bypass road will greatly improve the North–South Corridor and help enhance trade and regional connectivity, as well as increase the number of visitors in the region, which is home to world-class natural and cultural heritage assets.”
Total transit trade along the North–South Corridor in 2015 amounted to 1.3 million tons of freight, or 12% of Georgia’s total transit trade. Meanwhile, tourism accounts for around 7% of Georgia’s gross domestic product, with the North–South Corridor towns of Gudauri and Stepantsminda among the country’s prime destinations. By diverting freight trucks away from Gudauri via the bypass, the Kvesheti–Kobi Road Project will contribute vital infrastructure for Gudauri to become an internationally-recognized winter resort.
The project is estimated to cost $558.6 million, with cofinancing of $60 million anticipated from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and $83.6 million from the Government of Georgia. The road has been designed to European standards and will be single lane each way plus an additional climbing lane uphill for heavy vehicles. To overcome difficult terrain challenges in the Caucasus Mountains, it will require 5 tunnels at a total length of 11 km and 6 bridges at a total length of 1.6 km.
During project preparation, the Roads Department of Georgia, ADB, and EBRD conducted extensive assessments and consultations with local communities, civil society organizations, and other project stakeholders. Every care has been taken to ensure the environmental and social impacts of the project are minimized and mitigated, including measures to protect the Khada Valley’s biodiversity and cultural heritage sites.
Informed by consultations with local residents, the bypass will be complemented by around 5 km of access roads to connect remote communities in the Khada Valley, which are currently snowbound during winter. The project will also establish a multipurpose visitor center as a hub for tourism activities and to enhance women’s access to economic opportunities.
“The bypass and connecting roads will provide these communities with year-round access to hospitals, schools, and other vital services,” said ADB Transport Specialist for Central and West Asia Mr. Kamel Bouhmad. “The visitor center will focus on community-based tourism to increase the benefits the road will bring.”
Road construction is expected to begin in 2020.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) expresses support to the government's four-point reform plan - the Excutive Directors of the ADB noted in their conversation with Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili at today's meeting. The Head of the Government thanked Asian Development Bank for the support and noted that Georgia appreciates ADB's assistance in terms of development of the infrastructure in the country, budget support and preferential allocation of financial resources.
During the meeting the sides discussed in detail the four-point reform plan, development of infrastructure projects and the education reform. Representatives of the Asian Development Bank expressed their readiness to assist Georgia to strengthen its role as a transport corridor, as well as in terms of reforming the system of vocational education.
The Asian Development Bank is a development partner with the biggest portfolio in Georgia. ADB supports of infrastructure investment projects, it has also approved the three-year program budget support and provides a variety of technical assistance programs.
The sides underscored the importance of the visit of the Executive Directors of the Asian Development Bank and noted that such a high-profile ADB delegation has visited Georgia for the first time.
7 Executive Directors of the Asian Development Bank and the alternative Director have undertaken a three-day visit to Georgia. The delegation, led by the executive director of ADB Board of Directors, Zhongjing Wang, included Executive Directors of ADB's board of directors - Matthew Fox, Gaudencio Hernandez, Jr., Philaslak Yukkasemwong, Mapa Pathirana, Michael Strauss, Sarafjon Sheraliev. The meeting with the Prime Minister also attended by the Director of the ADB's resident mission to Georgia Yesim Elhan-Kayalar, ADB's Deputy Permanent Representative in Georgia George Kiziria, and the first Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Dimitry Kumsishvili, Minister of Finance Nodar Khaduri, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Nodar Javakhishvili, Prime Minister's assistant, the Secretary of the Economic Council George Gakharia, Deputy Minister of Finance David Lezhava and Deputy Minister of the Regional Development Ilia Darchiashvili.