WB's Sebastian Molineus: Pleased to see many very important reforms in Georgia
WB's Sebastian Molineus: Pleased to see many very important reforms in Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister, Irakli Garibashvili held a meeting with the Regional Director of the World Bank for the South Caucasus, Sebastian Molineus on Monday.

Molineus said he is “really pleased to see many very important reforms in Georgia.” He believes “Georgia plays a role of a strong leader both in the region and globally.”

According to the government’s press service, Irakli Garibashvili and Sebastian Molineus reviewed the projects currently implemented and planned in Georgia with support of the World Bank, along with the assistance received by the country during the COVID pandemic. Significant support of the World Bank demonstrated in the fight against the virus was particularly highlighted.

The Prime Minister of Georgia expressed gratitude to Sabastian Molineus for the effective and productive cooperation with the Government of Georgia, thereby noting that engagement of the World Bank in various sectors of the economy is genuinely appreciated.

According to the Head of Government of Georgia, financial resources were allocated by the World Bank over the decades for financing a number of significant projects, totaling 2.7 BLN USD. The current portfolio of the World Bank consists of 12 active investment projects and Development Policy Operations (DPOs) amounting to 928 MLN USD in total.

It was noted during the discussion that projects oriented towards boosting the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) have given a great stimulus to the economic recovery and gradual resumption of business in Georgia.

Prime Minister said, “the country aims to shape into a transport and logistics hub between Europe and Asia, thus making the regional development projects a key priority in the agenda of the government, while the financial support of the World Bank playing a significant role towards this end.”

“I was very pleased to meet the Prime Minister. The main focus of the discussion was around the economic reform program and I am really pleased to see many very important reforms that are underway and being launched.

The first such reform is around the human capital agenda, where the World Bank jointly with the Government is preparing a major – what I would refer – a transformational reform program to improve health outcomes, particularly addressing the high out-of-pocket costs that many Georgians are faced today, improving the educational outcomes, making sure that the PISA rankings are improved and that we can improve the quality of education from early childhood all the way to a university. And then the number three, addressing important social protection reforms, in particular ensuring that the social protection measures address those families that need it most, in particular families with children. So, this is the human capital agenda and the first main topic that we discussed.

The second topic that we discussed was around the ongoing COVID response, making sure that some of the very positive measures that the Government has undertaken as of late – Green Passes, financial incentives for the elderly – are continued and strengthened with a very robust communications campaign to ensure that all Georgians are vaccinated.

And number three: We discussed the overall economic and structural reform agenda. What are the reforms to increase the productivity of the Georgian economy, so that it can create more jobs for the people of Georgia? What are some of the reforms that are needed to ensure that growth is sustainable and I am thinking in particular about the climate agenda?

And then finally, what is needed to ensure a strong, competitive and digital economy for Georgia? Last, but not least, we discussed the logistics agenda, making sure that when it comes to regional connectivity and integration, that Georgia can be a strong leader not only in the region, but globally as well, given its geopolitical placement in the region” noted Sebastian Molineus.

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