European Union External Action

Team Europe: EIB provides €106.7 million to Georgia for major upgrades of its East-West highway

01/07/2021 - 10:33
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The European Investment Bank, the bank of the European Union has provided an additional €106.7 million to the Government of Georgia for the upgrades of the East-West (E60) Highway, the country’s main road artery.

  • The EU bank will finance two sections of the East-West Highway extending the motorway to the borders with Azerbaijan and Armenia
  • The investment increases road safety along the 388km-long highway, a key road artery for Georgia and the South Caucasus region
  • To date, the EU bank has invested close to €2 billion in Georgia supporting key sectors of the economy and its EU membership ambitions
 
The European Investment Bank, the bank of the European Union has provided an additional €106.7 million to the Government of Georgia for the upgrades of the East-West (E60) Highway, the country’s main road artery. The loan from the EU bank will finance two upgrades: one, along the 30km-long section between Algeti and Sadakhlo, and the other, the 32 km-long section between Rustavi and the Red Bridge. The two upgrades will extend the highway to the borders with Armenia and Azerbaijan, respectively.
 
The operation improves road safety on the motorway, cuts travel times, reduces vehicle operating and maintenance costs, and increases the economic and territorial cohesion of Georgia. It will also improve connectivity within the South Caucasus region.
Teresa Czerwinska, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank responsible for EIB operations in Georgia, said: “EIB investment in the East-West Highway improves conditions for living and doing business and increases the country’s resilience to major crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. With new trade opportunities for the country and the region alike, the East-West Highway will benefit Georgia for decades to come. This investment will also expand Team Europe’s support for faster recovery of Georgia from the devastating COVID-19 crisis. It comes on top of the €170 million that the EIB invested in the country’s SMEs and healthcare system during 2020 alone.”
Irakli Karseladze, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia, said: “The EIB is actively involved in the modernisation of road infrastructure in Georgia, such as the development of the East-West Highway (E60) project, which connects the country’s eastern border to the west, transforming Georgia into the best transport corridor and logistics hub between Asia and Europe and linking us to Eastern Partnership countries and the European Union. I would like to extend my sincerest thanks and appreciation to the EIB team for its continued support for and cooperation with our regional and infrastructural development agenda.”
Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia, said: “The East-West Highway is one of Georgia’s main arteries and the European Union is proud to help strengthen it further with this support. This will create additional economic opportunities for Georgians and help firm up Georgia’s position as a transit hub in the region.”
Safe, quick and modern connection for Georgia and the region

Once completed, the East-West Highway will offer a quicker and safer traffic alternative to existing connections and integrate Georgia with the Trans-European Transport (TEN-T) Network. The TEN-T spans the European Union and strengthens social, economic and territorial cohesion in the Union, while its extended networks, such as the East-West Highway, extend the same benefits to EU partner countries.
 
The EIB has been supporting the construction of the East-West Highway since 2012, reinforcing Team Europe’s support for the social and economic development of Georgia and the country’s EU ambitions. To date, the EIB has invested close to €1 billion on the East-West Highway, which represents nearly half of its total investments in the country.
 
The EIB investments in the East-West Highwayform part of the EU commitment to the social and economic development of Georgia, and are guaranteed by the European Union. So far, the European Union has complemented the EIB loans for the East-West Highway with €26 million in grants.
 
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.
 
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:
Since the beginning of operations in Georgia in 2007, the EIB has invested close to €2 billion in 23 projects in infrastructure, the private sector and climate action. In 2020 alone, the EIB Group supported COVID-19 recovery activities and invested €70 million to support the country’s SMEs and €100 million in the Georgian healthcare system.
 
To date, the EIB has invested in key sectors of the Georgian economy: infrastructure (€1 billion), MSMEs and mid-caps (€290 million), municipal infrastructure (€280 million) and green energy generation projects (€23.5 million).
 
The EIB stepped up its support for the country with the 2014 Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between Georgia and the European Union, making it the main EIB lending beneficiary per capita in the EU Eastern Neighbourhood.


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. For more information on the EIB’s activities in Georgia please follow this link.
 
Press contacts:
 
EIB Group: Tibor Jona, email: t.jona@eib.org, tel.: +352 691 287 052
Website: Website: www.eib.org/press - Press Office: +352 4379 21000 – press@eib.org
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