ArmInfo. EBRD's First Vice President and Head of Client Services Group, Jurgen Rigterink, begins a week- long visit to the Caucasus on Monday, 4 September 2023. Starting in Armenia, the trip will continue in Georgia and finish in Azerbaijan, the Banks official website reports.
According to the source, First Vice President Rigterink, accompanied by Matteo Patrone, EBRD Managing Director for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, will meet government officials, central bank governors, business leaders and representatives of international financial organisations in each country. He will also mark the handover between the outgoing EBRD Regional Director for the Caucasus, Catarina Bjorlin Hansen, and her successor, Alkis Vryenios Drakinos.
It is noted that in Armenia, the First Vice President will sign a credit line with a local partner bank to further boost the development of the private sector. In Georgia, Mr Rigterink will launch a programme with one of the EBRD's key partner banks as part of its commitment to supporting small and medium size enterprises. In Azerbaijan he will participate in the launch of the public-private partnership for technical and vocational education and training organised by the State Vocational Education Agency, aimed at strengthening skills capacity in the food production industry.
Ahead of the visit, Mr Rigterink said: "This visit is an opportunity to meet government representatives and members of the business community to discuss the priorities in the region, especially given Russia's war on Ukraine and increasing economic uncertainty. The Caucasus is an important region for the Bank and we are committed to offering continuous support for the sustainable economic development in the region through our investments, advisory services and policy engagements."
It is also noted that the EBRD has invested over ?10 billion in 680 projects across the region, in both the private and public sectors.
The Bank's May regional report notes that in 2023 the economies of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus (EEC) will continue to adjust to the shock caused by the war in Ukraine. In the Caucasus, the drivers of strong growth in 2022 have largely disappeared, bringing GDP growth expectations closer to their medium- term potential.
Inflation is gradually decreasing everywhere, but its annual level fluctuates from single digits. In the short term, the region remains highly exposed to geopolitical risks.
The EBRD is a multilateral bank that promotes the development of the private sector and entrepreneurial initiative in 36 economies across three continents. The Bank is owned by 71 countries as well as the EU and the EIB. EBRD investments are aimed at making the economies in its regions competitive, inclusive, well-governed, green, resilient and integrated.