Mr. Aleksi Aleksishvili, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Georgia, and Mr. Torsten Gersfelt, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Mr. Aleksi Aleksishvili, Georgia’s Finance Minister, signed earlier today in Tbilisi a framework agreement providing the basis for EIB’s future activities in Georgia.


 This agreement will allow the Bank to proceed with the financing of projects of key common interest for Georgia and the European Union, in the areas of transport, energy, telecommunications, and environment infrastructure. The EIB’s activities in Georgia will be developed in close cooperation with the European Commission and the EBRD, as well as other International Financial Institutions operating in the country, including the International Monetary Fund.


 An agreement in line with the European Neighbourhood Policy: This extension of EIB activity to Georgia supports the European Neighbourhood Policy, which aims to strengthen the links between the enlarged EU and its neighbouring countries, and to promote an area of prosperity, stability and security. To this end, in December 2006 the EU Council of Ministers authorised the EIB to lend up to EUR 3.7 billion between 2007 and 2013 in Eastern Europe, Russia, and for the first time Southern Caucasus. Georgia is the first Caucasian country to sign a framework agreement with the EIB.


The European Investment Bank, the European Union's long-term lending institution, supports investments furthering EU integration, in support of 6 priority EU policies: cohesion and convergence; support to SMEs; environmental sustainability; research, development and innovation; Trans-European Networks; and sustainable, competitive and secure energy. It also operates outside the EU within the framework of the EU's external policies for co-operation and development. Owned by EU’s 27 Member States, the EIB raises its funds on the capital markets (AAA-rated issuer). In 2006, it borrowed EUR 48bn and lent a total of EUR 45.8bn.