The route links Georgia’s capital Tbilisi and its Black Sea ports with Turkey and Azerbaijan.
This is the largest EIB loan ever granted to Georgia and the first supporting Georgia’s transport sector. The loan will finance the construction of 52km of new motorway between Samtredia and Grigoleti at the most Western part of the East-West highway, as well as the rehabilitation of 16 km of existing roads leading South from Grigoleti.
“The East-West highway is a key transport axis in Georgia, which is of great importance not only for Georgia and its neighbouring countries, but also for the EU as a strategic transit route for road transport between Europe and Central Asia,” said EIB vice-president Wilhelm Molterer. “Better transport links are crucial to improving Georgia’s economic cooperation with neighbouring countries and its other trading partners, strengthening the competitiveness of the region and increasing transport safety and capacity with positive consequences for the quality of life of the country’s citizens”.
This is the seventh EIB loan to Georgia, bringing the EIB lending commitment in the country to €360m. To date, the EIB has provided funds for the development of Georgia’s energy and water infrastructure, including loans to support the construction of high-voltage power transmission lines, the rehabilitation of the Enguri and Vardnili cascade of hydropower plants and the repair and upgrading of municipal water facilities. The EIB has also provided in Georgia credit lines to partner financial institutions to support indirectly smaller projects usually implemented by small and medium-sized companies.