"Eastern Partnership Investment Forum: 10 Years after Prague"

European forum

"Eastern Partnership Investment Forum: 10 Years after Prague"

10 - 11 July 2019

 

On July 10th and 11th, was held in Batumi the "First Eastern Partnership Investment Forum" dedicated to the 10th anniversary since its launch in Prague

 

The FFirst Eastern Partnership Investment Forum, dedicated to the 10th anniversary since its launch in Prague, was held in Batumi on July 10-11, 2019, the day before the International Conference in Batumi (July 12), regional dialogue platform who was there for his 16th edition. The Forum, whose guest of honor was Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, was co-organized by the Government of Georgia and the European Commission and aimed to take stock of the support tool from the European Union in the neighboring countries. The positive results on the 6 beneficiary countries were unanimous and the Forum achieved its communication objective. The Post Economic Adviser took part in the Investment Forum and the visits organized on the fringes of the latter.

 

The guest of honor at the two events was the President of the European Council, Donald TUSK who presented to the Forum, by videoconference, the results of the 10 years of cooperation with the 6 Eastern Partnership countries by the formula:

"10 years after Prague, there is more Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia of Moldova and Ukraine in the European Union and more European Union in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and in Ukraine ".

He underlined Georgia's strong commitment to this process.

 

Georgian Prime Minister Mamukha BAKHTADZE and the Government of the Adjara Autonomous Region at the level of its President and the Speaker of its Parliament opened the Forum. They thanked the European Union for its support and the implementation of the DCFTA, reiterated the importance of investment programs in infrastructure and connectivity to make the Caucasus region a logistics hub. The Prime Minister of Georgia has insisted on Georgia's leadership in this package (progress made on the path to European integration, its location, regional cooperation, solid growth of its economy, its public finances, its position in the region), index of Doing Business, the approximation with the European legislation), without hiding the improvements that remain to be made (education, innovation, strengthening of the private sector).

 

The representatives of the six Partnership countries at the level of their Minister of Economy (Georgia) or Vice Ministers of Economy, Infrastructure and Agriculture (Georgia, Ukraine,Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus) also took part in the Forum and the two round table discussions.

 

At the opening panel of the Forum were invited representatives of IFIs (EIB Vice-President, Vazil HUDAK and EBRD Vice-President for Policy and Partnerships, Pierre HEILBRONN), international organizations, private companies, donors, and the media.

 

On the sidelines of the Forum, the Georgian authorities organized G2B and B2B meetings.

 

During the forum were presented:

-the impact of ten years of implementation of the Eastern Partnership in six countries representing 75 million inhabitants and 200 billion euros worth of GDP and where the EIB and the EBRD have a portfolio of 1300 projects representing 33 billion €.

-Investment promotion actions, including JVs and other opportunities in key sectors such as infrastructure, energy, processing and agriculture.

 

During the two round tables devoted to infrastructure and agriculture, panelists were able to express their views on the results achieved in their country thanks to the support of the EU and the creation of infrastructures, including institutional tools, orient production tools towards growth sectors and finally create the necessary value chains. This is a reinforcement of the independence tools of the Partnership countries. The Forum emphasized the importance of these European tools in the strategies of independence and growth while maximizing the positive impact. It was an opportunity to recall the key figures: number of companies supported, jobs created, how many young people were able to participate in the Erasmus program, improvement of public infrastructures etc. The three "P's" of the partnership are: Public, Private, Partnership.

 

The organizers wanted to develop future strategies for the Partnership and its strengthening. The importance of sectoral cooperation with the EU and formats of such cooperation to facilitate this process have been outlined. In this context, and for Georgia, it was noted that a "roadmap for EU integration" was being developed by the Georgian Government. Issues related to the security partnership and the role of Black Sea security as a guarantee of European security were recalled.

 

The forum was an opportunity to make announcements and recall the analysis documents published on this occasion. This is mainly the ISFED summary note on Georgia's long-term prospects for Europeanisation. This paper examines options for further economic integration and closer economic cooperation between the Eastern Partnership countries, which could be beneficial for Georgia as a next step towards possible EU accession .

 

The EIB took advantage of the Forum to organize a side event on the EPTATF technical assistance fund, to which France is contributing € 800K (Austria for € 3M) and visits to two station sites of pumping water in the Georgian coastal region where the fund has invested. The EIB delegation was chaired by Vazil HUDAK, Vice President of the EIB.

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