Georgia: Another milestone for the EIB’s continuous support for the development of the East-West Highway
- The Ubisa-Shorapani section of Georgia’s East-West Highway was opened on 28 October 2023.
- It is one of the seven sections supported by the European Union with EIB loans of approximately €1 billion and over €42 million of EU grants in total.
- The highway serves as the backbone of the Georgian road transport system, forming a crucial part of the extended Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and the Middle Corridor.
The Ubisa-Shorapani section of Georgia’s East-West Highway was officially opened on 28 October 2023 by Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Irakli Karseladze, the Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia Paweł Herczyński, and Head of EIB Global’s Regional Representation for the South Caucasus Maciej Czura.
The completion of this section of highway marks a significant step in the project, enhancing connectivity within the country and with Georgia’s neighbours as part of the extended Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The EIB loans also support other sections of the East-West Highway, contributing to the construction of over 150 km of highway in Georgia.
EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, responsible for the Bank’s activities in Georgia, remarked: “We welcome this milestone in our long-standing cooperation with Georgia in the transport sector, which brings the European Union and Georgia closer together. Team Europe’s support for the East-West Highway, the backbone of the Georgian road transport system, contributes to the country’s global connectivity, local mobility and economic growth.”
European Union Ambassador to Georgia Paweł Herczyński stated: “Today, we are witnessing an important milestone for Georgia’s transport connectivity. The East-West Highway, which is being opened today forms an important part of the extended Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), favouring regional integration through increased connectivity. We are grateful to the European Investment Bank for financing the development of this highway and contributing to the implementation of the Economic and Investment Plan.”
Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili remarked, “We are celebrating the commissioning of a new 4-lane 27-km fragment of a highway, which includes 65 bridges and 38 tunnels. We all know that construction of highways and roads has a tremendous importance for the development of our country, especially the construction of the East-West Highway. Since 2012, when we came to power, 193 km out of 261 km-long highways have been built and commissioned during our governance.”
Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Irakli Karseladze stated “Both the 27-km section that opened today and Rikoti Pass section are crucial. These can be considered the most challenging sections along the entire East-West Highway, which in turn is a part of the Silk Road of the European road network of the international E60-E70 highway. Naturally, the mentioned section, as well as the development of the East-West Highway in general, is important for the development of the country, for the significant contribution in the international regional context, under which the capacity increases three times, and most importantly, all these benefits are received from the full compliance with international road safety standards.”
The EIB has a long-standing record of cooperation with Georgia in transport connectivity projects, committing around €1 billion to the development of the East-West Highway. EIB loans are fully guaranteed by the European Union and thus offer very favourable conditions for the benefit of the Georgian people. Recently, at the Global Gateway Forum, the European Union and the EIB announced another grant of €16 million to improve road safety in Georgia for better and safer connectivity along the East-West transit routes. With this latest grant, the total amount of EU grants complementing EIB loans comes to around €42 million.
About the EIB and EIB Global
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term financing institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It provides long-term finance for sound investments in pursuit of EU policy goals, supporting projects in four priority areas: infrastructure, innovation, climate and environment, and SMEs.
EIB Global is the EIB Group’s specialised arm devoted to increasing the impact of international partnerships and development finance, and a key partner of Global Gateway. We aim to support €100 billion of investment by the end of 2027 — around one-third of the overall target of this EU initiative. Within Team Europe, EIB Global fosters strong, focused partnerships alongside fellow development finance institutions and civil society in close cooperation with other multilateral development banks. EIB Global brings the EIB Group closer to local people, companies and institutions through our offices around the world.
About the EIB in Georgia
The EIB has been collaborating with Georgia since 2007 to support economic and social development in the country. The EIB’s commitment exceeds €2 billion and is distributed across various sectors, including infrastructure, green energy, water and wastewater as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The Bank operates in line with the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the Eastern Partnership (EaP) and other EU bilateral agreements.