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Japan’s governmental agency opens office in Tbilisi

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, June 15
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is a governmental agency with billions in its budget, has opened a regional office in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi.

The office will serve Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

The agency is operating in more than 150 countries, providing aid and assistance in fields such as infrastructure, disaster prevention, energy and agriculture.

In Georgia, JICA will finance the construction of several sections of the country’s main transport route East-West Highway.

The JICA announced after opening the office that it would implement and coordinate its regional projects from the Tbilisi branch that would provide better cooperation.

Georgia’s Finance Minister Dimitri Kumsishvili announced that the agency planned 200 million USD support for Georgia, for an infrastructural project.

The opening of the Tbilisi branch was the part of JICA’s President Shinichi Kitaoka’s visit to Georgia.

During his first day of the visit this week, Kitaoka met Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili.

The officials spoke about the prospects of deeper cooperation in the fields of infrastructure and economy.

“Georgia is important for the agency taking our geopolitical location, as we connect Europe with Asia.

“Georgia’s international role in the world economy is significant,” the President’s Advisor on Economics, Maia Melikidze, stated after the meeting.

Georgia’s geopolitical role was also highlighted by the Japanese agency chairperson.

The agency capital is 7 trillion 925.3 billion yen, based on official data of 2015, which is more than 72 billion USD.

The agency’s foreign aid exceeds 10 billion USD annually.

The Japanese official took the post in 2015.