July 3, 2017
JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka visited Georgia, Armenia and Ukraine from June 11 to 17, met with key government officials from each country and visited ODA project sites.
Georgia, his first stop, is working to invigorate its economy by improving its business environment. Georgia intends to grow as a hub of the Caucasus region, with its geopolitical importance as an intersection between Asia and Europe.
Key government officials including President Giorgi Margvelashvili thanked JICA for opening the JICA Georgia Office as the agency’s first branch office in the Caucasus region, and expressed their hopes for more investment from Japan. In response, Mr. Kitaoka said JICA will strengthen assistance in the area of human resource development, economic infrastructure and the tourism.
Armenia, Mr. Kitaoka's next stop, has a steadily growing economy despite the dispute with the neighboring country. In Armenia, JICA’s assistance includes infrastructure, regional development and disaster risk reduction and management. Mr. Kitaoka visited Spitak, where there were many victims of the earthquake in 1988. He noted that Japan, too, is affected by earthquakes, and said JICA will continue its assistance in disaster risk reduction to Armenia. Key government officials, including Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, expressed their hopes for further cooperation from JICA in sectors such as human resource development.
Ukraine was the last country Mr. Kitaoka visited during this trip. Even amid the difficult situation in the eastern part of the country since 2014, JICA is providing assistance in areas including economic and financial stabilization, the environmental management, governance and financial reform to encourage domestic reforms for the socioeconomic development of Ukraine. Key government officials including President Petro Poroshenko thanked JICA for its assistance. Mr. Kitaoka said JICA will continue supporting the country’s development in fields including infrastructure and the environment.
The three countries Mr. Kitaoka visited all became independent in 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, and are democratizing and transitioning to market-oriented economies. This year, the 25th anniversary of their establishing diplomatic relations with Japan, Mr. Kitaoka visited these countries for the first time as JICA president. Through financial and technical cooperation, JICA will further contribute to building up these countries and deepening its relationship with them.