President Saakashvili said in the Kazakh capital Astana on January 11 that the Adjara Autonomous Republic will become “one of the most fashionable” resorts on the Black Sea coast thanks to investment projects the Kazakh BankTuranAlem (BTA) plans to carry out in the region.
President Saakashvili met with BTA representatives in Astana and, according to the Georgian media reports, an agreement that the BTA will invest in the construction of several hotels in Adjara was reached.
“The first results will already be obvious by summer... In 2008 Adjara will become one, huge, ultra-modern resort complex, similar to those which are in Turkey and Bulgaria. Adjara will become one of the most fashionable places for both Georgians and foreigners,” Saakashvili said.
Mukhtar Ablyazov, the BTA Chairman of the Board of Directors, was quoted by RIA Novosti news agency as saying that the Bank plans to invest about USD 200 million in Adjara’s tourism infrastructure.
Kazakh Bank TuranAlem (BTA), which holds assets of USD 5.5 billion, opened a branch office in Tbilisi last August. The Bank started implementation of a USD 100 million investment project, involving reconstruction of the hotel Iveria, in downtown Tbilisi, into a five-star hotel, as well as renovating all of Republic Square, where the hotel is located. The Silk Road Group is BTA’s major partner in Georgia.
After talks with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana on January 10, President Saakashvili said that Kazakhstan “will soon become the number one investor in Georgia.”