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Another admirer of Georgian reforms

By Salome Modebadze
Friday, October 15
President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili hosted the Ukrainian delegation of MPs and experts led by the Chairman of Committee on Industrial and Regulatory Policy and Entrepreneurship Natalia Korolevskaya at the Presidential Palace on October 13. The sides discussed deepening political and economical cooperation between the two countries as well as projects to attract investors’ attention and creating effective environments for business development in their respective countries.

“For 19 years we have been trying to say that we need reforms in our country; finally Ukraine has a chance to implement the appropriate changes by consolidating the experiences from other countries. Georgia is one of the leading countries throughout the world in terms of the efficiency of establishing reforms,” Korolevskaya said wondering how the ongoing reforms in Georgia have promoted the country over the last several years.

Sharing the secrets of his successful reforms, Saakashvili regretted that times constraints meant he was unable to show his guests all the achievements personally, but promised they would have an opportunity in the future. “Georgia is a small country where the Government is constantly moving from one thing to another. We have been carrying out serious reforms for decentralisation – everything in Georgia will be compactly located in the cities and the roads will be improved in each and every village and town before 2012,” the President stated.

Reforms in Georgia were the main issue of discussions between the Ukrainian visitors with their Georgian colleagues in Parliament. Deputy Chairman of Parliament, Gigi Tsereteli spoke of the importance of cooperation with Ukraine in different fields such as the economy, international affairs, politics, business, etc. so that more Ukrainians could come to Georgia, there could be more Ukrainian investment in Georgia and more Georgian products could be exported to Ukraine. “Georgia is an example of an economic re-branding of a country which once had the poorest rating,” Korolevskaya said stressing that the Ukraine was the last in the list of economically promoted countries thus cooperation with Georgia would be a wonderful opportunity for sharing its success.

Meeting Petre Tsiskarishvili, the Chairman of the United National Movement (UNM) Parliamentary faction, the Ukrainian MPs expressed interest in studying the particular reforms which have ensured Georgia’s development following the Russian aggression and world financial crisis. Tsiskarishvili welcomed the Ukrainian MPs wish to develop their country and provided detailed answers to their questions explaining the importance of a liberal economic policy and the democratic reforms carried out in Georgia during the last few years.

Georgian MPs summarised their meetings with the Ukrainian guests as a step forwards in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries in various fields where Georgia and Ukraine should lobby for each other’s interests in the framework of the European Union (EU) East Partnership initiative.

Analyst Gia Khukhashvili welcomed the positive cooperation between the Georgian and Ukrainian political and public figures but disapproved of the propaganda creating a so-called virtual welfare in our country. “The Government is trying to convince society that everything is fine in Georgia and there is no need to worry about things. The visit of the Ukrainian delegation led by the Chair of one of the parliamentary committees is not such an important issue. I mean Korolevskaya had no practical right to talk on behalf of the whole Ukrainian political circle thus we should refrain from making very optimistic conclusions for bilateral cooperation. We Georgians know the conditions and lifestyle of our citizens better than the Ukrainian visitors, who will now go sightseeing our country and sample the best Georgian wines,” the analyst told The Messenger encouraging the Georgian society to stop floating in dreams and come down to earth.

Khukhashvili pointed out that the current President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych has a different approach towards Georgia than his predecessor Viktor Yushchenko and wondered how Georgian-Ukrainian cooperation will develop.