Galaxy of leaders is creating a New Georgia
By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, November 16
On November 14 President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili talked about the situation within the country with World Bank representatives at Kvareli Lake in Kakheti. Stressing the importance of the conference aimed at introducing the new world leaders with internal training purposes, Saakashvili welcomed the interest shown towards our country. “We are saying that we are a European, democratic Singapore. Singapore – it was a leader's success story. In case of Georgia it is not a success story of a separate individual leader; Georgia is a galaxy of leaders,” said the President adding that the qualified staff within the Ministries realise that they are all creating the new Georgia together. Georgia’s success in building a modern state in the Caucasus region is the greatest nightmare for our ill-wishers,” he said adding that Georgians have this longing to create a modern state in their genes but the country is still facing lots of challenges.
“The World Bank, announcing Georgia as the No 1 reformer country has invited young world leaders to share the experience of our country,” Saakashvili told the audience. Progress in the economy achieved through various reforms and improvements in the business environment during the last five years, are giving the country special conditions according to the President. “Compromise is the worst thing that can happen to reform… We have carried out reforms simultaneously in every field without making compromises and wherever we made compromises, personally I regret them,” stated the President.
Georgia, the country with 20% of its territory occupied, with 10% of its population IDPs, 20% of population living below the poverty line, has been badly affected by great infrastructural destruction. Most business oriented people left the country and went abroad but the country has now reached the two-digit index while the most countries in the world are constantly fighting for a minimal increase. “We are generally sceptics and can hardly believe in the positive changes,” stated the President highlighting the necessity to introducing new ideas in the country and spoke of infrastructure, tourism and agriculture as the main areas for Georgia’s development. “Everyone in the multiethnic Georgia wants to create an example of a successful country within the region. We have overcome the period of hopelessness - we are now changing our mentality. We are in the process of re-discovering our country,” said the President.
According to Saakashvili, Georgia has lots of achievements throughout world history. Its wonderful nature and climate should be the encouragement for the citizens to develop their skills in the new century. “We need new Georgians inventing things on behalf of Georgia by ensuring the developed economic and education systems,” concluded the President.
Creation of the necessary conditions for business development in Georgia mainly depends on establishing innovations within the country according to the President. “We have Georgians working with Motorola; another large group of Georgians are working on the hardest experiment at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, etc. This all should be happening here, in Georgia because the Georgians have the ability to invent and develop new ideas essential for our further development,” said the President condemning the protest rallies organised by the 12th graders demanding the abolition of the school-leavers’ exams.
Anyone can oppose anything in the name of democracy but not receiving knowledge and parents encouraging their children not to study are damaging their futures, according to the President. “The adult hoping to enter the university without exams will go on to say he/she can’t get a relevant job with the university diploma without knowledge…” Saakashvili explained adding such people will always have educated rivals in global economy.
Political analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili explained the difference between the context of “starting” and “doing” business to The Messenger. “Business in Georgia has been identified with the additional income by the Government - it is very easy to entice a person to start a business but hardly anyone is interested in their fate. It’s a pity that the World Bank with its experience is mistaking starting a business with doing business in our country,” the analyst said regretting that the World Bank has been encouraging false propaganda about business conditions in Georgia.
The real situation within the Georgian business environment is not difficult to reveal according to Tsiskarishvili. “How many businessmen have been fined for their businesses and how much money have they had to pay for release from the preliminary detention in our country?” the analyst wondered explaining that small and medium businesses have no special support from the Government and are thus less prosperous. Such businesses create misbalance for the authorised regime within the country. The Government always keeps them under threat and they eventually leave their projects unfinished.