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Georgian business keeps it up!

By Natalie Osipovi
Friday, January 17
During a meeting with Georgian businessmen on January 15, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili discussed the problem of starting immediate and effective dialogue between the business sector and government.

According to his statement, the government, together with businesses, has to create an institutional environment that will ensure the maximum and effective utilization of the country’s economic potential. This will provide Georgia with more additional jobs, which will help the country in solving poverty.

Gharibashvili also mentioned that besides the political situation of last year, businesses took significant steps towards their development.

“There is no political pressure in Georgia and property rights are highly protected. This is proved by international ratings,” Gharibashvili said, referring to the improvement of Georgian rating in The Global Competitiveness Report, where Georgia moved from 77 to 72 among 148 countries.

According to Gharibashvili, during the meeting of the Georgian Co-Investment Fund, organized by former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, it was agreed to have a private investment fund that offers special opportunities and advantageous conditions for potential investors who consider making direct investments in Georgia.

Gharibashvili said that so far, $6 billion in capital resides in this fund.

Another goal is to set up an Entrepreneurship Development Agency to support primary business.

“We must create conditions that will help commercial banks to be able to offer credit to new businesses,” he said.

The PM recalled the successful negotiations with the EU about a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement which is able to create potential for Georgia to enter a market of 500 million people.

“All of this increases Georgia’s export potential, and is extremely important for the development of the Georgian economy,” he continued.

Gharibashvili said the government understands its role in this process and sees opportunity for achieving the main goals of the country, like attracting foreign direct investment, stimulating the real sector of the economy and supporting local entrepreneurship.

“One of the main priorities of the government is to attract investments in the energy sector,” he added.

Gharibashvili was quiet satisfied with the meeting. “We had a very frank and sincere discussion. The representatives of business made some interesting offers; we presented our messages as well,” he said, after the meeting.

“We mentioned that business is absolutely free from political pressure. No one will prevent business from its development,” Gharibashvili added.

According to his statement, a meeting with the representatives of small and medium businesses is also planned in the near future.

The United National Movement (UNM) responded to Gharibashvili’s statements with accusations of misleading the public. According to the UNM, the Co-Investment Fund is a private foundation, which is similar to a lot out there in the world.

They said the main problem here is that there is not $6 billion in capital in this fund so that creation of new structure for helping business will not help it. On the contrary, the less state structures exist, the more contributing it will be for business. That is why creating a new structure will just be wasting money.

They also mention that improving of the positions in some ratings is a concrete result of the reforms and steps that were held by the previous government. So, appropriating this achievement to them is not a decent thing to do.