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Gharibashvili attends political forum

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, February 20
Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, addressed the participants of the forum organized by the government of Georgia and the World Bank. The chief economist of the World Bank for Europe and the Central Asia Region, Hans Timmer also attended the forum entitled Challenges of Economic Growth for Georgia. The forum participants discussed the development of the government's policy priorities - Georgia 2020 Project for the social-economic development strategy of the country.

Speaking about the top priorities of the Georgian government, Gharibahsvili and his team aims at ensuring real economic growth. He said that the previous government had announced a liberal economic policy, though in reality, it was not like that. According to Gharibahsvili, their predecessors were “brutally interfering” in business activity, which showed its negative effects.

“The goal of our government is to create a business environment in Georgia, where every entrepreneur obeys the same rules of doing business," Gharibashvili stressed.

Gharibashvili said no economic growth was reflected on the social and economic condition of the Georgian population during the previous administration. That is why, he said, the major challenge of the new government is to ensure that the economic development and progress of the country really reaches “every single person, and every single family.”

According to the PM, the government is working on improving the demand and supply imbalance in the country. He said people have education in areas that are less demanded in the current labor market. Moreover, he said that Georgia lacks a work force with relevant vocational education to fill the vacancies demanding a professional qualification.

Gharibashvili said Georgia can become a “regional logistic hub” over time, but before that the government is expanding export by entering new markets as well as considering changing its import policy by using local production.

Concerned about the level of agricultural infrastructure in the country, Gharibahsvili said it is necessary to develop primary agricultural production, as well as a processing industry related to it, as nowadays the country even lacks irrigation and drainage systems.

The Georgian government acquainted the representatives of the World Bank and other experts with the major priorities of the development policy of the country, developed by the government. He said achieving inclusive growth by considering international experience “to share successful reforms of other countries” would make Georgian policy “even more effective.”

PM Gharibashvili said implementation of any policy will be effective only under conditions of macroeconomic stability. “Accordingly, we attach great importance to a healthy fiscal policy,” he said.

Stressing that the Georgian government will also assist the development of local business, Gharibashvili said the latter should provide jobs for people.

According to the prime minister's press service, last year the Ministries of Finance and Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia began creating the social and economic development strategy of the country by assignment of the Prime Minister. The country’s social and economic development strategy was developed with the active participation of all ministries, experts, the national bank, business sector and international organizations.