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Ministry of Economics dismisses ‘downfall’

By Messenger Staff
Friday, August 5
Georgia’s Ministry of Economics has released a special statement, where the body responded to accusations voiced by a member of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party, Georgia’s ex-Deputy Foreign Minister Sergi Kapanadze, over the current Government’s misguided economic policies.

Kapanadze, who held his position under the UNM Government and then chaired one of the country's NGOs, is now among the top ten of the UNM’s election list for the upcoming October 8 parliamentary elections.

At his special briefing on August 3, Kapanadze said Georgia’s economic growth has been “very slow” since 2013, after the current ruling Georgian Dream (GD) coalition defeated the nine-year rule of the UNM in 2012.

He stressed that Georgia’s economic growth was faster in 2004-2007 than during the governance of the Georgian Dream, as economic growth was averaging at 3% between 2013-2016.

He has also referred to Georgia’s domestic debt, remarking it has been almost doubled and increased by a billion dollars.

Kapanadze also mentioned the depreciation of the national currency, which has lost almost 20 percent of its value against the dollar since November 2014.

In response, the Ministry of Economics wrote that Kapanadze and the UNM as a whole were just trying to mislead people.

The Ministry wrote that Georgia’s gross domestic product has increased for recent years. It was 30.7 billion USD in 2012, and has reached to 35.6 billion, up by 16%.

“According to a World Bank assessment, Georgia has been listed with the countries in which the population has more than an average income per person,” the Ministry said.

It added that under the World Bank's research, the level of poverty has significantly decreased in Georgia.

“In 2004-2007 Georgia’s economic growth was caused by external factors but Georgia was not the best one in the region. We lagged behind Armenia, Belarus, and Azerbaijan for instance.

“The regional economic growth has been decreasing for recent three years but Georgia still maintains one of the best results throughout the region (average economic growth in 2013-2015 – Georgia: 3.5%; Turkey: 3.6%; Armenia: 3,3%; Azerbaijan, 3.2%; Belarus: 0,4%, Russia: 0,6% and Ukraine: 5.5%),” reads the statement.

The Ministry said they predicted at least 3.0% of growth in 2016.

For the Georgian population, economic growth refers to their current conditions more than any figures. The fact is that until now neither the previous nor the current Governments managed to eradicate poverty and provide better living conditions for the people.

In addition, the country is still dependent on imported products.

Only when the population feels their conditions have improved will the Government know that its economic policy is right.