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Debate over regulations on the purchase of land

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, July 8
The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, commented that regulations will be imposed in the process of the privatization of state-owned lands for non-residents. Several days ago the Constitutional Court ruled the Georgian Parliament’s moratorium on the acquisition of agricultural lands by foreign citizens to be unconstitutional.

According to Kvirikashvili, “The privatization of state-owned lands will not happen until we establish new regulations, which will impose certain property restrictions for non-resident individuals. These regulations include the best international practice, used in many Eastern Europe countries,” the minister stated.

Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani also made a comment about the issue. She called the decision of the Constitutional Court insufficient, which made the government short on time. According to her, regulations are necessary in the process of the formation agricultural policy.

The minister, who leads the council working on the issue, explained that the council meeting has achieved agreement on many issues, but some still remain obscure, like which regime should be subjected on non-residents, wishing to buy land in Georgia.

“If a foreigner wants to buy agricultural land in Georgia, he has to establish a legal entity and must have a well defined investment plan and activities, agreed on by the ministries and government. For us the most important is to promote investment in Georgia,” Tsulukiani stressed.

Transparency International Georgia believes that placing restrictions on purchasing lands by foreigners will have a negative impact on investment in Georgia. They also claim that the government should not make the regulations too strict so they do not scare away potential foreign investors in Georgia.

Meanwhile, expert Vakhtang Dzabiradze believes that restrictions exist in all developed countries regarding state-owned land purchases. “They are not as simple as we have in Georgia currently. The government must think about the future of the country,” Dzabiradze states.