On December 23, the candidate for Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia met with Georgian Dream party MPs in parliament and spoke about the government’s priorities on the agenda of the next four years. Gakharia stated that given the pandemic background, 2021 would be filled with challenges and stressed that work without opposition would be complicated considering the challenges the country faces in terms of the global pandemic, economic crisis, and general political turmoil. Gakharia focused on the implementation of a program Towards Building a European State, "which will enable Georgia to make an official application for a fully-fledged member of the EU in 4 years." According to the nominee PM, to reach the goal, the country should significantly advance in several dimensions including democratization and economic security.
Nominee Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia presents government program priorities for 2021-2024
By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, December 24
Gakharia pointed out that 80% of the population supports Georgia's full integration to the EU and Euro-Atlantic Institutions, which has always been the government’s primary foreign policy goal. Gakharia noted that 2019-2020 have been "remarkable years for deepening and strengthening the NATO-Georgia partnership."
According to the nominee PM, the global pandemic has seriously challenged every public institution, and overcoming the consequences of the pandemic would be a long-term process. According to him, the fundamental part of the Georgian economy is a free market and private initiative. According to him, to achieve the key goal, which is a strong Georgian business with high social responsibility, the country needs macroeconomic stability.
According to Gakharia, in terms of capital expenditure, the country’s level and magnitude will be maintained in the following four years despite the economic crisis. Finances will focus on roads, water supply, and sewage infrastructure. The government of Georgia plans to invest an additional GEL 20 billion which is 8% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“When we say that by 2024 we will need to be a full-fledged candidate to apply to the EU to become its member. National infrastructure should be in the relevant shape, especially when we talk about a systemic infrastructure," Gakharia noted.
According to the candidate for the premiership, irrespective of the global crisis, the government should do its best to proceed with implementing structural reforms to attract foreign direct investments, which has always been “one of the most significant drivers for the advancement of the national economy.”
Gakharia believes that occupation remains the main challenge of the country and until this problem is resolved, the country’s development in any direction will be limited. According to him, due to the global crisis, it was particularly challenging to maintain the issues of the occupation in the political agenda of this year, however, the diplomatic corps has managed to bring the issue back to the very high international level. Gakharia stressed that it is crucial to further boost cooperation with strategic partners of Georgia and primarily with the USA in fields such as security, economy, and democracy.
Gakharia also highlighted that against the background of the global pandemic, the healthcare system has become a priority. He noted that the system would continue to reform with the same approach as in the last 8 years.