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West to assist economic rehabilitation

By Messenger staff
Monday, September 8
The West is ready to support Georgia in its attempts to overcome its grave economic situation. Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze estimates the country’s economic loss as a result of the war at USD I billion, but independent experts give higher figures. Western specialists are now making their own attempts to assess the losses.

According to official data, as of August 8 Georgia’s currency reserves had fallen from USD 1.47 billion to 1.12 billion. But the country has managed to maintain the stability of the lari and also its level of GDP growth.

The USA and EU will assist Georgia with around USD 2 billion in aid and the IMF is also allotting a USD 750,000 loan. These are very important steps. The biggest problem the country faces at present however is that investors are no longer attracted to Georgia.

In 2007 direct investments in Georgia from abroad totaled USD 2 billion. This figure was expected to rise in 2008. However, although the Russian aggression has negatively affected the situation, the Georgian Government is still optimistic and is expecting to receive around USD 1.7 billion by the end of the year. Its optimism is based on the abovementioned Western support, as this will help the country rebuild its previously strong image in the eyes of foreign investors.