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Amcham hosts Georgian PM and Finance Minister

By Mzia Kupunia
Tuesday, December 16
The American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia hosted a special round table meeting on December 12. The meeting was initiated by Georgian Prime Minister Grigol Mgaloblishvili and Minister of Finance Nika Gilauri and was designed to further the dialogue between the business community and the Georgian Government.

PM Mgaloblishvili told the assembled businessmen that the country has been experiencing economic difficulties due to the August war and the world financial crisis. The PM said that the Georgian economy had shown resistance. Mgaloblishvili said this was due to the successful banking sector, liberal economic policy and strong institutions. “We also had a very successful donors’ conference,” Mgaloblishvili said, referring to the USD 4.5 billion allocated by donor countries and organizations.

The PM addressed the businessmen, saying that “you are the people who know better what steps should be taken together with us.” Mgaloblishvili noted that the biggest challenge for the Georgian Government is to overcome the financial crisis and strengthening institutions.

Georgian Finance Minister Nika Gilauri spoke about amendments to the tax and customs codes. He told the businessmen that income and dividend taxes will be cut in 2009, adding that “the amount of taxes in Georgia is the third or fourth lowest in the world.”

The Minister said that the amendments in the Customs Code envisage simplifying the list of required documentation, as well as extending the deadline for paying the tax on imported goods. Gilauri said overall about 220 articles will be amended in both codes.