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Compiled by Mzia Kupunia
Monday, August 23
'Vindage' starts on August 24

The Georgian Prime Minister, Nika Gilauri spoke about the economic indicators of the first 6 months of the current year at Friday’s Government Session, 24 Saati writes. According to Gilauri, the country’s economic growth ranges from 5.5 to 6 percent. However, the PM added that the exact figures will be known by September. He said that the growth during the first six months continued in July also. “Bank deposits increased by 44 percent compared with July last year. The current amount on deposit is more than GEL 3.9 million, which is a record figure for Georgia. Automobile registration increased by 34 percent, and the number of registered VAT payers increased by 25-28 percent compared with July 2009,” Gilauri noted.

According to the Prime Minister, good economic growth was seen in other sectors also. Gilauri highlighted the progress in the spheres of export and tourism. He said that the number of tourists visiting Georgia in the last 6 months is 33 percent higher than during the same period last year. “Maintaining these economic growth rates will help create more jobs and solve the problem of unemployment,” Gilauri said.

As for the vindage (grape harvest – fr.) issues, the Agriculture Minister of Georgia, Bakur Kvezereli said after the Government Session, “We will do everything we can to help Kakhetian, Imeretian and Racha peasants.” The Minister noted the vindage in Dedoplistskaro, Kakheti starts on August 24. Kakhetian peasants are expecting a grape harvest of 85 584 tonnes. According to Giorgi Sibashvili, first deputy Governor of Kakheti region, 58 419 tonnes of the total harvest will be of the Rkatsiteli variety, 22 832 tonnes Saperavi and 4 335 tones of hybrid grapes.

Bread rises by 10 tetri

The statement of Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin on banning wheat export from the country due to the country's mass wildfires, has caused a brief panic worldwide, 24 Saati reports. The situation is similar in Kazakhstan and Ukraine; neither of these two countries however is planning to impose restrictions on wheat exports.

According to statistical data, Georgia consumes 800 thousand tonnes of wheat per annum, 15 percent of which is produced locally. 95 percent of the imported wheat comes from Russia; the remaining 5 percent is imported from Kazakhstan and Ukraine. As for the price rise, the cost of flour in Georgia has increased from GEL 34 to GEL 40. The increase in the price of bread in the country started in the regions, however Tbilisi residents area also currently paying 10 tetri more for a loaf of bread. According to one bakery director, Malkhaz Dolidze, the price rise is due to the increase in the cost of flour.

Agriculture Minister, Bakur Kvezereli said the increased prices of bread are related to the shortage of wheat in the world market. “There is a wheat crisis in the world market and prices have gone up. This has been reflected in the Georgian market as well. In this case the Georgian government can do nothing. Georgia has reserves of wheat and there is no reason for panic,” the Minister told journalists.