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The News in Brief

Wednesday, January 5
Georgia’s credit rating improved

Georgia’s Credit Rating has been improved in 2010. Standard & Poor's has published its annual rating of countries, in which Georgia's former B category has been changed to a B+. The Transfer and Convertibility Assessment rating has been also improved from a BB- to a BB index.

According to the assessment of an S&P analyst, the Georgian government is focused on market reforms, which are supposed to improve the economic situation and fiscal indicators.

The same analysis says that the low taxes and friendly business environment lead to growing investments in Georgia. In addition, Georgia is a transit country due to its geographic location, a transit corridor between Europe and Asia. The analysis predicts a steep growth in GDP for the country soon.

Firm financial consolidation, economic growth, an increased flow in investments for the 2008 index and the reduction of geopolitical tension may soon become the reason for Georgia's promotion in international economic surveys. (Rustavi 2)

Government not Talking about New Year Expenses

The government is not talking about the New Year expenses. The Culture Ministry says it was not involved in the organization of the New Year events and consequently is not aware of the expenses.

The President’s Administration and the Adjarian Tourism Department have not made comments about the above-mentioned either. Temur Diasamidze, head of the Tourism Department, says that the New Year event had not been organized by the Department.

As for Batumi City Hall, it says information on New Year expenses is public, but interested persons should send a letter to the relevant agencies in order to get the information. (Interpressnews)

Several people arrested for tax evasion

The Investigation Department of the Ministry of Finance has arrested an organized group of people, businessmen and gas distribution company officers in suspicion of tax evasion. Reportedly, these people registered a lesser amount of gas for enterprise and paid for only half of the consumed gas. The machination inflicted serious damage not only to the state budget, but also to Itera Georgia, a gas provider.

The preliminary investigation is in progress under article #210 of the Criminal Code, which envisages a 4-7 year sentence. (Rustavi 2)

BBC Russian Bureau reports situation in Georgian winter resorts

BBC Russian Bureau has published an article regarding the winter resorts in Georgia. The reporter says that despite warm weather in Georgia, the tour agencies and hotel proprietors are expecting to have more tourists in Georgia this winter in comparison to previous years.

The reporter has interviewed the Chairperson of the National Tourism Department, Maia Sidamonidze, whose prognosis is rather optimistic. She said over 100,000 tourists are expected to arrive in winter resorts soon.

"The past summer season gives us reason to have such an optimistic prognosis. After the August War in 2008, last year turned out to be quite successful in the sphere of tourism. Over two million visitors were registered in Georgia in 2010," BBC reports.

The journalist says that questions from the people who want to visit winter resorts in Georgia now refer not to the security issues, but to the weather conditions.

The same article says that the Georgian government hopes to develop a new trend of tourists going to the newly opened ski resort in Mestia, Svaneti Region, where the government has funded infrastructure development projects, and has constructed a new airport and hotels. (Rustavi 2)

Georgian snowboarder to participate in World Championship

A Georgian snowboarder has gained his first license to take part in the World Championship which will be held in Spain in 2011. Malkhaz Nazghaidze, who has won the Georgian championship seven times, obtained the championship invitation in the qualifying round held in Turkey.

The sportsman says the warm climate of Georgia hinders his trainings, but he hopes to do his best at the World Championship. (Rustavi 2)