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PM outlines priorities for 2011

By Mzia Kupunia
Thursday, January 6
Georgian Prime Minister, Nika Gilauri outlined the Georgian Government’s priorities for 2011 at Wednesday’s government session. According to PM Gilauri, like 2010, the government will focus on education and healthcare sectors, as well as Georgia’s new economic course in 2011. Speaking at the session, Gilauri assessed the 2010 economic indicators as “positive” and predicted that 2011 will be “more successful” than the previous year.

“In terms of economy, 2010 was quite complicated, however at the same time it was successful because we had higher economic growth than what was initially prognosticated,” the Prime Minister noted “On the other hand, unfortunately the pressure of inflation was quite strong. This caused a negative influence on the country’s economy and society,” Gilauri said, expressing hope that “new economic course will bring results and the economic growth in 2011 will again be higher than prognosticated.”

The Prime Minister called on private sector representatives to cooperate with the government and relevant institutions with the terms of the new Tax Code, which came into force on January 1st, 2011. “We call on them to contact the Ministry of Finance, particularly the Income Service, if there are any shortcomings within the code. We will try to solve them as soon as possible. This is our new direction and we want the Finance Ministry to cooperate with the private sector and solve all possible shortcomings quickly,” Gilauri stated.

Decreasing the unemployment rate by creating new jobs was also named as one of the priorities of the cabinet. Georgian Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Vera Kobalia said there is “good potential” for creating new jobs in the energy and agriculture spheres. “It is very important that the unemployment rate be decreased in 2011. The potential for creating new jobs exists in the energy sector, and even more in the agriculture sphere,” the Minister noted. “Creating new work places in the agriculture sector is important so that the people living in the regions have their own income,” she added.

The Georgian Government will continue working on creating new jobs in the tourism sector as well, according to Vera Kobalia. She said that creating new tourist centers in Georgia’s sea and mountainous resorts is planned for 2011. “2011 should become an important stage for decreasing the unemployment rate and for creating additional jobs in different sectors,” the Minister noted.

Meanwhile, the Georgian government extended a deadline for accepting applications of people interested in building new hotels in the Kobuleti free tourist zone from December 15th to February 28th. The Government offers special advantages for those who will invest in building hotels in Kobuleti. In particular, 3 pieces of land with a total area of 11.3 hectares have been allocated to build 30 hotels. According to the project, the interested investors will receive pieces of land for a symbolic price and have the right to operate without paying property and income taxes for 15 years. 8 investors have already been approved, according to the Georgian government.