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Compiled by Lisa Tonakanyan
Thursday, April 28
The government asked to enlarge state insurance program

Socially vulnerable families whose rating points do not exceed 70 000 have a right to participate in state insurance program, Rezonansi reports. The populations of Tbilisi and Adjara are considered as an exception. It is clear that everybody cannot qualify for the program; therefore there have been several complaints made against the program from both the general public and the opposition.

Christian democrat MP Magda Anikashvili says that the program of medical insurance for people below the poverty line is flawed and requires change. According to her, increasing the number of people who can get insurance is a must.

Magda Anikashvili: "We demand to work out different packages. There should be certain gradation. We should offer better packages to the ones who have less point. However, market packages should be offered to everyone. We all, including our authorities, know that something should be done from this point of view and that our demand is just".

Armenian and Azerbaijani Businessmen in Georgia

According to Armenian and Azerbaijani media sources, the number of businessmen from neighboring countries in Georgia is increasing. As Armenian newspaper Haykakan Jhamanak reports, by the end of the year Armenia expects migration of 300 000 of its citizens. The majority of Armenian entrepreneurs are interested in doing business in Georgia. Meanwhile in Azerbaijan, according to the President of Export and Investment Foundation of Azerbaijan (AzPromo) Adil Mamedov, around 200 Azerbaijani businessmen already work in Georgia, newspaper Rezonansi writes.

Haykakan Jhamanak, relying on state research, writes that if the Armenian authorities continue the same policy until the end of the year, more than 300 000 people might leave the country. According to the newspaper, this figure doesn't take into consideration those citizens of Armenia who have already migrated to Georgia; the majority of them has started business in Georgia and has relocated. According to the same research, the reason behind the growth of the level of migration is disappointment; around 80 per cent of the population of Armenia does not carry much hope for a better future. "Thereby Armenia expects the greatest migration after the war", the newspaper says. In the Information Centre for Migration of Shirak region they state that some Armenian entrepreneurs can't find ways to survive and leave the country. According to the centre, in some cases businessmen go to Georgia" the newspaper notes.

"The situation is really complicated and many entrepreneurs have already left the country, they confirm in Gumri Branch of National Centre for small and medium business development. Many people talk about Georgia and give an example of this country. They are outraged by the situation in Armenia. I do not know about the conditions in Georgia; maybe tax policy is better there but in Armenia issuing bank loans is simplified, so any businessmen can easily get a loan from a bank. The other question is that the majority of entrepreneurs can't do this as the interest rates are very high", the representative of the centre Artur Zaqaryan says.

According to the information of the centre, the problem is that the tax burden is too heavy to bear. The author of the article emphasizes:

"According to the President of Export and Investment Foundation of Azerbaijan (AzPromo) Adil Mamedov, at the moment there are more than 200 Azerbaijani businessmen working in Georgia. They invest money to infrastructure, tourism, agriculture and service. The president of AzPromo forecasts that on a background of development of economic relations between Georgia and Azerbaijan it's quite possible that in the near future Azerbaijani investments to Georgia will increase.