Prime Minister Online
By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, November 1
Prime Minister Nika Gilauri introduced a 10-Point strategic economic plan to a wide audience via online conference on October 31. Sharing the details of the governmental document for modernization and employment at Tbilisi State University (TSU), Gilauri answered questions from viewers on his official Facebook page. Highlighting several main priorities from the document, the PM stressed that the government had defined all the preconditions for the successful implementation of the document during 2011-2015.
Having introduced the 10-Point strategic plan to Parliament in the beginning of 2011 Gilauri now presented the edited version of the document. Reduction of unemployment, creation of new jobs, encouragement of private sector, macro economic stimulation, as well as promotion of Georgia as a regional centre are all considered by the government. “The state can’t be the employer, but mediator for creating environment for the private sector, responsible for creating new jobs and reducing the level of unemployment,” Gilauri stated.
What the state should do to promote the private sector is to attract more investors and carry out new projects. Speaking of macroeconomic indicators in many European countries the PM emphasized Georgia’s economic progress. When lots of countries have high foreign debts and they face budget deficits, Gilauri suggested that the balance between the state and private sector would be most crucial for overcoming the economic crisis. Expressing optimism about Georgia’s foreign debt Gilauri explained that our country is among “the healthy states” with its economic indicators. “Despite the sceptics’ concern over the issues, Georgia... can still borrow 2-3 billion in case of another economic downturn,” PM stated.
Gilauri welcomed the economic improvement in Georgia, stressing that the country will easily attract investors with its successful economical directions. “Despite all the problems Georgia has been facing in the last years we have managed to overcome the obstacles and attract the interest of investors,” Gilauri said, stressing that Georgia has developed as a regional tourist centre.
Announcing a 41% increase of visitors, the PM hoped that soon Georgia would become an interesting destination not only for neighbouring countries, but Western Europe. “All the money each visitor spends in Georgia is being spent on the country’s welfare,” he said, explaining that the renovations in Batumi, Anaklia, Mestia, etc give a wonderful opportunity for tourists to discover Georgia while local people receive income for their services or products. Promising to continue promoting Georgia as the regional centre Gilauri emphasized that all the points of the 2011-2015 governmental strategy aims at creating jobs and employing people in various ways.
Sharing the plans for infrastructure changes Gilauri promised interesting projects to Georgian people in road construction, water system and the energy sector, which would all improve the touristic potential of the country, attract more investors for carrying out further projects as well as create jobs locally.
Education and healthcare were among the main governmental points in the strategic document. Announcing the opening of new 150 clinics and hospitals in near future Gilauri stressed that these would be achieved in partnership between the state and private sector. Welcoming the positive results of the educational reforms the PM promised to continue improvements in this direction. “Every investor wants to know the average level of education in the country they will invest in, they search for local engineers and top managers to carry out their projects,” Gilauri stated.
Sharing plans for opening a new Technological University, sponsored by the Millennium Corporation, Gilauri explained that this university would be based on US standards and management style. He promised pensions would be raised to USD 100 next year and offer health insurance to citizens over 60, who are generally refused by private companies for their high risks.
Innovations in the agricultural field were also among priority issues. Sharing plans for increasing the export potential of the country Gilauri stressed that Georgia would soon produce and preserve enough products both for internal use and export, thus avoiding the necessity of importing food. Important investments are being carried out in the agricultural sector through innovative technologies according to PM who promised to eradicate social problems even in the high mountainous regions in the near future. “There are around eight villages which have never had electricity but with the help of bio energy we could solve the problems even in extreme situations,” said the PM, promising to answer all questions individually on his Facebook page.