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Gakharia appointed as new business ombudsman

By Keti Arjevanidze
Wednesday, February 20
Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili appointed Giorgi Gakharia as Georgia’s business ombudsman on February 19th, while meeting with businessmen and discussing the prospects of doing business in Georgia.

“He understands the business language,” he said, describing Gakharia’s candidacy, as well as highlighting his professional skills and business achievements. According to Ivanishvili, Gakharia will help businessmen to bring the government their messages and problems.

Ivanishvili stressed that all the necessary issues interesting for businessmen should be delivered in a facilitated way without any state interference on the freedom of business. He also promised that “no one will dare interfere in private business.”

The PM stated that it is the government's obligation to promote business, explaining that yesterday's meeting made clear that business leaders believe in the new government's ideology and they felt confidence.

Davit Lomjaria, General Director of Pepsi Cola, said that electronic marking issue was trouble for them and that the Finance Minister promised to meet businessmen to set the issue through consultation with them.

Irakli Iashvili, Director of the East Gate Group, spoke about the market relationship with neighboring countries. “There is no access to the neighboring countries’ market, as it is limited artificially,” he said hoping the problem would be fixed soon.

Mamuka Khazaradze, the president of TBC Group, said that many projects have been stopped due to the lack of resources and added that the new funds will solve the problem.

Ivanishvili said that a new investment fund is being created in the country with a capacity of $2 billion USD oriented on three main characteristics: it will have the function of a holdings, it will gather and carry out state actives and strategic projects; it will have the function of international diversification and the third function will be that the fund will assist in youth innovation projects.

State economic group members also attended the meeting with the business representatives. Finance Minister, Nodar Khaduri said that no artificial obstacles will be created for businesses and private business will be free from interference.

“The biggest problem is lack of communication, which was between business and the government,” Giorgi Kvirikashvili the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development said. He also added that every decision will be taken after consulting with businessmen and underlined that the business environment should predictable.

Agriculture Minister Davit Kirvalidze highlighted the issue of users’ rights protection. According to him, control will be stricter in this direction.

Later PM Ivanishvili reassured that economics in Georgia will “prosper, as businessmen and investments play an integral role in this.”

The PM concluded that government understands the “value” of business and businessmen and explained that currently the country’s main problem is unemployment, thus business should help the country to overcome this problem. Ivanishvili said he is the guarantor of business freedom, but emphasized the importance of relevant legislation.