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Ergneti fair might be revived

By Messenger staff
Friday, May 3
The Georgian government is seriously studying the possibility of reviving a fair in Ergneti near the administrative border between the breakaway South Ossetia (Tskhinvali region) and Georgia proper. In the late 1990's and the early 2000's there was an illegal fair at Ergneti which functioned like a free economic zone. Traders from Georgia, Russia, and breakaway Tskhinvali region carried out wholesale and retail trade there. They did not pay taxes or customs duties.

The Ergneti fair served as an agent for reintegration for the local population on both sides of the border who earned their living there. The new approach from the Georgian Ministry of Reintegration is to establish certain rules to regulate the Ergneti market. Reestablishing the Ergneti market could be an important tool for establishing peace and stability in the region and contribute to the final reintegration of the Tskhinvali region back into Georgia.

Deputy Minister Ketevan Tsikhelashvili said at the Rose Roth seminar that the proposal has many difficulties, including criminal activity but these obstacles can be overcome.