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Georgia secures additional financial aid from the EU

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, November 20
The European Union (EU) will allocate 73 million GEL to Georgia to assist the country’s regional development.

Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn and Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili signed the Financing Agreement to launch a new program in support of ‘Regional Development – Phase II’ on November 18.

Hahn stressed that the financial aid will build upon the results achieved through the first phase of the regional development program implemented between 2011 and 2013. He stressed that various positive steps taken by Georgia encouraged the EU to provide more support.

Hahn stated that the second phase would be focused on the regional development of Georgia and will support such fields as infrastructure, small and medium-sized enterprises, tourism, rural development and vocational education.

Gharibashvili was confident this financial agreement was another expression of the EU’s contribution to the support of Georgia’s integration to the EU.

"It is important for us to cooperate with the European Union in such priority sectors like energy, agriculture, transport and education,” Gharibashvili said.

Gharibashvili has already returned to Georgia. He stressed that he had very fruitful meetings abroad and made a special appeal to businessmen.

According to the prime minister, he will be maximally focused on regional development.

Gharibashvili stated that the government has established a regional development state commission, and very soon the commission will present the regional development concept to the public, businessmen and private sector. According to the prime minister, it will be a long-term strategy and an action plan that will be well adjusted to each village, district and region.

“I would like to take this opportunity and to address the businessmen: engagement in this project is important because the state and government have limited resources. We have a unique opportunity today - business is free, and the media is free,” he said.

The PM informed that he will take another visit to Brussels in the near future.

“I'm going to meet with European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker and European Council President Donald Tusk in the near future, when they return to the office,” he said, adding that he has already invited European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn to Georgia.

“In addition, the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini will arrive in Georgia next year,” Gharibashvili stated.