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The Letter

Tuesday, February 10
9 February 2015

H.E. Irakli Gharibashvili
Prime Minister of Georgia

Dear Prime Minister,

Further to the various meetings that were held by the Chairs of ICC Economic and Labor Commissions with government officials and, specifically, with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Assistance, regarding the new law on labor migration, we are writing to thank you and thank Deputy Prime Minister Kvirikashvili and Minister Sergeenko for agreeing to delete, as we were told, article 16 of Chapter IV from the law that is currently under consideration by the Georgian Parliament.

At a time when Georgia is facing strong headwinds from the global economy, and at a time when the private sector is in dire need of investment and technological upgrading, the law, as initially drafted, would have added additional hurdles to an already embattled business climate.

A part of this law addresses very legitimate and important concerns about labor trafficking and we have no comments or reservations regarding this part of the law.

However the very specific section of the original draft (Chapter IV) raised very serious concerns. Instead of generating employment and economic growth, this provision in the law would have added an additional layer of bureaucracy while failing to achieve its stated objective. In fact, this provision would have prevented jobs from being created since jobs are created by opening additional doors to business people and not by closing doors to job creators.

Dear Prime Minister, we hope that a positive lesson can be learned from this experience. It would be to the benefit of Georgia, the Georgian government and the business community to make sure that businesses and other stakeholders are informed of any new laws early on in the drafting process, and certainly before they are sent to Parliament. This would prevent the adoption of business unfriendly legislation that raises corruption risks and impedes on the business climate. On our part, we will do every effort to mobilize the business community in order to provide your government with constructive input and advice and in this way make sure that Georgia remains an attractive destination for foreign direct investment, and continues along the path of economic growth and modernization.

Sincerely yours,

Fady Asly
Chairman of the Board