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Finance Minister expects lari to gain value

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, November 4
Georgia’s Finance Minister, Nodar Khaduri, has positive expectations over the lari's future and says the national currency is going to stabilize soon.

The lari (GEL) continues to devaluate against the US dollar, and currently one dollar costs 2.4800 GEL in some banks. The rise of the dollar resulted in increased prices of products, clothes and food. Financial experts do not have positive expectations.

The Finance Minister says that the lari's depreciation is temporary and accuses the opposition United National Movement (UNM) of exaggerating the situation.

According to Khaduri, no macro-economic parameters have changed; in fact, he claims they have improved.

“I would like to firmly state that if macro-economic parameters have changed, they have changed only for the better,” Khaduri said.

The Minister also noted that there will be positive changes on the governmental accounts by the end of November, adding that in December the Asia Development Bank will transfer money to Georgia.

“From my point of view, this is temporary and the lari will inevitably gain value…the opposition is trying to create negative expectations and there are no grounds for this,” Khaduri stated.

The UNM opposition believes the situation will not change for the better. They responded to haduri, saying his positive forecast is “unrealistic”.

“September economic growth was only 1.5 % which means the situation is getting worse. It is necessary to reduce administrative expenses and officials’ bonuses. Khaduri’s statement are unreal, he is just lying,” said Zurab Chiaberashvili, a member of the UNM.

Economic experts predict that the dollar rate will not decrease over the following months. They disapprove of the actions of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) which sold its dollar reserves several times before the October parliamentary elections.

The main economist of the Georgian Reforms Association, Besik Namchavidze, believes that the economic development of the country depends on the government.

“During the following month and a half I do not expect any significant fall of the GEL,” he stated.

The GEL began to lose its value in November 2014. At that time, one US dollar was equivalent to 1.75 laris. Since then, the National Bank has intervened many times but the lari still continues to devaluate against the dollar.