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No reasons for more devaluation of the lari

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, January 11
“The fluctuations will not last, there are no reasons for the national currency depreciation in the long-term period,” Minister of Economics and Sustainable Development Giorgi Gakharia said.

He stressed that Georgia was a small country with an open economic system and when expectations were strengthened, reactions on the national currency’s exchange rate were too sharp.

Minister said the Lari gained value after a depreciation in December and January and the current data also repeated it would soon recover

“But there is still much to do. First of all I mean fast economic growth, for which we have created a four-point plan [which includes new tax benefits, infrastructure plans, governance reforms and an overhaul of the education system],”Gakharia said.

Gakharia stated that fast economic growth, the attraction of direct foreign investments supporting local production were the mechanisms that could solve the economic structural problems.

The current official Lari exchange rate against the USD is 2.75 when the rate before November 2014 was about 1.75.

The opposition is sceptical of Gakharia’s statements over his positive expectations regarding the national currency.

They stress the Government has failed to stabilise the Lari over the past several years and cannot provide any economic breakthrough.

Members of the United National Movement opposition claim the current actions of the Government, which increased excise tax for oil products, tobacco and imported cars, would worsen the situation for citizens of Georgia.

The opposition says the only way out of the dire economic situation is changing the current authorities.