Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Natia Turnava participated in the International Investment Forum - Kakheti 2019. The forum was opened by the Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze while the members of the Georgian government, diplomatic corps and foreign investors also attended the event.
Natia Turnava said that the investment policy of the Government is focused on global trends, but, at the same time, it will make clearer how to use the wealth of our regions, identify their potential and generate more projects for specific regions that will further fit their needs and opportunities.
“This will enable us to involve more people in creating and distributing the benefits of a specific project, to increase employment, to promote local production. In this regard, Kakheti is one of the distinctive regions. There may be found grounds for the development of almost any sector, but there are concrete fields where new projects are already underway and we need a bit more support for more development,” – the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development said.
Natia Turnava talked about the great potential of economic development of the Kakheti Region and noted that mining sector can greatly contribute to the process. “Kakheti is rich in minerals. However, only 15% of its area has been studied. This means that according to our preliminary information, there are large reserves of mineral resources in Kakheti,” – Natia Turnava noted.
At the same time, the Minister said that the Government is already working on the development of mineral resources in Kakheti - the investment proposals are underway and will be offered to the investors.
“We always define the priorities and this time it is to encourage our export. We have very tangible results, because exports are growing and, by the way, the strength of our currency (GEL) largely on this. But the import substitution is already a challenge that we should address," – the Minister noted.
Natia Turnava commented that the Government discusses two scenarios of actions to replace imported goods with the local products and will add the import replacement component to the state programs. “I think of making the issue of import replacement as important as we consider the export promotion. The first steps shall be introduced within the Produce in Georgia Agency and its programs. We have appropriate programs that are focused on promoting export and we think that similar approach will be extended to replace imports this year,” – the Minister noted. The Minister added that the program portfolio will be renewed and the companies that will work on replacing the import will enjoy similar benefits as the export companies do.
Minister also spoke about about the necessity of protection of the local production. ”The second, more global direction that is being proceeded at the legislative level, is better protection and support of the interests of the local production in the domestic market,” – Natia Turnava said. To this end, the Government together with the business sector in involved in discussion on anti-dumping legislation.
Natia Turnava noted that the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development together with the local authorities and with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, actively works on announcing the tender on construction and operation of the 30- 50 MW capacity solar power plant in the Kakheti Region.
“Kakheti and its natural conditions are really distinguished in terms of solar power generation, because in addition to the solar energy there are free land areas and our project illustrates that Kakheti is tailored for the development of the solar energy,” – the Economy Minister said.
“In the development of the renewable energy sources Kakheti can play a very important role. For the first time here we have ground for the development of the new sector – solar power. We are about to develop 5 MW solar power plant in the desert of the Sagarejo district and this project is to be launched shortly,” – the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development commented.
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