Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Natia Turnava introduced long-term vision of Georgia’s economic development – “Economy 2030”.
The Economic Development Strategy was developed within the framework of a 10-year Government plan initiated by the Prime Minister of Georgia. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, as well as the representatives of Georgian Parliament, Georgian business associations, accredited diplomatic corps and financial organizations attended the presentation.
Natia Turnava stated that the economic policy of the Government of Georgia is aimed at the inclusive growth, large-scale involvement of the citizens in the economic processes and the sustainable development. In particular, since 2012, the poverty rate has been reducing. The Minister highlighted that this trend will continue in the future and according to the forecast, by 2030, poverty will be decreased by about 10%.
“Our short and medium term goal is to maintain the high rate of economic growth, as well as a macroeconomically stable environment and foreseeable environment for our business, which is very important,” – the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development said.
The Minister also stressed that in order to maintain a high economic growth rate, it is necessary to develop local production and exports, which is the cornerstone of the economic growth.
“We have done a lot in recent years to artificially expand our small market and give more space to local entrepreneurs and exporters. Today, Georgia has the opportunity for open, duty-free trade with 46 countries, which is about 30% of the world’s consumers. Work is being done on a daily basis with specific countries - Great Britain, South Korea, Gulf countries, as well as India, the United States so that we can have an already existing Free Trade Regime with 51 countries in 2025, at least 57 countries in 2030 and it will equal to 72% of the world population,” – Turnava noted.
“Economy – 2030” also covers the support for agro and ecotourism within the Enterprise Georgia’s program. The program envisages a complex facilitation for a farmer who has a small farm and decides to develop a small hotel, restaurant, cafe or other tourist facility as well.
According to the Minister, within the framework of the Economic Development Strategy, one of the innovations will be to offer special support mechanisms for incentives for export-oriented and import-substituting potential sectors. For this purpose, up to 50 different specific sectors were identified. For those sectors there will be developed a complex, unified lever, which will cover loan interest subsidies, credit-guarantee support and a completely new component - a grant.
The 10-year development plan is focused on the transport and logistics sectors. According to the Minister, transport is one of the key sectors of the country and it is planned to invest at least 3 billion GEL in this field.
One of the important directions of the 10-year government plan of economic development of Georgia is to promote the development of tourism. According to the forecast of the Minister of Economy, in 2025, Georgia will host 10 million international visitors, and by 2030, at least 13-14 million tourists would visit Georgia annually. Tourism recovery targets are: at least, 4 240 000 000 USD revenue in 2025, and in 2030, these record figures are expected to double.
The Minister focused on another strategic project, which is to connect Georgia’s energy system to the EU via a high-voltage cable running beneath the Black Sea. This project is another clear message that Georgia’s goal is to become a full member of the European family. According to Natia Turnava, such projects will strengthen the country’s energy security. As it was introduced in the presentation, the generation capacity will exceed 7 thousand megawatts in the next ten years.
In order to achieve more economic growth, it is necessary to implement more structural and economic reforms. Capital market reform is the one of priority, since it will result into the high accessibility of finances for the private sector. State-owned enterprise reform is being successfully implemented. According to various estimates, Georgia has 10 billion USD worth reserves in minerals, of which 3 billion USD is industrial reserves. Mining sector reform will provide sustainable and long-term development of the sector, taking into account the technical, economic and environmental aspects. Georgia is a leader in the region in terms of energy market reform, which aims to harmonize the country’s energy system with the European Union requirements.
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