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Ministry of Economy: Bribery is Considered a Disgrace in Georgia

An interview with Deputy Economy Minister Dmitry Kumsiashvili

Recently, Georgian businessmen are increasingly complaining about the lack of contact with the government saying that they often are not well informed about these or other important issues. In your opinion, how  isit combined with high-level estimates of the relationship between business and government?

This is a wrong comparison. The relationship between business and government  primarily concerns  corruption component – how business expects  corruptionfrom the government, how  strong  is an entrepreneur’s feeling that state officials will  extort bribes from him.

I am confident that the country’s high assessment  are justified in this regard  and expect  that in the future our position on this issue will only get better. I can say  with full responsibility that none businessman has  expectation that he will be extorted  a bribe.

In recent years, much has been said that in the framework of the Association Agreement with the EU, many different control structures will be created, as required by the European Union. Will this lead to increased bureaucracy and, respectively, increase of the corruption risks?

Association with the EU will really require the creation of a number of new regulations, but they should not interfere in business development. Despite the new regulations, our government will do everything to avoid the growth of the  corruption level.

I can assume that the level of our government as well as business culture has already reached the limit, when bribery is considered a disgrace. Taking  bribes is reckoned  shame both for business and the government, it is not acceptable for entrepreneurs and for officials.

On this basis, the situation that exists in the country at the moment will not give businessmen the possibility even to offer a bribe to an official in the future. Respectively, it will be unacceptable for an official to extort a bribe from a businessman.