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Cabinet Changes: Georgia Has New Foreign, Economy Ministers

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili has appointed Minister of Economy Giorgi Kvirikashvili to the post of foreign minister.

Vice-Mayor of Tbilisi Dmitry Kumsishvili was appointed new minister of economy.

“I want to introduce Kvirikashvili as foreign minister,” Garibashvili said at a briefing.

He said that the new foreign minister will take a decision about the further position of former Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili.

“Kumsishvili will take the position of economy minister,” he said.

Kvirikashvili’s vacancy as Economy Minister allowed Deputy Mayor of Tbilisi Dimitri Kumsishvili to step into the position. He earlier served as Georgia’s Deputy Economy Minister.

Kvirikashvili and Kumsishvili were presented to the public by Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili earlier this morning. Garibashvili did not specify the reasons behind the reshuffle or state why Beruchashvili left the Foreign Minister role, however he did say Beruchashvili’s future job would be decided by the new Foreign Minister.

Outgoing Economy Minister Kvirikashvili, 48, has held the role since 2012. The US-educated man has over 12 years’ experience in the financial sector, including commercial bank leadership at CEO level at one of Georgia’s top five group member banks. He is also an experienced economic policy adviser.

During his career Kvirikashvili was involved in the USAID pension reform in Armenia and in the World Bank Project – Secured Corporate Obligations Market. From 2006-2011 he was the general director of Tbilisi-based Cartu Bank.

From 1999 to 2004 Kvirikashvili was a Member of the Parliament of Georgia and Deputy Chairman of the Economic Policy Committee. In 1999 he was Deputy Head of the Fiscal, Monetary-Credit and Foreign Economic Service at the State Chancellery and head of the group of development of small and medium business of joint program of the Georgian Government and the USAID.

Meanwhile 41-year-old Kumsishvili has held the role of Tbilisi Deputy Mayor since March 2015. Earlier, the economist by education held the role of First Deputy Economy Minister from November 2015.

Over the years Kumsishvili worked as the director of business development at Tbilisi-based Palitra Media, chairman of the Supervisory Board and co-founder at Rational Solutions. He was the CEO and co-founder of the Startup & Innovative Business Investment Fund. He also has held different roles at Cartu Bank, including First Deputy General Director and Head of the Treasury Department.