Alavidze: Our Priority is to Develop Georgia’s Digital Economy through Information and Communication Technologies
The fifth Georgian Internet Governance Forum (GeoIGF) is held with co-organization of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.
Nikoloz Alavidze, the Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, addressed the Forum’s opening panel. According to Alavidze, the event has been held in Georgia systematically since 2015 and has already gained international recognition as one of the important events in the development of internet governance. The Forum brought together government and non-governmental sector representatives, international and local organizations and experts, private companies, academia and the youth.
“One of the priorities of the government is the development of Georgia’s digital economy through information and communication technologies as well as the information society,” – Nikoloz Alavidze said. According to the Deputy Minister, recent and ongoing reforms, programs and projects in Georgia’s electronic communications and information technology sector have contributed to the development of the modern technologies for electronic communication networks and facilities, the introduction of the modern services and increase of the levels of their use, which have had a positive impact on the economic, social and cultural development of the country.
The Deputy Minister highlighted that the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, which is the state policy maker in the field of electronic communications and information technologies, is working on broadband internet infrastructure development. Implementation of the Broadband Development Strategy project elaborated with the technical assistance of the European Commission and the World Bank will be launched immediately upon its approval. The relevant activities include establishment of the high-speed internet networks, attracting investments, increase of the competition, improvement of the IT skills among the population, etc.
The Deputy Minister, in his speech, also highlighted such projects as community internet access in the mountainous regions, which received much endorsement at the Forum. In addition, Nikoloz Alavidze emphasized such priority areas as the development of the broadband infrastructure, including the introduction of the 5G networks, protection of the online content, copyright and personal data on the internet, safe use of the Internet for children and young people, freedom of expression on the Internet, information security and protection, etc.
The Head of the Council of Europe Office in Georgia, Cristian Urse, the Director Europe of the Internet Society (ISOC), Frederick Donck and other officials also addressed the Forum participants.