Government Program and Business Sector Expectations
“The next year will be full of challenges for the new government, as it was appointed amid a dynamic of frustrated economic development”, Nino Kobakhidze, director general of the Global Benefit Georgia insurance company told the television program Business Partner on TV Pirveli, .
The new government program, in practice, covers only one year she said.
The program is composed of multiple projects that were prioritized in 2012. The program reflects all challenges that are relevant today, Kobakhidze said.
“First of all, I want to know how efficiently this program will be carried out, because the next year will be full of challenges for the new government, which agreed to rescue the team amid the frustrated dynamics of economic development. We should recognize that economic development has been stymied. A lot of projects were suspended over the past 2 years and there were no perspectives for resuming them”, Kobakhidze noted.
The economic part of the new government program has all the right directions and all key points that were problematic for the business sector, and that were formed by the initiative of business associations. And now the business sector has to supervise the process of fulfilling these promises and control the process. As for the government, all agencies of the new government bear equal responsibility for implementing this program, she noted.
The business sector should, first of all, supervise how and how fast the government fulfills all promises. Each member of the government should manage and efficiently execute all parts of the program, including important issues such as the business ombudsman’s office development, the reduction of bureaucracy, intensification of communication with small entrepreneurs, as well as problem resolution on the level of industries, Kobakhidze noted.
All instances of these trends should be mobilized starting from Infrastructure Ministry ending with Economy Ministry, she said.
These programs comprises smaller numbers, but enable the business sector to carry out more control, and it contains a clearer message when compared to other programs, she said.
“This program allows businesses to expand control mechanisms. The program puts forward that the government should withdraw from those fields, that the business sector is able to develop itself and save funds this way, and this is a good opportunity for business to talk with the government based on this program, if we detect resistance to this strategy. All the previous figures, such as a four-point plan, five-point plan, two billion GEL invested in education and the railroad in Kutaisi, have not seen an economic effect with which we could measure the success of this or that specific Prime Minister or government team”, Kobakhidze explained.
Global Benefit Georgia’s Director General hopes that Gakharia, as a formerly successful Business Ombudsman, will more efficiently resolve the business sector’s problems.
“Giorgi Gakharia was the business ombudsman when I was working at a government office. Based on his position and economic views, he was an absolute supporter of the business sector. and he used to resolve the sector’s problems very quickly, and this experience encourages me to believe that he will more efficiently implement necessary reforms as the Prime Minister”, Nino Kobakhidze noted.
“We should recognize that the frequent replacement of absolutely different governing officials on both the structural and central level has brought costs rather than benefits. Therefore, we only have to supervise the process, and with motivation and persuasion, something may actually work”, Kobakhidze pointed out.
As reported, the new government program has prioritized the transportation sector, and this direction was described as a new, separate chapter. With this plan, the Anaklia Seaport has both economic/political and security importance for Georgia.
The Director General of Global Benefit Georgia has commented on this issue as well, and noted that the government has never made the Anaklia Seaport’s construction is of questionable importance and, therefore, it is unclear why this issue has become so disputed over the past months.
“I cannot accept these messages, it is as if the government did not ever want to build the Anaklia seaport”Kobakhidze said.
“It is surprising that someone poses these questions around the issue and, regretfully, the government does not provide the answers. In 2014, when the deepwater seaport issue was raised, I was one of the first figures at the government who coordinated this project, and the government showed a lot of interest in this project, and they were interested in building this. I am the chronicler of the Anaklia project, and I will never accept the idea that the government ever wanted to not build the Anaklia project”, Kobakhidze noted.