Mamuka Bakhtadze: Kakheti has Potential to Enable All Local Residents Feel Economic Progress in their Own Homes
Kakheti has the potential to enable all local residents feel economic progress in their own homes, Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze stated in his speech at the International Investment Forum Kakheti 2019.
According to the Head of Government, the past imprudent economic policy has left an economic structure facing certain problems, which requires a purposeful policy to ensure Georgian economy's greater competitiveness.
"We are placing special emphasis on regional development. We believe that stronger regions define a stronger Georgia. Our economic policy gives priority to inclusive growth, a type of growth that applies to every Georgian citizen. Unfortunately, the imprudent economic policy implemented for years has left us with an economic structure full of problems. Naturally, it takes a purposeful policy to make change, and to ensure Georgian economy's greater competitiveness and inclusiveness, in which regional development plays a crucial role, of course. 2018 was a special year for Kakheti in that the 2018 vintage was the most successful in the history of independent Georgia. This means that the steps taken in the past few years have brought about concrete results, though we have yet to reach the desired outcome. According to our estimates, as low as 25% of Kakheti alone is used, which means that we have enormous economic development resources-and, most importantly, inclusive development resources-in this most beautiful region," Mamuka Bakhtadze said.
According to the Prime Minister, the participation of foreign investors in the forum is of vital importance, because they are interested in investing in Georgia. Such formats, the Head of Government said, offer foreign investors better insight into Georgia's economic potential, and such forums will be held in every region, the Prime Minister emphasized.
"Kakheti is Georgia's most beautiful region, with its great history and traditions. It is the cradle of wine, and it has made a tremendous contribution to our culture. Viniculture is actively progressing in Kakheti, though we believe that there is further untapped potential for development. I am especially thrilled to see market diversification. It is vitally important to us to ensure against the dependence of the country's economy on one large market or another. It is commendable that the diversification policy is in full swing, but there is still much work to do, and the Ministry of Agriculture has been assigned concrete tasks to this end," Mamuka Bakhtadze said.
According to the Prime Minister, the Kakheti Region has enormous potential in terms of developing myriad cultivated plants.
"Importantly, cultivated walnut plants have been popularized in Kakheti in the recent years, which is relevant in both Western and Eastern Georgia. Significant investments have been made in Kakheti in this direction, which is commendable, of course. We have two cultivated walnut species that some may perceive as exotic, but I can assure you that Kakheti has enormous potential, as evidenced by the cultivation of olive trees, for example, a growing product in the global market, and Georgia has an opportunity to claim its place in the world market in this direction as well," Mamuka Bakhtadze underlined.
According to the Prime Minister, Kakheti is one of the most popular tourist destinations, and it is important to encourage this direction as well.
"This region has a unique history. Many monuments of culture, the pride and joy of every Georgian, is found in Kakheti, so it is only natural that infrastructural development is a priority here. I am excited that the infrastructural project planned by us in Kakheti are being implemented on schedule, and I would like to urge everyone, including the local municipalities, to keep up the pace, so that infrastructure in Kakheti may develop in a timely manner, to enable to attract more tourists to this gorgeous region," Mamuka Bakhtadze stated.
According to the Prime Minister, the centers of key settlements are under renovation o be completed by the spring of 2020.
"That will further enhance this beautiful region's tourism potential. The ongoing infrastructural projects are not designed to target on particular direction or another. We are guided by inclusive growth, a type of economic growth that applies to every Georgian citizen. I am convinced that, as a result of the implementation of this policy, the Kakheti will emerge as the most successful region. Last year, we had concrete results, because it marked the most successful vintage in the history of independent Georgia, and I hope that the coming years will prove even more successful," Mamuka Bakhtadze stated.
The International Investment Forum Kakheti 2019 was held in Tzinandali. The event brought together members of the Georgian Government, representatives of the diplomatic corps, and high-ranking foreign investors. The key goal of the forum is to discuss future investment prospects and to attract greater investments in the region of Kakheti.