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Saakashvili Briefed on Economic Stimulus Package
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 9 Jan.'09 / 19:43

As government officials were briefing the President over planned state spending on infrastructure, President Saakashvili was writing down on a chart board figures provided by the officials. 

“Life was easier a year ago,” but the world economic crisis has deteriorated the situation and the Georgian government is now taking measure not to let this crisis “to enter into Georgia,” President Saakashvili said in a live televised meeting with government members on January 9.

“Life was easier a year ago, as Georgia was an attractive country and there were much free money with investors vigorously looking for places for making investments. Today the situation is radically changed; free money and investors have disappeared in the world… Our condition is getting more complicated against the background of this situation,” he said.

“The only right recipe in this situation is the state investments in the economy,” he added.

The President then he asked the government members to list particular projects in which the state planned to invest in 2009 as  part of its, as the government calls it, GEL 2.2 billion economic stimulus package.

Finance Minister, Nika Gilauri, told the President that within next one month the government planned to announce tenders on various infrastructure development projects with total worth of up to GEL 1 billion. He said that this amount was part of the GEL 2.2. billion state spending on the infrastructure development planned in the course of 2009.

“We call on the Georgian private companies to actively participate in these tenders,” Gilauri said. “We want to maximally attract the local, Georgian companies in these tenders.”

“At least GEL 700 million out of this total GEL 1 billion will remain in the Georgian economy,” he continued, adding that the rest will most likely be spend on import of various products, including construction materials needed for infrastructure.

He also told the President that the government expected that about 25,000 or 30,000 workplaces will be created in the course of implementation of these projects.

Head of the road department, Ramaz Nikoleishvili, told the President that GEL 521 million was planned to spend on road construction and rehabilitation projects in 2009.

Levan Varshalomidze, head of the Adjara Autonomous Republic’s government, who participated in the discussion via video link from Batumi, told the President that GEL 120 million would be allocated from the Ajdara’s local budget on infrastructure development projects in the Autonomous Republic.

As government officials were briefing the President over planned state spending on infrastructure, President Saakashvili was writing down on a chart board figures provided by the officials.

Saakashvili said that these tenders should be transparent and added that the Anti-Crisis Council should also be involved in monitoring of the process.

“We should turn entire Georgia into a huge construction site; in that case we will be able to avoid a large-scale economic crisis which has hit Ukraine, Latvia, Hungary, Turkey, Russia and many other countries,” he said.

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