President Saakashvili chaired on April 22 a weekly session of the government and told the ministers to fully focus on overcoming economic difficulties.
In a video footage released after the government session, Saakashvili says that despite global economic crisis Georgia has “good framework” for economic growth and overcoming difficulties involving “unemployment triggered by the war and global crisis.”
“In recent weeks we have proved that despite attempts by external or some internal elements, Georgia is a stable and sustainable country and it was a great discovery for some people,” Saakashvili said.
“Now we should launch the growth and resolving of those social problems which our people are facing. Therefore, today all the governmental structures, starting from the Finance Ministry and ending with the Ministry of Diaspora Issues, all should be oriented to economy and economic growth. Georgia should become an oasis of our region in terms of economy and in terms of creation of economic opportunities,” Saakashvili said.
He said that the government had “four-year development plans” for various sectors of economy.
“Be sure that these programs, which we have – a four-year program of energy development, a four-year plan of agricultural development, a four-year plan of expanding export base, construction of 100 new hospitals in healthcare system, infrastructure development – all those programs, which we have for the next four-year period, will enable us to outrun those countries, which we could hardly imagine. We should stop downfall as we really have such opportunities despite difficulties. So, this is the key task of the government.” Saakashvili said.
He also said that he intended “to continue my economic diplomacy” and conduct foreign trips to promote Georgia and attract investments. “We should all work on that,” Saakashvili added.
He said that Georgia was “relatively in a better condition” than other countries, which had been hit harder by the global economic crisis. “We still maintain foreign investors, while no investments are going into other countries,” he said.
Saakashvili said that Georgia’s agriculture capabilities were not fully utilized. He said that in recent years agriculture’s share in the country’s gross domestic product was decreasing, which, he said, “is not a normal trend” against the background that more than half of the population lives in rural areas.