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Saakashvili invites investors chasing the businessmen away2008-12-01 09:39
Recently Saakashvili has acknowledged that Georgia is awaiting a difficult economic year. However according to the authorities the investment climate is still better that in Russia. But... probable investment operators have let down the Georgian president. Both Georgian and American. They have filed a case against the Georgian government to the international court of arbitration.
According to the GHN agency report the American company "Easy Enterprise" and its partner - a Georgian business group owning "Laser 2 Tbilisi", "Sony Center Tbilisi", "Rustaveli Café" are claiming the government's violation of the bilateral investment agreement between the USA and Georgia.
The overseas and local entrepreneurs assert that the lease contract was illegally terminated - the companies above found themselves literally on the street with their property confiscated. It is noted in the claim that "the authorities are trying to apply state police forces to collect private owners' property totally ignoring the supremacy of law for lucrative purposes."
According to the plaintiffs the Georgian courts including Arbitration are totally controlled by the country leaders. There is an example: first 17 months ago a lawsuit was lodged in Georgian Court of Arbitration against the Ministry of Economy. Up to now no session has been conducted (legal term is 5 months). After the August events no claims are taken into consideration though they are accepted.
Now the plaintiffs demand restoration of their rights under the lease and forfeit penalty. In case international Femida admits the rightness of the plaintiffs the Georgian budget might get thinner by over USD 12 mln.
The authorities have not responded to this act of the Georgian and American businessmen yet though the rioters submitted relevant notification to President Mikheil Saakashvili, prime minister Grigol Mgaloblishvili, Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili, Economy Minister Ecaterina Sharashidze and Georgia's Ambassador to the USA Vasily Sikharulidze.
By the way the conflict of the late oligarch Badri Patarkatshishvili who was in disgrace with the authorities started on 2005 with the abolition of the private arbitration institution.
Then at the meeting with the businessmen Patarkatshishvili stated that it might cause big problems for the investment climate in the country. But he was not heard.
The Georgian economy experts think the authorities have been committing errors repetitively ever since.