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The president strikes a preventive blow to crisis19.05.2009 | 19:32
The president of Georgia seems to have returned much inspired from the World Economic Forum in Jordan. On winning support from the USA and the member-countries of the Eastern Partnership that promise to import from Georgia everything that the Russians have consumed earlier, Mikhail Saakashvili is no longer afraid of the second wave of crisis anticipated by the experts.
The ruling officials of Georgia are eager to chase away the experts' fears regarding a second wave of crisis to be expected in autumn. The day before, Assistant to Prime Minister Vakhtang Lezhava declared that the experts are working on anti-crisis measures, BusinessGeorgia informs. Banks and construction companies are the first standing in line to the "economical doctors". "Assistance to the economical sector will be provided as soon as possible. The 1st quarter of 2009 turned out to be rather hard, although we had expected it to be even worse. The government has made sure of a need for additional priming of economy, which, first of all, concerns the banking system", - the official believes.
The day before, the Association of Developers forwarded an idea of the way to help the construction sector. It submitted its proposals to the so-called coordination group of the business sector working on recommendations to the government as to managing "the consequences of the world crisis in Georgia". The Association asks to launch a three-year program implying the participation of the country in temporarily suspended construction projects. Lezhava left open the possibility of adopting a decision on boosting the construction business.
According to Assistant to Prime Minister, despite the businessmen's demands, the taxes will go down according to a pre-determined schedule: in 2011-2012, the burden of taxes is going to become lighter by 18 percent, while by 2013 it is going to fall down by another 15 percent.
Speaking of the "anti-crisis" measures, Lezhava was evidently meaning some preventive measures, for Mikhail Saakashvili, on returning from Jordan, rebuffed everyone taking the liberty to mention the economic depression in the country. According to him, despite the attempts to "create a virtual reality of the things going wrong in Georgia", investments continue to flow in and the economy continues to develop, Rosbalt informs. "The crisis has had a strong impact on Georgia, however, it has not yet fully entered the country", - Saakashvili hypnotized the lawmakers during the meeting at the Tsinandali residence. "Besides the economic indicators, the signs of the crisis include the banking system erosion and the currency fall. Nevertheless, our currency is quite sound. Another sign of the crisis is the emptying cafes and restaurants. Of course, one cannot estimate the wealth of the country by fully-booked restaurants and cafes, but we have given money to all the villages, there is water in every village", - those were the encouraging examples given by Saakashvili.
Mikhail Saakashvili puts special hopes on a trade agreement with the United States of America, of which chairman of the USA Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry has informed him at the World Economic Forum in Amman. "It means we are going to penetrate the American market without taxation. And it means not only the Georgian products entering their market but also their investments in Georgia. We must enter the American and other regional markets", - Saakashvili rejoiced. Along with Georgia being recently added to a European project of convergence with the post-Soviet states named Eastern Partnership, the perspective of an agreement with the USA enabled the president to announce with pride that since next year Georgia will be able to sell out the same amount of wine and other agricultural products that it had sold before Russia's economic embargo. One can hardly imagine that the Georgian goods, considering the transportation costs, will be truly competitive in the European and American markets. Though, providing a well-sponsored advertising and an appeal to the feelings of the foreign democrats, the trick might do. Besides, at the meeting in Jordan an agreement for economic cooperation was signed between Georgia, Croatia and 9 more Asiatic and African countries comprising the G11 association. However, all of these countries are also pressed by the foreign debt.
According to the president, the export development should become the government's priority, for it is a crisis remedy. Saakashvili sees something positive in the fact that the people ceased to buy imported goods, even if it is attributed to the lack of money. "The export is decreasing at a lesser pace than the import, and the negative foreign trade balance indicator is falling down", - the president noted. In addition, Mikhail Nikolaevitch gave an obligatory promise that Georgia will no longer export scrap metal because of the absence of alternative products, as it was in the days of Eduard Shevardnadze. And even the opposition, which is sowing chaos in the country, will be unable to erode the economy. Head of state has specially thanked the citizens for that.
Saakashvili explained that he believes it inexpedient to hold early presidential and parliamentary election using the funds that were given to Georgia to help it develop the economy and conduct reforms.