Georgian Payment's Bulletin of The Balance
Balance of Payment is a macroeconomic-statistical report, which reflect a record of all transactions made between one particular country and all other countries during a specified period of time. Classification and compilation of information is in accordance with international standards, Based on International Monetary Fund's Balance of Payments Manual.
From 2007, based on the agreement between the Government of Georgia and the National Bank of Georgia, the National Bank is fully responsible for drawing up the Balance of Payment. Balance of Payment of Georgia, international investment position and the external debt are worked out on a quarterly and annual bases and NBG publishes them every year.
DETAILS RELEASED OF GEORGIAN GOVERNMENT’S CAMPAIGN TO STRANGLE ANAKLIA PORT PROJECT
Ruling Georgian Dream Party Reversed its Support for Vital Project,
Wiping Out Economic Benefits for Georgia
TBILISI, GEORGIA, 9 September, 2020 – The Anaklia Development Consortium (ADC), the company originally selected by the Government of Georgia to develop the strategic Anaklia Port Project, today shared additional details of the Government’s campaign, directed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, to undermine the project by dissuading potential project investors, lenders, contractors and suppliers from joining the project in order to kill it.
The following statement is issued on behalf of the ADC Supervisory Board:
“All infrastructure projects of such scale require government support; namely the encouragement of lenders and investors, the assistance in permitting, regulatory approvals and a favorable tax regime, and providing any ancillary support; in this instance, the provision of land and the construction of road and rail infrastructure. For a government to actually oppose an infrastructure project that it had itself approved is highly unusual in the global economy.
“The Georgian Government’s campaign to strangle ADC’s ability to develop the Anaklia Port Project represents a self-inflicted wound for itself and considerable injury to Georgia’s economy and its role in the region.
“Taken together, the Georgian Government's specific actions are part of a deliberate and well-orchestrated campaign to destroy a project which the Government itself originally sponsored and endorsed, but subsequently chose to destroy as a result of what appear to be the political and economic self-interests of the Georgian Dream Party and its principals.
“The Government manufactured all sorts of excuses for not wanting to see various investors, lenders and partners involved in the project, but the Government really only had one purpose: to choke the project to death by scaring away everybody who might have an interest in supporting it.
“Also, is it beyond coincidence that government ministers – including two Prime Ministers -- who voiced support for the project or otherwise expressed concern about the growing controversy with the project were tendering their resignations shortly after such comments were made?
“The damage to Georgia caused by the Government goes well beyond the potential loss of the Anaklia Port and the associated Special Economic Zone. The conduct of the Government is scaring away investors at a time when Georgia cannot afford to lose any more foreign investment. According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of foreign direct investment in Georgia has fallen from nearly US$ 2 billion in 2017 to just over US$ 1.3 billion in 2019, and in the first quarter of 2020, stood at only US$ 171.8 million - a catastrophic decrease even before the Covid crisis began to take effect. As Retired U.S. Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges of the Center for European Policy Analysis said, ‘the government only has itself to blame.’”
Some examples of the Government’s efforts to strangle ADC and the Anaklia Port Project include:
- Georgian Dream party leader Bidzina Ivanishvili requested to meet with ADC to discuss the Anaklia Port Project and asserted that the expansion of Poti Port could achieve the same objectives of the Anaklia Port at a far lower cost.
- During a June 12 meeting of the Georgian Dream party, attended by more than 100 party officials, Party Leader Bidzina Ivanishvili personally blamed Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili for his actions in support of the Anaklia project and for having close ties to ADC investor Mamuka Khazaradze. Mr. Kvirikashvili resigned the day after that meeting.
- In February 2019 ADC learned that during an October 2018 meeting with senior U.S. State Department officials in Tbilisi, Mr. Giorgi Gakharia (then Minister of Interior) advised the U.S. officials that the Anaklia Port project was not in Georgia’s interests.
- SSA Marine, which was selected as the Anaklia Port operator and was a potential investor, alerted ADC of its concerns about what seemed to be the Government’s support of an expansion of the Poti Port. (Following detailed studies sponsored by the Government back in 2013-14, it had been determined that Poti Port could never meet Georgia’s needs for a Deepwater Port, which is why the government itself selected Anaklia for development at that time. The Government’s subsequent expressions of support for expansion at Poti was a clear signal to the lending and investment community that the Government was no longer supportive of Anaklia.)
- A sovereign European development bank advised ADC that it had decided against supporting the project because of the negative actions of the Georgian Government, and the possible shift of support to the Poti Port.
- Another sovereign European development bank advised ADC that it was withdrawing its support because one of its counterparts had just done so (above) due to the state’s apparent shift of support from Anaklia to Poti.
- It has been reported that Infrastructure Minister Maya Tskitishvili, in ministerial hearings before Parliament, undermined SSA Marine as a potential investor and as the port operator, claiming the company lacked experience and financial capacity. These assertions were not true. In the process of her speech, the minister also breached legal obligations of confidentiality that were associated with the investment agreement.
- SSA Marine advised ADC that it was suspending its activities related to the Anaklia Port project.
- Mr. Giorgi Kobulia, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, told “Forbes Week” that the negative public discussions and media reports of the Anaklia project were having a negative impact on the business climate within Georgia. He subsequently resigned within days of the interview.
- A major U.S. private equity firm which was in advanced negotiations with ADC to join the project revealed to ADC that Government officials warned the firm to stay away from the project.
- Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, in a trade visit to the U.S., met separately with SSA Marine, the leadership of the U.S. private equity firm that were interested in investing in the project, and with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, D.C. Secretary Pompeo expressed support for the Anaklia project with the prime minister standing next to him, saying it would “strengthen Georgia’s ties with free economies and not allow Georgia to be under the economic influence of Russia or China.” Upon his return to Georgia, Mr. Bakhtadze resigned, and this again put the project in unchartered waters.
- At a meeting in Tbilisi, a large Hong Kong-based private equity group with significant Central Asian transportation synergies that was considering joining the project was told bluntly by Infrastructure Minister Tskitishvili that the Government did not desire their participation in the project. At this same meeting Ms. Tskitishvili reaffirmed the Government’s seeming opposition to SSA Marine’s involvement in the project.
- Giorgi Volski, Vice Speaker of Parliament, falsely claimed that the Hong Kong private equity group mentioned above is a “Russian” company, with the intention either of disparaging it or sowing further confusion about the government's position in respect of the project.
- In a meeting between Prime Minister Gakharia and an Anaklia Supervisory Board member, Mr. Gakharia stated that “things had to get quiet” before he could reassure the major potential U.S. investor of the state’s support for the Anaklia Project, which the board member understood to be a condition that ADC and Mr. Khazaradze stop criticizing the government publicly on its opposition to the Anaklia Project, and the government would stop criticizing ADC.
- Also, the Supervisory Board was promised a letter of support to a U.S. investor from the highest levels of the Government, but this never materialized, even though ADC did comply with the Government’s request.
- A delegation from the U.S. (in Tbilisi to participate in the 5th annual Tbilisi International Conference sponsored by the McCain Institute) met with new Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, and subsequently with Mamuka Khazaradze. Representatives of the delegation told Mr. Khazaradze that Prime Minister Gakharia told them the Anaklia project was not commercially viable when this was patently not the case.
- Fadi Asly, chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce in Georgia, is quoted in the media saying, “No one will invest in Anaklia project as long as Bidzina Ivanishvili wants to destroy it.”
Taken together, these are only a selection of the instances where the Government of Georgia actively undermined the project in an effort to prevent ADC from developing the project. ADC intends to present evidence during the upcoming arbitration proceedings to demonstrate the degree to which the Government took such steps.
Further details of the Anaklia Port project and ADC can be found at http://anakliadevelopment.com
The Government of Georgia thanks Liberty Bank for a very timely and correct decision, given the current situation in the country
The Government of Georgia thanks Liberty Bank for a very timely and correct decision, given the current situation in the country.
The Government of Georgia - in cooperation with Liberty Bank - decided to provide pension recipients of all ages without exception with pension payments for the month of April in advance, in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country. The government has already allocated the relevant funds from the state budget.
Pensions will also be issued using different regulations in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Specifically, receiving pension payments in cash will only be possible in accordance with the schedule that was announced by Liberty Bank in advance. However, pensioners will be able to use the funds available on their accounts at retail outlets - pharmacies or stores, as well as for the payment of utility bills, as soon as the funds are transferred, i.e., from 28 March.
Citizens should visit www.myliberty.ge or call the relevant phone number (032 208 from a cell phone, or 208 from a landline) to view the schedule for the payment of pensions in cash.
The Government of Georgia is urging pensioners to take care of their health and avoid standing in line at the bank to make cash withdrawals as today, plastic cards can be used to pay for virtually all services. And if they wish to receive their pensions in cash, it is essential that they maintain social distance while standing in line.
Several days ago, Liberty Bank allocated 100 million GEL to provide pensioners over the age of 70 with pensions for the month of April in advance, and it did so on its own initiative and using its own resources. The purpose of the initiative was to protect people in the highest risk group - those over the age of 70 - from the increased threat posed by the virus, in particular by reducing their need to go to the bank and maximizing the distribution of the flow of citizens.
Press Service of the Government Administration
Information regarding restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals to the territory of Georgia
As part of coronavirus (COVID-19) preventive measures, the Government of Georgia made a decision to impose restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals. The restrictions will become effective from 18 March 2020, 00:00 and will remain in force for two weeks.
The restrictions will apply to any foreign national except:
- Representatives of diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited to Georgia and their family members;
- Mixed families where one of the spouses or their under-age child is a citizen of Georgia;
- Persons arriving in Georgia as part of humanitarian mission – if trip of such mission (doctors, volunteers) to Georgia becomes a necessity;
- Individuals who have been granted the status of stateless person by respective authorities of Georgia.
- Individuals holding status-neutral travel documents;
- Individuals having a refugee status in Georgia;
- The issue of official delegations will be decided on a case-to-case basis.
Visa and the National bank of Georgia continue to raise awareness on financial literacy
Visa and the National Bank of Georgia continue to promote financial literacy by organising a special educating-entertaining event for kids during Back to School period at Tbilisi Mall. This activity will be conducted within Visa and the National bank of Georgia financial literacy campaign started in May, 2018 by launching the financial football game and signing a memorandum of understanding.
Visa and NGB Back to School event will take place on September 22, from 10AM to 8 PM at the central area of Tbilisi Mall. Children will be able to learn more about smart money management in an easy and funny way by playing Financial Football Game, enjoying different entertaining activities and getting memorable souvenirs from Visa and NBG.
“We are pleased to continue cooperation with the National Bank of Georgia to promote financial education platforms in Georgia and celebrate new school year by highlighting the importance of financial literacy. At Visa we believe that development of a gaming approach in terms of financial literacy is more interesting, particularly for teenagers, students and all the grownups. It is always more fun to learn when you play. The Financial Football online game helps us doing that. Financial literacy helps people become self-sufficient and achieve financial stability. This includes being able to save money, distinguish the difference between wants and needs, manage a budget and simply making good financial decisions”. - said Dmytro Krepak, Acting Group Country Manager in CIS&SEE.
“Financial education is one of the priority areas for the National Bank of Georgia. We developed the National Strategy for Financial Education in 2016, and currently, we are in the process of its implementation. Further, we announced 2018 as the “Year of Financial Literacy” and we are glad that we had an opportunity to develop the Georgian-language “Financial Football” game in partnership with VISA during this very year. The “Financial Football” game is a fun and effective tool for teaching basic principles of personal finance management to our population.
We hope that the young generation has been actively playing “Financial Football”. With Back to School event of September 22, we want to remind everyone about the “Financial Football” game, and to encourage schools and other stakeholders to use this game and its accompanying educational modules in the teaching process. We also hope that we will continue our cooperation with VISA to advance the levels of financial literacy of the Georgian population.” - said Lasha Gzirishvili, Head of Consumer Protection and Financial Education Department of the National Bank of Georgia.
Communication Strategy of the Government of Georgia on Georgia’s EU and NATO Membership for 2017-2020
Georgia's membership to the EU and NATO constitutes the top priority for the country's foreign and security policy, which is strongly supported by the majority of the population. It is a firm will of the citizens of Georgia that the country takes its proper place in the European and Euro-Atlantic community, which shares a common civilization and values; that the citizens live in a developed state secured from external threats and which is based on the principles of rule of law and human rights protection.
Pursuant to the Resolution on Foreign Policy of Georgia adopted by the Parliament of Georgia on 29 December 2016, Georgia's EU and NATO membership is of the highest priority, without alternative. Throughout the implementation of the country's foreign policy objectives, special efforts will be directed towards the active management of strategic communications on Georgia's European and Euro-Atlantic integration that will ensure the preservation of high and aware public support for the country's Western orientation.
For the effective implementation of Georgia's foreign policy objectives, as well as in compliance with the Resolution of the Parliament of Georgia, the Government Communication Strategy on Georgia's membership to the EU and NATO has been elaborated. This document prescribes the ways and means necessary to facilitate ensuring public support to the process of Georgia's membership to the EU and NATO, and outlines the role and functions of relevant state agencies responsible for the implementation thereof. Strategic communications on Georgia's membership to the EU and NATO are carried out in accordance with the present strategy and action plan elaborated in compliance thereto.