Minister of Economic Development, Dimitri Kumsishvili paid tribute to dead people on April 9. He talked about the importance of this date in the history of Georgia and added that this day is the start of winning and independence of Georgia.
“9 of April is start day of great victories. A lot people died. I was only 15 when this happened but I remember everything. We regained our independence. We made a lot of mistakes too but we live in the strong country now,”-Dimitri Kumsishvili said.
Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Energy Kakha Kaladze, Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Dimitri Kumsishvili, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure Nodar Javakjishvili, Minister of Finance Nodar Khaduri, and Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Giga Agulashvili attended a report by Adjaristsqali Georgia LLC (AGL), the country’s largest investor. The event was also attended by representatives of international finance institutions (IFC, EBRD, ADB,) and experts working in the energy sector.
This event was jointly organized by the Ministry of Energy and Adjaristsqali Georgia.
Speeches were delivered by the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Energy Kakha Kaladze, Chairman of Advisor’s Board of Adjaristsqali Georgia Kyrre Olaf Johansen, and the company’s CEO Ronny Solberg.
AGL is implementing one of the largest infrastructure investments in Georgia, the Shuakhevi Hydro Power Plant (HPP) project. AGL is a joint venture between India’s Tata Power and Norway's Clean Energy Invest (40 percent each), and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group (20 percent). AGL is investing a total of USD 416 million and employing 730 Georgian citizens on this project.
AGL has already finished 75% of construction and will complete the project by the end of the year. Hydropower generation will start functioning in the spring with a power station capable of generating 187 MW of clean energy for domestic and foreign consumption. This will contribute to the Georgia’s effort to achieve energy independence and increase its export capacity.
AGL’s activities are not limited to the construction of a hydropower station in highland Adjara. Driven by a deep sense of social responsibility, the company is also supporting the economic and social development of the Adjara region and improving the of living standards of those living within the project area. AGL’s social responsibility efforts focus on three main areas: education and awareness raising, community empowerment, and infrastructure projects.
By the time the project is completed, the company will have contributed millions of laris to local municipal budgets through a 10% profit tax. Local governments will use this money to improve the living conditions of the people living in the Adjara region
AGL is committed to protecting the environment in the project area both during construction and after commissioning, and they are implementing mitigation and compensation measures to minimize its impact. AGL constantly strives to comply with all relevant Georgian legislation and, in addition, adhere to the highest international environmental standards and best practices. The project is the first hydropower project in Georgia certified by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change for carbon emission reductions. It is expected to produce about 450 gigawatt hours of power annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 200,000 tons per year.
In his speech, Kakha Kaladze stated, “Today we celebrate the implementation one of the largest and most important project in Georgia since gaining our independence. This is an enormous step in the development of our energy sector. Our goal is the rational utilization of energy resources in order to ensure our country’s energy independence. Cooperation with international finance institutions and leading companies is a significant precondition for the development of Georgia’s economy which is closely to the development of the energy sector. As a result of the successful collaboration of EBRD, IFC, ADB, TATA Power and Clean Energy Invest, a USD 416 million investment was made in Georgia’s energy sector. This included an investment in social projects that focused on infrastructural development and raising the level of education and awareness.”
Ronny Solberg, CEO of AGL, said in his address, “We believe that the Shuakhevi Hydro Power Plant will promote the long-term development of upper Adjara. Social responsibility is one of our main priorities, and we are implementing more than 70 social projects in the Project area. We have built roads and water systems, rehabilitated schools and kindergartens, and carried out a variety of educational programs for local students and teachers. I am particularly proud of our initiative to develop local small business by providing them with training and financial support. Our goal as a company isn’t just to build a hydro power plant, it is also to strengthen and develop the region where we work.“
The Ministry of Economy, Dimitri Kumsishvili publishes data, according to which the number of tourists increased in Georgia. As he noted, the official data shows, that more than 70 thousand tourists visited Georgia in February, 2016.
As Dimitri Kumsishvili said, in February 2016 the most visitors arrived from Azerbaijan (+ 41.9%), Turkey (+ 12.2%), Russia (+ 29.2%) .
No one will leave the position-the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Dimitri Kumsishvili said today after the reports, that some of the ministers might resign.
For information, today it was reported that the Minister of Refugees and Resettlement of Georgia, Sozar Subari, Minister of Environment Gigla Agulashvili and Minister of Defense, Tina Khidasheli might be resigned.
The Irish low cost airline "Ryanair" expressed an interest towards Georgian air-market, - possibilities of initiating routes to Kutaisi were discussed during the working meeting conducted by the Prime Minister of Georgia with the Chief Commercial Officer of "Ryanair" David O'Brien.
During the meeting it was noted that the growth of interest of low cost airlines to Georgia is caused by the business environment in the country, growth of the tourist flow during the recent years and the possibilities provided to the Georgian citizens by the prospects of visa liberalization with the EU.
Pursuant to David O'Brien, the working group of the airline will study operational and infrastructural capacities of the Kutaisi International Airport. He also expressed hope that the negotiations and consultations with Georgian government will lead to positive results.
"We conducted fruitful and promising meeting with the Prime Minister. Now I am in a completely different spot from Ireland, which is a great privilege to me. I hope that soon we will be able to connect this part of Europe with another" - the Chief Commercial Officer of "Ryanair" David O'Brien noted upon the termination of the meeting.
Dimitry Kumsishvili, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development considered the meeting conducted at the Administration of the Government as important and fruitful.
"It was an important meeting, since Ryanair is one of the most fast growing low cost airline on the European market. We have been working with respective company for quite a while and today they visited Georgia with their technical employees to assess the condition of Kutaisi airport as well as evaluate new capacities and directions to make a decision about direct flights from Georgia. We hope that relevant decision will be made as soon as possible," - Dimitry Kumsishvili noted.
The Irish low cost airline "Ryanair" was founded in 1984 and started operating in 1985. At the given stage, its airpark includes Boeing 737-700 and Boeing 737-800 airplanes. Last year the company provided services to more than 90 million travelers. Pursuant to the data of 2015 the airline has 72 bases and is operating in 191 airports.
According to the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Vice Prime Minister Dimitri Kumsishvili, Civil Aviation Agency has received an application from Iranian airline, which is under consideration.
Kumsishvili hopes that the Iranian Airline will complete to present its documents for making permits for directly flights.
"We need more tourists and this will be better for our tourism market. We think there will be no obstacle and we will give permission soon,”-Kumsishvili said.
Development of land, rail and air transport and strategic partnership of Georgia and Turkey were the main discussion topics of Giorgi Kvirikashvili and the Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication of Turkey Binali Yıldırım.
The conversation also touched upon the importance of the Marabda-Kartsakhi Railway project. Turkish Minister assured the Prime Minister of Georgia that the project will be finalized at the earliest opportunity.
Meeting conducted at the Administration of the Government of Georgia was attended by the Vice Prime Minister Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Dimitry Kumsishvili and the Secretary of the Economic Council, business ombudsman Giorgi Gakharia.
According to the Ministry of Economy, in the rates of the Heritage Foundation's which examines the economic freedom index, Georgia improved its position by four places and is on the third place among 178 countries. The main issue is freedom of trade which means government intervention in trade matters.
“It was not observed inflationary moments and this fact recognized by the international rating organization. Georgia will be on 3rd place in world’s 178 countries in trade freedom,”- stated Dimitri Kumsishvili.
The Minister of Economy talked about data of 2015. According to him, export and import was decreased in 2015 in Georgia.
In frames of the visit to Brussels, the Georgian delegation took part in the presentation on Georgia’s business and investment environment held for Belgian businessmen at the Embassy of Georgia in Belgium.
About 30 representatives of large business associations, investment and business companies attended the presentation. Georgian Vice Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Dimitri Kumsishvili addressed the attending audience. Giorgi Kvirikashvili reaffirmed Georgia’s European aspirations and once again underlined that development of trade and economic relations with the EU member states represents the key priority for Georgia. The first visit of the Belgian business delegation last year was also underlined.