Construction of Marneuli-500 Substation Completed

Published in Politics
Monday, 12 December 2016 15:34

The construction of the Marneuli-500 Substation, equipped with modern technology, is completed to improve significantly the provision of power supply to Tbilisi and Kvemo Kartli. This project is implemented by the Georgian State Electro System under the Transmission Grid Strengthening Project financed by the Asian Development Fund (ADB). 
The event dedicated to the completion of construction was attended today by Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze.
The value of the Marneuli-500 construction project is 20 million USD. The completion of this new substation was assessed by the Head of Government as yet another step to Georgia's energy independence.
"We believe this substation will prove a most valuable addition to the country's power grid. This project is an important part of the 50-million Transmission Grid Strengthening Project and the Government's 10-Year Strategic Plan for Transmission Grid Development. According to this plan, 735 million euro's worth of investments are expected to be made in the country's power grid. It is very important for local generation sites, the population, and supply to the economy, as well as for strengthening Georgia's role as a transit hub," the Prime Minister stated and thanked everyone involved in the implementation of this important project.
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the Asian development Bank, which has supported the project's implementation, is an important partner of the Georgian Government.
The Prime Minister also thanked different financial institutions partnering with the Government of Georgia on energy projects, such as KFW, the World Bank, and EBRD.
"These investments significantly strengthen our country's energy security and stabilize its energy supply. Our country's engagement in globally important projects will further strengthen energy stability in Georgia and provision of power throughout the country," Giorgi Kvirikashvili pointed out.
The construction of Marneuli-500 is implemented by Turkish BEST/BETAS. By building the Marneuli-500 Substation, the Georgian State Electro System has completed the 50-million Transmission Grid Strengthening Project financed by ADB.
The Prime Minister of Georgia once again expressed his deepest concern over the recent terrorist attack in Turkey and offered his sympathies to Zeki Levent, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Georgia. The diplomat thanked the Georgian Prime Minister for solidarity and stated that Georgia is Turkey's important partner in the fight against terrorism.

Prime Minister Comments on Accusations against Private Banks

Published in Politics
Friday, 09 December 2016 17:28

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili urges everyone to abstain from unsubstantiated accusations against the banking sector and financial institutions, Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated at today's government meeting.
The Prime Minister once again spoke of the measures planned by the Government as necessary for implementing reforms and emphasized the importance of the banking sector in this process.
According to the Head of Government, the four-point reform agenda is the cornerstone and foundation that requires necessary measures to implement in order to materialize everything the Government is discussing.
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili's assessment, coordination in this process is of vital importance, with the banking sector one of its key links.
"I would like to comment on the totally careless accusations made over the last few days. Georgia's banking sector is one of the most developed in our region and beyond. We have very important, well-developed financial institutions, and their engagement in the reform process is vital. They make up the most important link in the development of our economy, and any negative, especially unsubstantiated, accusations against them effects grave results. Therefore, I urge everyone, especially those who frequently appear on TV, to exercise prudence in this regard. Criticism is not alien to anyone, especially the Government and our institutions, but when it comes to financial institutions, it cannot go public until every argument is discussed in formats that will protect us from such accusations against sensitive institutions," the Prime Minister stated.
The Head of Government once again emphasized the importance of the engagement of the banking and, generally, private sectors in the implementation of the Government's reforms.

"We have complete trust in our banking sector; we maintain close coordination. The engagement of the private sector, not just the banking sector, in the process of reforms is of vital importance, and we value it, indeed," the Prime Minister said.

EIB ALLOCATED 450 MLN EUROS TO GEORGIA

Published in Politics
Friday, 09 December 2016 14:39

European Investment Bank (EIB) will allocate 450 million Euros to Georgia for the development of road infrastructure, agriculture as a sector and production in agriculture at large. It was noted at the meeting of Mr. Jan Vapaavuori, Vice President of EIB with H.E. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia today.
According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, funding from EIB is of particular significance inter alia for the spatial planning and large infrastructure projects being the key directions of the Four Point Plan of the Government of Georgia (GOG).
Vice President of EIB focused on the great importance of the funding and noted that it will advance the living standards in the country and boost the competitiveness of Georgia.
Discussions were also related to investment projects, currently implemented in the country with EIB support. In the opinion of the Prime Minister of Georgia, presence of the Regional Office of EIB is highly commendable in the country, as it promotes investments and mutual cooperation.
Financing Agreements on the allocation of resources by EIB to Georgia were signed after the meeting. Signatories were Mr. Jan Vapaavuori, Vice President of EIB and H.E. Dimitry Kumsishvili, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Georgia.
EIB will thus allocate 250 million Euros for the construction of new roads and rehabilitation of the existing priority routs; 100 million Euros will be disbursed for the rehabilitation and upgrade of municipal infrastructure and another 100 million Euros - for the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in agriculture and food production under the referred concessional long-term lending.

Giorgi Kvirikashvili met with Romanian Ambassador

Published in Politics
Friday, 09 December 2016 11:00

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili held a meeting with Radu Liviu, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Romania to Georgia. The parties discussed the main issues of the relations between Georgia and Romania and prospects of future cooperation. The Romanian Ambassador congratulated Giorgi Kvirikashvili on the successful parliamentary elections and his reappointment as Prime Minister.
During the meeting, the great potential of political, economic, defense, cultural, and tourism cooperation was also discussed. Special attention was paid to the trade and economic relations between the two countries and opportunities for developing transport and energy corridors.
The Ambassador of Romania reaffirmed support for Georgia's integration into NATO and emphasized Georgia's prospects of accession to Euro-Atlantic structures and the country's success in the process of visa-liberalization. 

New Business Center Opens in Tbilisi

Published in Economics
Friday, 09 December 2016 10:19

A few hours ago, a final decision on the so-called suspension mechanism was reached. Now the concluding step is for the European Parliament to vote, after which our citizens, practically, will be given the green light to travel to the European Union, which is huge success, and I congratulate all of you, the Prime Minister of Georgia stated in his speech at the opening ceremony of the Business Association's new office. 
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the success in the process of visa liberalization is a result of immense efforts from many people and great support from Georgia's friends.
"This success stems from the joint efforts of many people and, of course, great support and solidarity from many of our friends, for which we are thankful to them," the Prime Minister stated.
The Head of Government congratulated the Business Association's members on the opening of a new European-standard business center equipped with modern infrastructure, and expressed hope that the center will lay the foundation for interesting ideas that will bring additional investments into the country and contribute to the country's rapid development. According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, today Georgia needs consistent progress toward the implementation of its declared agenda.
"Now that our country, thanks to its enormous democratic transformation, has reached such results, it is a great success to have in the heart of our city a business center equipped in line with the latest standards! Congratulations! This facility is truly comfortable, and I hope that many important decisions for our country will be made in this facility, consequently creating new workplaces and triggering new investment projects. What our country needs most today is standing together in consistently advancing toward important economic progress over the next few years. Today more than ever, I am not only optimistic but also convinced that great success lies ahead of us. Our team and I are of the opinion that important innovations are expected in the nearest future, brand new large-scale projects that will make a tremendous difference in the country and mark a genuine breakthrough in our economic development. This is reality. This is the potential behind the negotiations we are holding," Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated.
The Business Association of Georgia was established in 2009 to put together almost 70 leading Georgian companies. The new business center, with its modern design, occupies 9,105 square meters and includes office and commercial spaces.

PRIME MINISTER OF GEORGIA MEETS BRITISH MPS

Published in Politics
Thursday, 08 December 2016 11:45

H.E. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia met with the visiting British Members of Parliament (MPs) from the All Party Parliamentary Group for Georgia.
Parties discussed key topics of strategic relationship between the two countries and prospects of extended cooperation in future. Focus has been made on the significance of the general elections of Georgia held in an open, competitive and fair environment. Hopes have been expressed towards intensification of relations and interaction between the Parliaments of UK and Georgia.
According to the Prime Minister, UK is a great friend of Georgia with a sound track record of strategic cooperation in the following areas: military, economic, trade, arts and culture, etc. This bondage is of utmost importance. Head of the Government of Georgia (GOG) shared the Reform Agenda of the Government and investment opportunities of the country with the visiting delegation. It was noted at the meeting that Georgia is an attractive country for doing business, which is duly evidenced by the successful operation of British companies in the country.
British MPs reassured the Prime Minister of Georgia in the solid support of Britain towards the implementation of democratic reforms in Georgia.
Current developments in the region and occupied territories of Georgia were discussed at the meeting. Reference was made also to topics of international security and great contribution of the Georgian military in the international peacekeeping missions was commended.
Prime Minister of Georgia expressed his gratitude to the Delegation of the British Parliament for the present visit to Georgia, which is a clear evidence of UK-Georgia partnership and close cooperation.

STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER OF GEORGIA

Published in Politics
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 10:15

STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER OF GEORGIA: "I wish to respond to the absolutely unsubstantiated and irrational accusations voiced today, claiming that Government of Georgia has no common position on the presented Action Plan.
I wish to once again clarify for general public that Revenue Mobilization Plan of the Government of Georgia, which is reflected in the Draft State Budget of 2017 has been developed by the entire team within the authorities of the country. This is the most important step made towards the implementation of the Four Point Reform Agenda. It is a shared position of the entire team in the Government of Georgia, which is aimed at the rapid overcoming of the current challenges facing the country and designed for future development.
In the capacity of the Prime Minister of Georgia, I assume full responsibility for the implementation of the referred plan. Irrespective of any attempts, nothing and nobody can ever prevent us from the implementation of the vital reforms in the country, which are and will remain to be solely aimed at the welfare of our people and rapid development of our country. What is most important, society and citizens understand that some steps may not be easy today, but are bound to be followed by rapid economic growth and better future."

Meeting with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense

Published in military
Tuesday, 06 December 2016 14:23

The defense and security relations between Georgia and the United States are advancing to a new level, as it was pointed out at today's meeting between Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Carpenter.
According to the parties, the memorandum, signed during the visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry to Tbilisi, sets up a completely new framework for defense and security partnership. Giorgi Kvirikashvili emphasized that the Government of Georgia appreciates US support for strengthening the country's security and resilience.
Georgia's contribution to global peace and security, for which the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense thanked Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, was also emphasized at the meeting.
Special attention was paid to the main issues of Georgia-US strategic partnership and Georgia's ongoing and planned reforms.
The meeting was attended by US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly and representatives of the Office of the Secretary of Defense; the Georgian side was represented by Defense Minister Levan Izoria, State Minister on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Victor Dolidze, First Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani, and Chief of the General Staff Vladimir Chachibaia.

Kvirikashvili has a plan to develop the economy - Ian Kelly

Published in Economics
Monday, 05 December 2016 10:33

The Prime Minister of Georgia has an excellent plan how to increase the economy of Georgia – this statement was made by the US Ambassador to Georgia.
According to Ian Kelly, they support Giorgi Kvirikashvili. “We try to help economical development issues but there are a lot of challenges in the region. Georgia is one of the countries in this region,”-US Ambassador to Georgia said. 

Joint press release following the 3rd Association Council meeting between the European Union and Georgia

Published in Politics
Friday, 02 December 2016 15:23

The European Union and Georgia held the 3rd meeting of the Association Council on 2 December 2016. The Council is the highest formal body established under the EU-Georgia Association Agreement to supervise the implementation of the Agreement and to discuss issues of mutual interest. This meeting took place after the entry into force of the Association Agreement on 1 July 2016 that marked the start of its full-scale implementation. 
The Association Council welcomed the fact that the parliamentary elections in October were competitive, well-administered and fundamental freedoms were generally respected, as stated in the OSCE/ODIHR preliminary report. Both sides highlighted the importance of addressing all recommendations related to the administration of the elections in order to further strengthen the environment favourable for democratic conduct of elections. The Association Council agreed that the strong parliamentary majority is a responsibility to strengthen democratic institutions, consolidate pluralistic democracy in Georgia and advance reforms. The EU expressed its readiness for close cooperation with the new Georgian government to advance the common EU-Georgia bilateral agenda. 
The Association Council took note of the 2016 Association Implementation Report on Georgia and positively assessed the significant progress in EU-Georgia relations since the last Association Council in November 2015. Both sides acknowledged Georgia's European aspiration, its European choice and the common objective to continue building a democratic, stable and prosperous country. They reaffirmed their continued commitment to Georgia's political association and economic integration with the EU. The Association Council underlined the importance of setting the Association Agenda priorities for 2017-2020 and welcomed the involvement of civil society in this process. 
The Association Council emphasized the shared vision of building a resilient state, institutions and society highlighted in the EU Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy. 
The Association Council welcomed the progress made by Georgia in the implementation of comprehensive reforms in the justice sector. Both sides agreed on the need for Georgia to consolidate the progress achieved. The EU underlined its commitment to continue assisting Georgia in its efforts to reform the judiciary and safeguard the rule of law. 
While emphasising Georgia's successful implementation of all required benchmarks under the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan, the Association Council stressed the importance of a prompt finalization of the decision making process required to exempt Georgian citizens, holding biometric passports, from the visa requirement within the Schengen area.  
Both sides welcomed the initial benefits of the economic integration through the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) implementation. Ensuring long-term sustainable development and inclusive economic growth were highlighted as core goals of the Georgian Government's domestic reform programme, in line with the commitments of the Association Agreement. The EU underlined the importance of sound macroeconomic policies in this respect and welcomed the renewed momentum for Georgia to reach an agreement with the IMF. 

The Association Council welcomed the positive trends in trade between the EU and Georgia since the provisional application of the DCFTA. The sides highlighted the importance of creating more “success stories” in terms of new market openings for Georgian products, as well as the need to better communicate the advantages of the DCFTA to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). Both sides welcomed the decision of the Joint Committee of the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean Convention on Rules of Origin to admit Georgia as a contracting party to the Convention that will further facilitate the export of Georgian products to the EU market. 
The Association Council underlined Georgia's strategic role in the field of energy and transport connectivity and welcomed the signature of the Protocol on the accession of Georgia to the Energy
Community on 14 October 2016, as envisaged by the implementation of the Association Agreement. 
The Association Council welcomed the solid EU assistance provided to Georgia, which had particularly increased in the period 2014-2017 with an annual average of €100 million available to support the ambitious political, judicial and economic reforms envisaged in the Association Agreement and the Association Agenda. The Association Council underlined the importance of the promotion of EU investments in the Georgian economy and welcomed a proposal to focus future assistance for 2017-2020 on Economic Growth, Private Sector Support and developing efficient value chains and increased competitiveness in selected sectors with high export potential and/or import substitution. 
Both sides welcomed and stressed the importance of successful cooperation established between the EU and Georgia on Strategic Communication. 
The EU expressed readiness to assist Georgia's increased participation in EU programmes in order to bring tangible results to the population. The Association Council commended Georgia's growing cooperation with the EU agencies and welcomed further steps in this direction. The Association Council encouraged the strengthening of sectoral cooperation through enhanced dialogue between the relevant EU and Georgian institutions and use of all available EU instruments. 
The EU reiterated its firm support for the territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders, as well as its firm commitment to peace, stability and conflict resolution in Georgia. To this end, the EU is committed to using all instruments at its disposal through a comprehensive approach, including its policy of non-recognition and engagement in Georgia. The EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia and the EU co-chairmanship of the Geneva International Discussions, the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia (EUMM) are visible and substantial signs of this commitment. 
The Association Council stressed the crucial importance of the Geneva International Discussions for addressing and resolving the challenges stemming from the conflict in Georgia. It also agreed that fully functional Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) are essential for confidence, predictability and transparency on the ground. The contribution of the EU Monitoring Mission to security and stability on the ground was particularly highlighted. 
The Association Council was deeply concerned with the recent ratification of the so-called agreement between the Russian Federation and the Georgian region of Abkhazia on the creation of a “joint group of military forces” and considered this step detrimental to security and stability in the region. The EU underlined that this so-called agreement, similar to the earlier so-called “Agreement on the State Border” between the Russian Federation and the Georgian region of Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, and the so-called “Treaties” signed between the Russian Federation and the two Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, have no legal status for the EU. These so-called agreements violate international law, including the principles of inviolability of Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. 
The Association Council called on the Russian Federation to fulfil its obligations under the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008 and its subsequent implementing measures of 8 September 2008, and to provide EUMM access to the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia. Both sides expressed concern over the human rights situation in these  regions, including with regards to freedom of movement and access to education in native language in the Georgian region of Abkhazia. 
The Association Council agreed on the importance of continuing and intensifying a broad policy that includes the whole society and encouraged Georgia to sustain its efforts to reach out to its communities throughout its entire territory. The Association Council noted the importance of further supporting people-to-people contacts across the divide and confidence building measures between conflict-affected communities and encouraging reconciliation efforts. 
The EU expressed appreciation for Georgia's continued contribution to EU-led crisis management operations and missions in the Central African Republic and the Republic of Mali, as well as readiness to support strengthening of respective capacities of the country. 
The EU commended Georgia's active participation in the multilateral dimension of the Eastern Partnership. It welcomed Georgia's contribution to the ENP review and elaboration of the Global Strategy for Foreign and Security Policy. The Association Council underlined the importance of translating the strategies into clear and concrete policy priorities and deliverables. 
The Council was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Ms. Federica Mogherini. The Prime Minister of Georgia, Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili led the Georgian delegation consisting of members of the Government of Georgia.  
 

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