The numbers of tourists in Georgia have increased by half a million, and tourism revenues exceed two billion USD. The Prime Minister of Georgia commented on the positive tourism statistics at today's Government meeting.
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, it is truly commendable that, in 2016, over 6,350,000 international guests visited Georgia, and the country's revenues from tourism exceed 2,000,000,000 USD.
"It is a result of our joint efforts seeking to develop infrastructure and position Georgia as an attractive international destination. We believe that the investments to create year-round resorts and build roads to tourist destinations, also to implement public-private partnership models at winter resorts, must be enhanced further, because they yield concrete results in terms of additional revenues for local businesses and residents," the Prime Minister stated.
According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, it is also a commendable outcome that, this year, more than one reputable publication has named Georgia as one of the most attractive new destinations, while some even rank it as the best new tourist destination in the world.
The officers of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti Police Department of the MIA as a result of operative-investigation activities detained Maia B. (D.o.B.: 1968) and Nana Sh. (D.o.B.: 1980) in Zugdidi for attempted swindling.
Investigation established that the detainees deceived one of the refugees as if they had an influential acquaintance at the Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees who would assist him in receiving an apartment. For the mentioned favor detainees demanded and extorted 2000 USD from the refugee.
Law enforcers detained Maia B and Nana Sh in several minutes from the moment of extortion money. Police seized 2000 USD as evidence during personal search of Maia B. Both of the detainees have already pleaded guilty.
Popularization of Georgia is growing, international recognition of our country has increased and we consider that next year we shall expect more tourists - Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated during the Cabinet meeting. Giorgi Kvirikashvili presented indicators of growth in the tourism area to the members of the Cabinet. According to the head of the Government, throughout last 7 months, more than 3 400 000 people visited Georgia. This unparalleled indicator is 11% higher than last year's index.
"Particularly unparalleled number of international visitors entered Georgia in July. Namely, 764 022 international visitors travelled to our country - as compared to the last year's similar indicator, the number of visitors increased with 26 124.
It is a welcoming fact that that number of tourists from neighboring countries as well as the EU member states is growing. In the first quarter of 2016, the tourism related income was 354.5 million USD that is 15.7% higher than last year's similar indicator. I consider that this trend is very important, since is implies growing of income for all individuals engaged in tourism industry - starting from the owners of family-type hotels and ending with large touristic complexes. This means more employed persons in Georgia, which is vitally important. I would like to thank the whole team that contributed to the development of this direction under the leadership of Ministry of Economy, Administration of Tourism, as well as Ministry of Culture. Thanks to the efforts of the Government, this result was achieved. This is a welcoming fact," - Prime Minister noted.
According to him, pursuant to the new scheme that encompasses public-private partnership model, the events for the next year will be planned during this autumn. Giorgi Kvirikashvili expressed hope that this trend will continue.
"I think that next year we shall expect more tourists. This calls for preparing loca infrastructure for the inflow. We have to work hard in this area," - head of the Government noted.
External Merchandise Trade (excluding non-organized trade) of Georgia amounted to USD 5705 million in January-June 2016 (preliminary data), grew by 20 percent from the same period of the previous year. The value of export decreased by 12 percent reaching USD 948 million, while the import grew by 30 percent and amounted to USD 4757 million with respect to January-June of the previous year. The trade deficit equaled USD 3809 million and its share in trade turnover constituted 67 percent.
Sources: LEPL Revenue Service of Ministry of Finance of Georgia; LEPL Service Agency of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia; Georgian State Electric System, LTD; Georgian Gas Transportation Company, LTD. Notice: The discrepancy between the totals and the sum in some cases can be explained by using rounded data.
Giorgi Kvirikashvili, the Prime Minister of Georgia assessed allocation of grant in an amount of the 140 million USD to improve the education system of Georgia, as a direct investment in Georgian future.
Activities conducted within the frames of Compact and the success of the program were evaluated by Giorgi Kvirikashvili and deputy Vice President of the Millennium Challenge Corporation USA Fatema Z. Sumar during today's meeting.
Conversation touched upon the new directions of cooperation. The Prime Minister urged representatives of Millennium Challenge Corporation to put more emphasis onto engagement of private sector and fostering professional education. Respective initiative was welcomed by the representatives of MCC.
Pursuant to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, reform of the education system is one of the top priorities of the Government and the grant of MCC in that area is the most crucial aid provided by the USA.
"Grant in size of 140 million USD is a direct investment in future of Georgia. Vitally important programs, such as development of science and high technologies, teaching of San Diego University programs in Tbilisi, improving of infrastructure at public schools, trainings of the teachers, etc, are being carried out," - Prime Minister stated and thanked the USA for provided support.
Fatema Sumar emphasized the important role of prime Minister and the Government in successful implementation of the Compact. She also expressed hope for fruitful cooperation in the future.
Pursuant to her, it is important for MCC to aid Georgian student in acquiring quality education in the areas of science, math, technologies, natural sciences, thus increasing their employability.
The meeting held at the Administration of the Government was attended by the US Ambassador Ian C. Kelly, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mikheil Janelidze, Minister of Education and Science Tamar Sanikidze and the Executive Director of Millennium Development Fund Magda Magradze.
The U.S. Government commits $69.3 million to Georgia’s democratic and economic development. On December 22, the USAID Caucasus Director Douglass Ball signed two development assistance agreements with Georgia’s Minister of Finance Nodar Khaduri. The agreements will support the following two projects over the next five years: Democratic Control, Balance and Accountable Government; and Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth.
Exchange rate of US Dollar won't be 2.4107 any more. Georgian National Currency slightly gained value against Dollar today. Tomorrow 1 USD will cost 2.4023 GEL, what is less by 0.0084 GEL compared to previews official exchange rate.
Lari continues to depreciate. Georgian National Bank set the new exchange rate yesterday, according which 1 U.S. Dollar equals 2.3983 GEL. Georgian Lari has dropped in value against USD by 0.0005 GEL.
Georgian National Currency has also depriciated against Euro. According to the official exchange rate 1 EUR costs 2.6055 GEL today, which means that Lari has dropped in value against Euro by 0.0111 GEL.
According to the new official exchange rate set by National Bank of Georgia, 1 US Dollar equals 2.3978 GEL. While previous exchange rate was 2.3977. Georgian Lari has dropped in Value by 0.0001 GEL.
Georgian National Currency gains value against Euro. 1 EUR costs 2.5944 GEL. Official exchange rate of Lari has gained value by 0.0073 GEL against Euro.
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) met on December 16, 2015 and decided to increase the refinancing rate by 50 basis points to 8.0 percent.
The monetary policy decision is based on the macroeconomic forecast, according to which the tightening of the monetary policy by the National Bank of Georgia must have positive effect on the decrease in inflation expectations. Unless other additional shocks take place, further monetary tightening in the coming periods is not to be expected. According to the current forecast, in the beginning of 2016 the inflation will remain above its target value, will start gradual decreasing afterwards and will return to its target value of 5% in the second half of 2016.
The annual growth in consumer prices equaled 6.3% in November. The main factors causing rise in inflation are still coming from the supply side, namely the increase in the intermediate costs of production and higher prices on certain imported goods. An important impact on the inflation came from the one-time increase in the electricity tariff. The rise in inflation has been limited by the weak aggregate demand and decrease in the world prices of oil and food products.
The real GDP growth in the second quarter was consistent with the forecasts. According to preliminary forecasts the real growth in the first 10 months of the year was 2.8%. The factor hindering the growth is the external sector, which, given the dire economic situation in the region negatively affects the income from export of goods and services. The economic growth in the past period was mostly due to the domestic demand, which is however negatively affected by the decline in remittances and increase in the service burden of foreign currency denominated loans due to the changes in the GEL/USD exchange rate.
There have been some positive developments in relation to the elimination of external imbalance. Given the decrease in foreign currency inflows the change in the exchange rate has caused import to adjust. In the last three months imports have decreased by 18 percent (excluding one-offs). Accordingly we can assume that the impact of the existing external shock on the exchange rate has been exhausted. Other things equal no additional pressure can be expected on the exchange rate coming from the existing external shock.
The NBG will continue to monitor the developments in the economy and financial markets and will use all means and instruments at its disposal in order to ensure the price stability. Further changes in monetary policy will depend on the inflation forecast and factors affecting it, global and regional economic environment and general economic conditions.