The President of Georgia met the representatives of economic group of the Government

The President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili attended the united session of the Ministries of Economic and Sustained Development and Infrastructure boards. The heads and other representatives of the above-mentioned ministries presented the report on the already fulfilled works. The President got familiar with the action plan and priority directions of these entities as well. Mikheil Saakashvili gave new tasks to the Ministers.

"Georgia is a country where numerous of poor people reside. When we came into the government the scope of poverty was more than 50 percent. Half of our population lived beyond the edge of poverty. Now this indicator reaches 19-20 percent. Though the structure of poverty has changed - if people had no insurance or social or some other type of assistance - today one million people are insured; I personally saw number of people that underwent through operations, were prescribed medications, were treated without any charges on the account of medical insurance; many people get social aids as well. We know very well that besides these socially unsecured people, many pensioners and people with low incomes fight for existence daily. Fighting for existence daily means that you don't know if you will be able to bring food to your children while going home, if you would have money to buy them manuals and let them go to school, whether you have or not medical insurance, will you be able to pay utilities. In one word when prices on world market change, for example prices on wheat, flour, buckwheat, sugar and such products it really damages the population with such income. In one hand in such conditions people see daily problems and on the other hand a question arises among people: they are starting to construct huge towers, highways and arranging sea shore, they are modifying Sighnaghi and restoring Mtkheta and thousands of tourism infrastructures and the question is quite natural: if it sufficient time for building a glass bridge in Tbilisi or spreading gold sand on Batumi beach or constructing Eiffel equivalent today in Georgia, when I am hungry? If there is money it needs to be spend on people. This is the most important what we all have to share - finally, all our investments are aimed to bring more money in country tomorrow. If for example we have 100 million, we can distribute this amount among pore people and add it to what they get. But this money will evaporate in exactly two months and tomorrow Georgia will have no more income.

"Where do our income comes from? These are investments, it is infrastructure, it is tourism, it is our production and new businesses in agriculture or other spheres that will be sold later on the market and we will get income. Later, money will flow to the budget from these amounts and we will give money to poor, socially unsecured, ill people or to those who have no money for medical treatment. We give computers to our children, we are constructing schools and various social units. All remained money must be invested back in order to have more businesses, more incomes, in order to gather more taxes for giving more aids to people. This is why we have to remember always that all our roads, all tourists, all newly opened businesses - whether it is a new hotel or mill enterprise, wine factory or a small enterprise - all of these serve to one aim - giving jobs to concrete people. Income must flow in state budget from here and on one hand this budget must be distributed to all poor people and on the other hand it must be spent on education and on country's further development. This is why all of us, our government is very active. You know that I had made some observations to the Ministry of Economy and practically this is why the whole personnel have changed. We will never carry such a member of government that "sits" in his office and waits for a paper to sign or not. We need government that will be like a quick-silver, like Ramaz Nikoleishvili, Vera Kobalia giving others examples of how they must work. Also everyone must carry out country's propaganda - starting from the President and Prime Minister, finishing with each of our staff member. I am not in that age to show off my muscles, but because they show us on international news the day before yesterday I jumped into the sea to show that we have perspectives of developing our sea-resorts - to ski up in the mountains and swim into the sea in Summer", Mikheil Saakashvili stated.

The Minister of Infrastructure Ramaz Nikoleishvili presented his report first and started his speech from the ongoing works in Samtskhe-Javakheti. The final stage of 220 km road is going on this road, in mid November Tsalka road will be finished. Ramaz Nikoleishvili stressed his attention to very important indicators and stated that 22 thousand people were employed on road constructions; earlier foreign professionals were managing and operating equipment specially brought to Georgia for constructing concrete road and today Georgian specialist are operating these equipments and getting pretty high salaries; 36 concrete and 32 asphalt factories had opened. Mikheil Saakashvili noted that the road to Samtskhe-Javakheti region is of great importance not only from infrastructural point of view, but from the political point of view as well. The reason of President's concern is that the population was torn away from the rest of Georgia.

"Ethnically Armenian population Georgian Armenians are densely populated in Javakheti - but the region is totally torn away from the rest of Georgia. This means that it was more simple for them to go to Erevan, no matter that Erevan is more far away. The products were exported only to Armenia as well. In reality we never required from people there to study Georgian, despite the fact that we pay thousand GEL to Georgian language teachers for going and teaching there. Deriving from this it has political - integration aspect and it is very important. Economic is the secondary issue, because these people are our citizens.

"This is the poorest region of Georgia. This road and railway that we are constructing there, the hydroelectric stations that we have started, arrangement of infrastructure that followed all these processes will solve this process significantly. It will take us one hour and forty minutes to get to Paravani lake, Tabatskuri, Sagamos Tba - are great for ski resorts. Also we can bring cattle-breeding products that are produced by local on Georgian market. In reality about one hundred thousand of our citizens, Ninotsminda, Akhalkalaki and Akhaltsikhe will join common Georgian economic round dance. Besides the fact that political or some other tensions will be fully released, these people will take part into the process of increasing country's GDP, what means in the wellbeing of each Georgian family", the President of Georgia noted. 

Mikheil Saakashvili brought an example of recent cheese festival in Tbilisi. Tens of new sorts of cheese came from Javakheti region. President said that this is the merit of new road as well, because the population got stimulus of recalling old and creating new.

The President required information on Akhalkalaki-Karsi railway construction as well and noted that this is a construction of great strategic importance. This is railway that will connect Georgian railway to Europe".

Ramaz Nikoleishvili stated that unique facilities will be constructed within the process of project. Materials for 245 km railway construction will be produced in Georgia - it means that 70 percent of railway costs will remain in Georgia. The Minister noted that he has the pledge of Asian transportation companies that they bring their loads from China and other Asian countries via this road as soon as this railway is ready. Right now 3 thousand 400 people are employed on this road and from next year more money will be invested in this project and more people will get jobs.

This is a ten times more important project from political point of view, as oil is just one part of the load, all the other loads that are used by Europe, will pass this way. We have to take into consideration that all our production will go to Europe by this way. Railway carriages will be fully loaded and this will make an alternative to ports that are overloaded already", - Mikheil Saakashvili stated.

The President familiarized himself with the process of construction of the autobahn by means of visual materials. A 15-kilometer long Urbnisi section will be added to the main road in several days. In several days construction of the Adjara bypass road will be started, in November - Zestaphoni Samtredia road, renewed Rikoti tunnel will be functional by the next summer. Tamaz Nikoleishvili stressed that from the next year a real construction boom will start. Mikheil Saakashvili spoke about the importance of the Telavi-Gombori connecting road.    

"We were in Kakheti recently, on Kvareli lake, as the object was opened. The object actually, by its product purchase, infrastructure, everything, employs several hundred people. Lopota lake was opened as well, several small chateaus and several family hotels. There are mineral waters down there nearby... An investor was interested by several places, but we have to increase number of them", the President stated.  

Mikheil Saakashvili was interested with the ongoing works of airports construction. The Minister of Economics showed him by means of the live broadcast the going on construction of the Mestia airport. Vera Kobalia stated that the foundation is made already and even bad weather cannot interfere with construction. Mikheil Saakashvili deems this the first step towards the tourism development. The main thing is to give a stimulus to airlines for several flights a day in Mestia direction. By the President's words, if season opens in Mestia this year, this will even create a shortage of employees. The avant-garde architect. We adopted a correct concept, as we make, we must make the best that will last for our grandchildren. Because we are not a rich country, we must not drop behind. If we want to make a leap, we must tighten our belts, including the Governmental Office. More incomes we have, more we can turn Mestia into one of the best cities. Do we want Mestia to be like the second or third quality resorts that are developed by some neighbors in the region, or like Switzerland or Germany resorts?  We need a correct explanation for people, why should they come here. If we make this competitive limit, we will have 5-6 times more people here than in normal circumstances. And this means 5-6 times more income and employment. This is that will give us possibility to help people up. And everything shall be linked to each other. For instance, a person comes and is having a vacation in Anaklia, where can he go?! We have to develop Lugela gorge that is unique, in Martvili, were a dinosaur footprint was found recently. Together with this we must have tours, let us say, around Kutaisi, we shall open Sataplia in a month, the downtown is made very well, Prometheus cave, former Kumis Tavi. Those who are fond of diving will find a place there, in stalactites and stalagmites. Batumi by all criteria is going to be a World wonder. A person, when he comes, is not at one place only. He can go to Mestia in summer, ski, go to gorges, go see these caves, unique monuments. Gombori road became actually alive now as it was on Rikoti road. There are resorts Ujarma, Akhtala nearby - unimaginably beautiful places. That is why a road has not a function of just a road - a capability is created to employ people and help them up", the President stated.  

In connection with unemployment, Mikheil Saakashvili said that in order to employ people it is necessary to retrain them to make comply with the contemporary standards of economy. This is one of the main functions of the Ministries of Economy and Education.       

"The Government cannot build neither hotel nor plant, cannot plough or farm. However, we must create all the conditions for a person to do this and make rich his own family. This is the main thing. We shall make road to a hotel, provide natural gas and electric power, create good tax climate. For example, in Kobuleti, there are 45 applications submitted for hotel construction, after we announced it as free tourism area. Construction of several tens of hotels will be started in the closest weeks. I.e., we can create friendly conditions for people to work by themselves. It can be said for the agriculture as well. We can tell farmer that Jagger wheat seed will give 2-4 times more harvest, plant more maize and hazelnut on Colchis valley, but everybody must do it independently. Neither Gamgeoba, nor Ministry can do this. The function of Ministry is to create conditions and explain circumstances. For this, we have to go to people, look into their eyes, do everything what they need, do things with them, if it is necessary, to give examples of success; and if their neighbor does something good, they have to have a desire to do alike. If nothing goes on in the whole region, you cannot do even this. If there is hopelessness and people are cynical, nothing will happen as it was for so many years. During those years people even got out of the habit of dreaming. This is the very time now to create examples of success. Working on each of micro projects is a base for the success. I, personally, look at each of these projects as if they were my children, and each of them - Sighnaghi, Mestia, Kutaisi, etc. are valuable for me. All of us shall, like this, adopt each small project and foster it. This will make one new unity and new type capabilities for our people.  This is connected with tourism, production, infrastructural projects and financial services as well.  We still have to pass through a difficult period. The global economical crisis is not overcome yet, despite the fact that we have economical growth in Georgia; inflation damages the most vulnerable part of the society very much. The mechanism shall be employed with the full strengths for everybody to have a perspective.    We have to do this in he nearest year and a half. The whole country shall move in direction of business and every person shall be given a possibility to create that additional value that will open a tomorrow day for him or her. We permanently need a self education in order to find new things every day. However, after this we have to pass this information to the society. All of us have to work on self-perfection in order to help the society up of this needy life once and forever.  Everything that is done shall have multiple consequences. For this we need much more privatization, we need to attract more investments and as politicians we have to care of maintenance of stability of a political frame, in order of being no doubt there that tomorrow and the day after tomorrow somebody again will sit in a cage and scare Georgian society. Our society has finally overcome this step. We have to continue working in every direction. I am glad that in all the Ministries working teams are created, but we have always to be at our best", the President of Georgia stated.

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