21 Feb 2015 - 16:39
Georgia’s Government will have to "tighten its belts” as the country’s national currency, the Lari, continues to fall, Prime Minister says.
PM Irakli Garibashvili said the Government would have to reduce administration costs and revise its economic growth forecast.
"There is a difficult economic situation in the regions” Garibashvili said.
"There is a hard situation in Ukraine. There is a crisis in Europe in general. Accordingly, Georgia with its small economy is tied to the global economy. This, of course, has a negative impact on our economy.”
Garibashvili said the Government had a "concrete plan” of how to get out of the situation.
"We are working with the president of the National Bank of Georgia around the clock,” he said.
The PM was aware the Lari depreciation had a negative impact on citizens’ and companies’ financial situation and the Government was ready to reduce administration costs.
"We are ready to tighten our belts,” he said.
"We should review everything in order to manage the budget in the cleverest, most efficient and rational way.”
Similarly, the Government would have to revise its economic growth forecast, Garibashvili said. Georgia's economic growth was expected to hit five percent in 2015.
"But taking the current situation into account, we will have to revise this,” he said.
"I’ll provide you with some examples; recently Azerbaijan said its economic growth would be 1.5 percent. Armenia and Moldova – 0 percent. The highest economic growth in Europe is one or two percent. Of course, we cannot be the exception.”
The Lari began falling in value in November 2014 when $1 USD was 1.75 Lari. Today, the current rate saw $1 USD valued at 2.1771 Lari.