The involvement of international partners in the establishment of the Digital Transformation Council, the body tasked with defining the policy for digitisation of the country’s economy, will be “very high”, the Economy Ministry said in an interview with agenda.ge.
The work on the formation of the Digital Transformation Council by the country’s Economy Ministry and Innovation and Technology Agency is underway and the body will begin the operation in the ongoing month, the Economy Ministry told us.
In comments on the new body and the policy, the Ministry said it was committed to ensuring quick decision-making and effective coordination, telling us “[o]ur task is to share the best international experience in this process”. The cooperation involves “close work” with international partners including the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and Estonia.
As the consultative body for the Economy Minister, the Council will seek to define the policy of digital transformation of the country's economy and develop relevant recommendations. Discussion of issues related to the definition of the policy, as well as the development of relevant proposals, setting up of additional working groups, and invitation of experts in the relevant field will also be part of the Council’s authority.
Seen as a synergy of representatives of governmental, private and academic sectors, the Digital Transformation Council will not require additional funding and will collaborate with Georgia’s Innovation and Technology Agency. Currently, the process of the Council members' appointment is underway, the Ministry told us.
The Ministry also explained it was working on a “long-term national strategy” for the development of digital economy and information society, along with its implementation plan under the World Bank technical assistance.
The national strategy focuses on the development of the following areas:
Innovative startup support programmes by the Ministry, facilitated through the country’s Innovation and Technology Agency, will also support the development of the field, with the majority of the startups creating “innovative solutions” for both the business sector and the state in the process of digital transformation, the Ministry added.
Additionally, Log-in Georgia, the country’s ongoing project with the World Bank, aims at implementing the Georgian national strategy 2020-2025 over the development of broadband internet, advancing the concept of a digital corridor connecting Europe and Asia, and the development of a digital hub in the country.
The Economy Ministry is additionally planning the construction of approximately 5,000 km of fibre optic infrastructure covering 1,000 settlements and 585,750 residents of the country under a state programme for providing internet access, with preparatory works for the use of broadband services in highland areas of western Georgia's Adjara region being underway.
The Ministry is also launching more programmes in the field of digital transformation, including one for facilitation for employing 3,000 professionals of the IT field, as well as the Small and Medium Business Digitisation Programme.
The establishment of the Digital Transformation Council was announced by Levan Davitashvili, the Georgian Economy Minister, on March 18 in a meeting with IT companies.