President Margvelashvili: Georgia needs concrete results at Riga summit

President welocomes the members of Parliament, while entering the main hall. Photo by President's Press office., 31 Mar 2015 - 22:47, Tbilisi,Georgia

The President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili has delivered his second annual national address in Parliament today.

While introducing his speech, the President said his address aimed "to assess the achievements, to look at our problems and mainly, to see ahead to our future".

The President started with Georgia’s European aspirations and underlined this year Georgia should firmly step into its European future.

"Not only do we need Europe, but Europe and the West also needs a strong, advanced and democratic Georgia,” Margvelashvili said.

" ‘From a post-Soviet country to a European state’ was the main massage of my address last year, and this year we should strengthen Georgia as a European state.”

"Georgia’s safety and welfare is strongly connected with our European and Euro-Atlantic integration. This year we should deepen our relations with the EU and NATO, and with each and every country within the Euro-Atlantic space,” underlined the President while he addressed Georgians from one of the main tribunes of the country.

The President said Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova were "punished by Russia for their European choice”.

"Occupation of Georgian territories in 2008, the war in Ukraine which started in 2014, and supporting the separatists in Transnistria is nothing but punishment of these countries for their European choice.”

He called on international partners to raise their awareness of Georgia and the challenges facing the country.

Later today Margvelashvili published the key message of the foreign policy part of his speech on his official Twitter account:

"Georgia is a serous contributor to international safety. We are involved in peacekeeping operations of NATO and the EU, but as a non-member state we could not use the Euro Atlantic safety system fully."

The upcoming Eastern Partnership [EaP] summit in Riga for us is not only a reporting event. Georgia needs concrete results, which will strongly define the country’s European prospective and demonstrate European integration’s tangible benefits to its citizens.”

The Georgian President also emphasized it was extremely important to increase the role of the EU and the United States (US) in solving the conflict between Russia and Georgia "to give any pressure by Russia a coordinated and adequate response”.

Margvelashvili also praised the US as one of Georgia’s special partners and stated the US-Georgia Strategic Partnership Charter signed between the countries in 2009 should be used more effectively.

Reforms and Challenges 

The President named the economic situation as one of the most important challenges currently facing the country. Georgia was not ready to manage the external economic shocks, so the country should have a proper economic forecasting system, he said. 

"Our main task today is to provide economic growth, employment, to reduce social inequality and as the final goal to ensure the welfare of each member of society."

Margvelashvili named several potential areas for developing Georgia’s economy:

  • DCFTA – as a new possibility for investing, employing and export; 
  • Georgia’s free trade agreements with Turkey and CIS countries, which means that the product manufactured in Georgia could be sold within the $900 million market in free trade regime;
  • Georgia suggests interesting opportunities to investors: Low taxes, high ranks in international business ratings, low level of corruption and criminal actions; 
  • Transportation of the Caspian energy resources to Europe; 
  • Georgia’s high potential in producing energy. The President named energy as the most interesting and highly demanded direction for investors, underlined the building of new hydro power plants and creating a united energy system with Turkey;
  • Georgia’s potential as the transport corridor between Europe and Asia. "China and Japan are partners we are especially interested in.” 

Healthcare state programs and supporting Governmental projects for small and middle-sized business, especially "Produce in Georgia” were praised by the President as a big success of the Georgian Government.