World experts discuss Georgia’s democratic and economic development

  • Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili opened the two-day event in capital Tbilisi today. Photo by the PM's Press Office, 1 Feb 2016 - 13:56, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations and the country’s economic development were in focus of Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili’s speech as he addressed an international forum in Tbilisi today.

The Georgian capital is hosting a two-day international forum on "The Prospects of Georgia’s Democratic and Economic Development”.

The event was organised by the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), in partnership with the University of Bremen and with financial support from the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.

Kvirikashvili opened the forum earlier today. He spoke about his Government’s priorities and recent achievements.

"We are doing our best to ensure that the Government’s policy reflects the interests and needs of our people,” Kvirikashvili said.
"Our Government’s work is open and transparent. We believe that in the process of making important decision for our country, different Governmental branches, civil society members and experts should be involved and decisions must be made based on a consensus.”

The PM talked about the Government’s economic priorities too; he said more accent should be made on education and innovations.

"Georgia isn’t rich with natural resources. Thus, full attention should be paid to our main resource – our people,” Kvirikashvili said.
"Creation of highly paid jobs and encouraging entrepreneurship are the Government’s top priorities. The Government will, to the best of its ability, support freedom of the private sector.”

Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Georgia Janos Herman and German Ambassador to Georgia Bettina Cadenbach delivered speeches at the forum’s opening ceremony.

The two-day forum was divided into several panel discussions; two held today and two tomorrow.

The first discussion today will be:

  • Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic Aspirations.

This panel discussion will focus on the processes and challenges of Georgia’s integration in NATO and the EU.

This afternoon’s forum will be:

  • Main areas of EU-Georgia Partnership

This panel will focus on the DCFTA, negotiations on Georgia’s accession to the Energy Community and EU-Georgia Visa Liberalisation dialogue.

Tomorrow’s sessions will be:

  • Georgia’s Economic Development

This panel discussion will focus on the assessment of Georgia’s economic development, existing challenges and opportunities in this regard.

  • Georgia’s Democratic Development

This panel discussion will focus on issues of Georgia’s Democratic Development. Speakers will talk about transparent, open and good governance. Recommendations for Georgia’s democratic development will also be discussed.

Among the invited speakers were:

  • Michael Emerson - Senior Research Fellow at the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS)
  • Federico Tarantini - External Energy Policy Officer, European Commission, DG Energy
  • Jochen Zimmermann - Dean at the University of Bremen, Germany
  • Andrei Illarionov - Senior Fellow in the Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity at Cato Institute
  • Lincoln Mitchell - Specialist in Political Development, Expert on Georgia
  • Michael Hikari Cecire - Associate Scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute