Georgia’s PM: "2017 state budget focuses on fast economic development"

Georgia's Finance Minister, Prime Minister and Energy Minister at today's Government Meeting. Photo by the PM's press office., 15 Dec 2016 - 13:22, Tbilisi,Georgia

"Georgia is starting a very important process of development. The process will not be easy but it will make the country’s economy healthier”.

With these words, Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili started today’s Governmental meeting where the main topic was the 2017 state budget, approved by the Parliament yesterday.

PM Kvirikashvili noted the 2017 state budget was oriented on fast economic development.

Every step we take is oriented on having better dynamics of development than our neighbouring countries. This is a competition … we should do our best to attract a large portion of the investments coming to the region," he said.

"Our budget aims to solve the problems that Georgia has been facing for decades. This will be a structural improvement and recovery of the economy,” he added.

At the meeting Kvirikashvili highlighted the importance of making Georgia an export-oriented country where local entrepreneurs make investment-oriented decisions.

Kvirikashvili alos accented the importance of developing tourism in Georgia and said "very important financial recourse” will be spent next year on improving touristic infrastructure all over the country.

At the meeting today Georgia's PM spoke about liberalising the country's tax system and how this would have a positive impact on economic growth.

Taxes will be increased in directions that will have the least negative impact on economic growth. Our goal is to ensure the structural recovery of the economy and trade balance so Georgia is less dependent on foreign currency fluctuations,” said Kvirikashvili.

He then went on to discuss the reasons that had caused the devaluation of the national currency Lari (GEL).

In the geographical area where we are now situated almost all currencies of our trade partner countries have devalued. All of the major currencies have been depreciated more than 100 percent; the Turkish Lira and Ukrainian Hryvnia by 200 percent, the Russian Ruble by 90 percent and the Azerbaijani Manat by 100 percent. To compare, the Georgian Lari depreciated about 60-65 percent,” said Kvirikashvili.

The official price of the United States Dollar is 2.6604 GEL. The National Bank of Georgia has set a new exchange rate where the Lari has fallen even further against the greenback.

Today 1 USD will cost 2.6604 GEL. The previous rate was 2.6599 GEL.

Georgia’s national currency has also lost value against the Euro. Today 1 EUR will cost 2.8301 GEL while the previous rate was 2.8222 GEL.