Partnership Fund to Be Rebranded
02 May, 2013
Partnership Fund to Be Rebranded
Partnership Fund of Georgia that handles the state assets of strategic importance and is aimed at attracting and supporting investments in the projects of the similar importance, is to be rebranded into the Sovereign one to make it more effective.
At the governmental sitting on April 25, 2013, Georgian government made the decision to restore the Partnership Fund created in 2011. According to Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Minister of Economic and Sustainable Development of Georgia, the structure of the Partnership Fund (PF)
was unclear to foreign investors to whom the Sovereign Fund makes much more sense.
“There are two kinds of Sovereign Funds: one is financed from incomes got through natural resources and the other that finances the development projects. We agreed on the second one,” Kvirikashvili elaborated. According to Irakli Kovzanadze, Executive Director of PF, three ministries including the ministry of finances, economy and energy along with PF top officials will staff the working group that should work on the structural reorganization process.
“We agreed to choose a foreign legal company with the relative experience that will consult us to implement the reorganization process and the World Bank as well as the International Monetary Fund will be also involved in it,” Kovzanadze told Georgian Journal.
As a matter of fact, there are three state-controlled funds in Georgia including the PF created by ex-power in 2011 and Agriculture and Investment Funds set up by the ruling authority. Georgian economic analysts find PF to be redundant under the given circumstances as it duplicates function of the economy ministry managing with the state assets generally and functions of the Investment Fund created by new government and aimed on attraction of foreign investments. PF is a money and time waste they believe.
“I think existence of that many funds will bewilder foreign investors. Two funds is more than enough to a small country like Georgia. Taken into account that Georgia is an agriculture country and it is a key priority, Agriculture Fund is important. As to other projects the Investment Fund is fully capable to handle with. And let the state assets managed by PF be managed by the economy ministry as it used to before handing them to PF. Why the state is supposed to waste huge money to keep the redundant fund and its reorganization that by no means requires significant funding,” Ditrikh Muller, a co-founder of Georgian Investment Group, wonders.
Soso Archvadze, an economic analyst, agrees as finds PF has always been completely redundant especially now against the backdrop of global investment famine that makes investment prognosis less optimistic to Georgia.
“But since there is political will to revoke PF, rebranding may do some good for the image always matters,” he said.
The state-owned PF’s current asset base exceeds 4.3 billion USD as it incorporates government stakes in major state-owned enterprises including Georgian Railway (100% stake), Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (100% stake), Georgian State Electrosystem (100% stake), Electricity System Commercial Operator (100% stake) and 25% stake at Tbilisi electricity distribution network Telasi. PF participates in several hotel-projects with the total investment slightly exceeding USD 20 million.
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