Investment Council: green light for investors
30 January, 2014
Investment Council: green light for investors
To support and boost important investment projects Georgian government will set up Investment Council at the Prime Minister’s office. It will be staffed by ministries who will meet regularly to settle bureaucratic problems case-by-case without delay.
Nodar Khaduri, Minister of Finances of Georgia, informed media of this on 21 January. According to him, a working group has already begun to improve the investment climate and that the investment legislation is ready to go.
The idea was initiated by the non-governmental
sector last week and government approved it immediately. Four economic analysts (who also represent non-governmental organizations) appealed to Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili to create the State Investment Council, so that big strategic and infrastructure investment projects will not be left at the mercy of ministries and state structures alone. The point is that poor communication among state structures became an obvious problem, and serious investment projects were compromised; it takes time for investors to come to the capital and sort out red tape.
But Investment Council will assume political responsibility for investment projects, and insure coordination among state structures when investors face technical and bureaucratic problems. The goal is for it to do more effectively what the chambers of commerce (both Georgian and foreign), business ombudsman, associations of big and small businesses, and Economic Council (including heads of the Partnership Fund and Co-Investment Fund) seek to do now.
Irakli Lekvinadze, one of initiators of Investment Council, believes that business associations and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Georgia are below par. Economic Council focuses on the business environment as a whole, while Investment Council will attend to specific investment projects.
According to Levan Alapishvili, another initiator, the new government is going through a transition period. The law changed this year granting implementation responsibility to the government instead of the president. The incumbent government is not familiar with the procedure yet and investors note inhibiting miscommunication between ministries and state structures.
“For example, if an investor needs to acquire a land spot in the regions, or get a governmental permit on the possible impact of the project on the environment, at least three ministries such as those of agriculture, economy and environment, as well as the Public Registry, are to be involved,” Alapishvili told Georgian Journal. “And an investor who wants to construct a highway in Zugdidi, in West Georgia, has to go to Tbilisi constantly to deal with quirks in the bureaucratic paperwork. Meanwhile, Investment Council will enable ministries to gather one day, discuss the problems of very important investment projects case by case, and solve all the problems in an hour, then order their regional branches to implement the solution in an electronic format. Things will be done instantly. ”

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