Georgian anti-trust body still under question mark
28 October, 2010
Georgian anti-trust body still under question mark

The anti-trust agency that was restored in spring of this year in the frames of EU recommendations, still lays at leisure, pending for legislation. The incomplete anti-trust reform delays the EU consent to allow Georgia join the Free Trade Agreement.
Restoration of effective anti-trust body is among four key obligatory tasks, which the EU set to Georgia if it really wants to conclude a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU. The remaining three demands include statistics reform, proper labor

code and food safety control; all set in line with the EU standards and legislations. Georgia has already implemented statistics reform and somewhat streamlined labor code but both fall far from perfection.

The allegedly reformed statistics body that became into public law entity and is supposed to implement impartial researches includes seven members of Board and three of them are representatives of the ministry of economy, ministry of finances and the central bank - all these three structures are assumed been biased toward statistic data and the sector pundits say that there is an apparent interest clash in the reformed statistics service.

Food control legislation is not complete since key paragraphs of the law obliging business to adopt due standards of food production are suspended. The law was scheduled to become fully operational in 2010, but was delayed ultimately and will be enforced by phases starting 2010 to 2017. 
The anti-trust body [been revoked in 2005 in quest of liberal reforms] was restored in May of 2010 officially, but the legislation based on which the body is authorized to implement its function still is not worked out. Government promised to work out legislation in June-July and put the anti-trust body in full operation by fall, but the timetables expired and the anti-trust agency still remains on paper pending for legislation.

The EU seems reluctant to tick any of them as implemented obligations. A non-governmental watchdog Association of Young Financiers and Businessmen (AYFB), hailed Georgian government on October 18, 2010 that it eludes implementation obligations undertaken in frames of negotiations of the FTA agreement in 2008 and demanded to restore the effective anti-trust body immediately.
Merab Janiashvili, Head of AYFB, doubts that government lobbies interests of monopolist companies enjoying carte blanche in the country for years since the anti-trust was revoked. 
“Free trade with the EU is very important to Georgia. It will boost export and cut down expenses to importers that will cut down prices in the country ultimately. The inactivity of government makes me inclined to think that it shuns creating an effective anti-trust legislation to lobby trusts in the country,” Janiashvili said.
Giorgi Khuroshvili, Parliamentary Secretary of government, assures that the action plan on restoration of the anti-trust service is negotiated with the EU at the moment, but he cannot name exact timetables when the service may enter into effect.
“We are discussing the key principles based on which the [anti-trust] service must function and as soon as we achieve a consensus the due legislative initiative will enter the parliament,” he said.
The problem is that government would like to deprive the restored anti-trust service of execution power and grant it with only market monitoring right. It can research the market and send reports on suspicious market players to court for execution. Janiashvili claims this kind of service does not differ from Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in fact and that the EU disapproved this kind of cosmetic reform past fall.

“The EU demands restoration of effective anti-trust service with execution power. If it has only monitoring function how it differs from NBG actually?” He asked Georgian Journal. “I also can implement market monitoring and send papers to court.”
Janiashvili fears that Georgian government has a controversial economic policy that cannot lead to positive results: it declares being oriented on the EU and duplicates the Singapore and Hong Kong economic models in fact.
“We apparently go toward Singapore. The democracy is limp there and market is very liberal and free of anti-trust and regulatory bodies. They have developed financial sector but do not develop other sectors of the economy. But these two samples are not countries, they are city-states in fact and their sample does not fit to Georgia that is a state and needs to develop all sectors of the economy,” he elaborated.
Paata Sheshelidze, President of New Economic School, argues that the EU approves the Georgian anti-trust reform. He does not believe in efficiency of  regulatory bodies generally and thinks that anti-trust for example rather affects consumers’ interests than protects them.
“It deprives consumers of choice and offers companies to consumer while it is up to consumer to decide where to go for product and service,” He told Georgian Journal. However since the FTA is very important to Georgia Sheshelidze acknowledges that anti-trust must be restored and has no pretension toward the already restored anti-trust agency.

“First of all the anti-trust body is restored and it is much better than it was before. It is a lie that the EU dislikes governmental approach. I have not seen any official documentation proving this fact. I think we have to wait and let government settle the issue, they know it better how to act,” he said.

Other Stories
Georgian citizens are granted the right to work in France
The French Embassy in Georgia made remarks on granting Georgian citizens the right to work in France
The New York Times: Bitcoin declines but Georgia still bet on it
The New York Times has recently published an article about reasons, challenges and causes of generating Bitcoin in the former Soviet country Georgia.
EU to allocate € 13 billion for Eastern Partnership countries, including Georgia
The European Union together with the World Bank plans to allocate investment worth € 13 billion for infrastructure projects in the Eastern Partnership countries.
Anaklia Port and its importance for Georgia
In 2016, Anaklia Development Consortium was authorized to launch the construction of Anaklia Port.
Cryptocurrency mining threatens electrical network in Abkhazia
In the breakaway region of Akbhazia rampant cryptocurrency mining is threatening the shaky electrical network, reports an article of the news portal EuroNet.
Caucasus Wine University to be opened in Gurjaani
In the Kakheti region a new viticulture campus of the Caucasus University is in the process of planning.
Photos describing life of the poorest in Georgia
Fight with poverty should be among top priorities of every government in every country.
Training farmers to rescue the organic hazelnut production in Georgia
Even drizzling rain and unpleasant gusts of wind can’t prevent the farmers from coming and participating in the agricultural training.
Bleak times for organic farmers in Georgia – but there is hope
Organic hazelnut production is a delicate plant in Georgia that has emerged just a couple of years ago. Various pests, among them the Asian stink bug Parosana, trouble hazelnut farmers and menace their livelihood – even before their businesses could really take off.
Hybrid car imports are going through the roof in Georgia
Thanks to their fuel economy, the popularity of hybrid cars is increasing in Georgia, where fuel affordability is low and prices for fuel are unstable.
The New Year offer from MAQRO Construction - Apartments with unbelievable discounts and the parking spaces for FREE!
Location, green yard, spaces for various needs, experience of the construction company and parking space are the main important criteria for potential buyers of apartments.
Interview with the co-founder of Kiwi Vegan Café – the first vegan place in Tbilisi
Behind the Kiwi Vegan Café stands a group of activists who wants to raise Georgian’s awareness for animal rights and welfare.
Biblusi opens first shop for tourists - Georgian
The largest book shop in Georgia Biblusi opens the first shop specially designated to the needs and interests of tourists and named it Georgian.
Georgia improves by five ranks in the Prosperity Index
In the overall Prosperity Index rankings, Georgia has climbed by 5 positions from 85 to 80 when compared to last year. As such, Georgia is the best performing country in the CIS zone.
The future is bright for electric cars in Georgia
The numerous hybrid cars in the streets of Tbilisi cannot be overlooked. Entrepreneur Sulkhan Gvalia calls them “pagers”, referring to the predecessor of mobile phones.
Georgia’s fight against the big tiny enemy – Asian Parosana
It’s a tiny creature, but the harm it did to the Georgian agriculture sector was and still is immense.
New cable route: from Kobi to Gudauri in 15 minutes
On the 15th of December, cable transport is scheduled to be opened connecting Kobi and Gudauri.
Tourist boom in Gudauri – majority of hotels are booked by foreigners
Gudauri is among the most popular winter resorts in Georgia.
Medical tourism increases in Georgia
In the last 9 months, Georgia was visited by 19 500 foreigners for medical and recovery purposes.
Doing business in Georgia has become easier than in America
According to the Doing Business 2019 report published by the World Bank, Georgia ranked 6th among 190 countries in terms of simplicity of doing business. This was an improvement over two ranks compared to last year.
Problems that foreigners frequently face in Georgia
The importance of Georgia as a tourism hub is growing year after year.
Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower – Better than the Eiffel Tower?
It is planned to renovate the Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower, one of the landmarks in the capital.
Georgian Fusion Menu by The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi
5,895,914 international visitors have visited Georgia between January and August of 2018. Compared to the previous year the number has increased by 12.2 per cent.
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia. Those who violate the new rule would be fined GEL 10 000.
Lebanese café-lounge Beirut opens in Tbilisi
What is necessary to organize an unforgettable event? – Fun, emotions, lots of surprises, good music and delicious menu.
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange