GE 2020 - A BLUEPRINT FOR GEORGIA’S FUTURE
18 December, 2014
GE 2020 - A BLUEPRINT FOR GEORGIA’S FUTURE
Following is a brief account of the way I see GEORGIA-2020, compiled and presented to public by the country’s current government. This is a social-economic development blueprint for Georgia. The Forward to the strategic document briefly describes the overall situation in the country since its acquirement of independence, emphasizing the heartbreaking fact that not much was achieved by the nation so far, especially in economy. The strategic plan is comprehensive and promising. The vision of future in it is based on
three main pillars – economic growth, inclusive development and natural resources, and the governing principles like democracy, rule of law, administrative efficiency, human rights and basic freedoms, the cornerstone of foreign and internal policy being the integration in European Union, and the economic policy being based on freedom and property rights. Free private sector and its competitiveness will determine the guiding principle of economic strategy with minimal state involvement. Economic efficiency, social security and social justice as well as international trade, foreign investments, integration in international financial markets and reduction of financial risks are going to be the most preferred directions in the country’s social-economic progress. Proper employment, dignified labor, quality of work, accessible continual education, modern healthcare and basic welfare are envisaged as part of basic rights, guaranteed by the given Plan which provides for long-term sustainable, comprehensive and inclusive economic boost. Consistent decentralization and stable self-governance are taken as solid prerequisites for progress, contained in this new Strategy. When going deeper into further details of the Plan, it becomes clearly evident that GEORGIA-2020 envisages the attempt of overcoming three main problems: 1. Private sector competitiveness by means of improving the investment and business environment, innovation and technologies, growth of exports, developing of infrastructure and fully realizing the country’s transit potential, 2. Human capital development, which will happen via developing the country’s workforce that meets labor market requirements, tightening social security net, ensuring the accessible and quality healthcare, 3. Access to finance, which means mobilization of investment and development of financial intermediation. The fresh breath of economic stimulation includes the processes for inspiring the private sector, genuinely facilitating investments and creating fair and protected business environment, developing innovations and entrepreneurial skills and raising access to finances, proper planning and implementation of regional development policies, vigorous development of the local infrastructure. The Strategy defines priorities like market liberalization. The inception of this direction had taken place even earlier, during previous reforms, undertaken by the governments who had neglected several key branches of economy for the past decade. Economic policies had failed in their attempt to lay foundations for increasing the competitiveness of the Georgian economy and ensuring long-term comprehensive economic growth. Results of economic growth did not reach a significant part of the Georgia’s population and failed to have an impact on reducing unemployment and poverty levels. New economic policies under the present Strategy will achieve increased prosperity through reducing unemployment, improving labor and living conditions, forming basic social protection system and developing human capital, providing targeted social assistance to the poorest layers of society, identifying and overcoming the most critical problems which are hampering the Georgian economy. One of the foremost goals of the Plan is macroeconomic stability, effective public administration and private sector driven growth, which could only be guaranteed by efficient government, implementation of qual opportunities for businesses and facilitating of state investment policy. The new Strategy clearly encourages free competition, openness to trade, fiscal consolidation, price stability, improved tax policy, reduction of Georgia‘s current account deficit, financial stability, budget comprehensiveness, risk monitoring, public-private partnership and efficient public administration. In order to achieve these goals the current Government of Georgia promises to ensure: competitiveness of the private sector, improvement of investment and business environment, protection of property rights, efficiency of legal framework in settling disputes, effectiveness of anti-monopoly policy and intensity of local competition. Browsing through the Plan, one can clearly see the governmental readiness to develop entrepreneurship, efficient resolution of commercial disputes and improvement of investment legislation. It is also vividly noticeable that the time is coming for real improvements in areas like legislative and institutional mechanisms, market competition, regulation of bankruptcy, closing of businesses, public services, transparency of public administration, innovation and technological sophistication, infrastructural innovations, protection of intellectual property, use of information and communication technologies in the economy. On top of all that, export growth and reduction of technical barriers in trade are seen as a new prospect in economy. International trade relations will acquire a better chance as well as the realization of transit potential development of logistical centers. Investments in energy are going to be invigorated, competitive environment and development of information systems will become more realistic. Agricultural infrastructure, water supply, drainage and waste management, energy independence and efficiency, natural gas infrastructure and electricity exports – these are all part of the new Strategy. Environmental impact, workforce improvement, quality education, vocational training, social assistance and protection, pension benefit increases, highly professional healthcare and affordability of pharmaceutical products are not forgotten either in the Plan. This is the way GEORGIA-2020 looks and sounds like in general terms. And most importantly, every separate section of the Plan is accompanied by the analyses of expected results, all corroborated by relevant figures thereof. Now that the new strategic Plan for the Republic’s proper social-economic development is written and presented, the only wish that remains to make is its successful fulfillment.

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