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FEATURE STORY

Georgia’s Growth Challenges in Focus at Tbilisi Forum

March 6, 2014

The High Level Policy Forum “Growth Challenges for Georgia”, jointly organized by the World Bank and the Government of Georgia.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • World Bank Group (WBG) and Georgia discuss Georgia’s economic strategy and the need to tackle unemployment, agriculture and industry related issues.
  • Discussions were held within the framework of the upcoming WBG Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) with Georgia, and on the Socioeconomic Development Strategy-2020 recently outlined by the government.

March 6, 2014 – Economic upheaval and the importance of tackling unemployment, agricultural productivity, and development of small and medium enterprises in order to spur inclusive growth were the topics in focus at a recent policy discussion among World Bank Group (WBG) experts and the government of Georgia.

While the top concern in Georgia is believed to be the slow growth of job opportunities, it is also important to help boost agricultural productivity, since the sector employs more than 50 percent of the population in Georgia. Also important is the development of small and medium size enterprises, given nearly nine out of 10 jobs are in this sector, as was noted by Hans Timmer, Chief Economist of the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia region, who participated in the forum.

The event was jointly organized by the government and the WBG in Tbilisi. Almost all cabinet members attended the meeting along with experts from the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC).  The WBG team and cabinet ministers discussed key development areas and future cooperation in the framework of the upcoming WBG Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) and the Socioeconomic Development Strategy-2020 outlined recently by the government.

Open Quotes

Today, the main challenge of our government is that economic development and advancement should bring benefits to each family, each person. The reforms carried out during the past year will allow the country, striving for European values and aspirations, to move forward with its ambitious agenda. Close Quotes

Irakli Garibashvili

Irakli Garibashvili
Prime Minister of Georgia

The WBG strategy for 2014-2017 is anchored in the government’s new strategy, especially in the areas of strengthening public service delivery to promote inclusion and equity, and enabling job creation and competitiveness to accelerate private sector led inclusive growth.

The development agenda requires effective delivery and focus on results, said Henry Kerali, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus. Strengthening data and analytical capacity, improving coordination within the government and with the private sector, ensuring efficient and results based public sector management, and making sure that the fiscal framework of the strategy is well-defined and sustainable are all key, he noted.

Other key issues that were pointed out during the discussion as areas of priority for Georgia were private sector competitiveness and job creation, education, health, social protection, transport, energy, municipal and regional development, agriculture, environment and rural development.