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Finance Minister: EU candidacy “another push”, “strong motivation” for Georgia to continue reforms



Georgian Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili on Tuesday said Georgia’s reform agenda had “always been determined by European aspirations”, with the work to receive the European Union candidate status giving “another push” and becoming a “strong motivation” for the country to continue reforms.

Khutsishvili, who participated in the EU-Georgia Business Forum in Tbilisi, highlighted the importance of the event, particularly after the European Commission’s recommendation  earlier this month for the European Council to grant Georgia the EU candidacy.

In his comments at the Forum, the official highlighted the progress made by the Government over the past two years in improving macroeconomic parameters, saying the country had achieved a “significant consolidation” of fiscal parameters in a “record space of time”.

The Government is investing in reforms that promote efficiency gains, ease of doing business, as well as infrastructure projects that support the country’s potential as a transit, logistics, tourism and business hub. This is even more important in today’s world with increasing demand for the Middle Corridor”, Khutsishvili said in reference to a logistics route connecting China with Europe through the South Caucasus region.

Speaking about infrastructure projects, the Minister mentioned the construction of the East-West Highway, the Black Sea submarine cable project for connecting the grids of the South Caucasus and European Union member countries, and the Anaklia deep sea port project in western town of Anaklia among initiatives.

He also mentioned enforcement of international sanctions by Georgia by saying the country complied with “all international financial sanctions” and cooperated with the authorities of the EU, the United States and the United Kingdom to ensure the implementation of sanctions.

Khutsishvili said his Government continued to make the country’s business environment more attractive by implementing reforms in “various sectors”, and said he hoped business and trade relations between the EU and Georgia would “deepen further”.

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