Government to Create Initiative Group for Better Communication with SMEs

Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Irakli Kumsishvili met representatives of Small and Medium Enterprises to talk about their role in economic development, government programs, and the establishment of better communication. The meeting with the representatives of about 50 different SME industries was held in Expo Georgia on March 4.

PM Kvirikashvili made a proposal to establish a permanent dialogue with representatives of Small and Medium Enterprises. This implies personal meetings, as well as the creation of an initiative group which will link the relationship between business and government, report the hot issues and monitor the response of the State. A similar system already operates with Large Businesses.

“Naturally Large Businesses are important, I have nothing against them, but not only well-known people should appear at meetings with top officials,” the PM said. “The SME sector is a dynamic force with the highest growth rates. Moreover, this is one of the most important sectors of the economy in terms of jobs.”

The head of the Georgian Government also discussed the four-point reform plan, one of the main directions of which is business promotion. The reform plan involves government support, economy, infrastructure and education. According to PM Kvirikashvili, the government has many programs for financing new businesses. The Start-up Financing Fund will begin in the near future, the ‘Produce in Georgia’ state program is expanding, as well as its new sub-components, like ‘Host in Georgia’ (which supports the creation of a network of small hotels), which is to be launched soon.

“However, to develop these fields in the right way, we need your feedback,” the PM told business representatives. “We want to listen to your ideas about what should be done to encourage SMEs in Georgia.”

The meeting raised various issues: administrative, payment, financial themes, issues of popularization of different areas, abolition of income tax, creation of a ‘Front office,’ where all government services will be available for businesses, and much more.

Both sides were satisfied as the entrepreneurs had the chance to discuss their problems with the authorities and get a response.

“The business sector is well aware of the government programs that are designed for them,” said Minister of Economy, Irakli Kumsishvili. “We have already heard and noted all the issues that they are interested in, and will begin work on their consideration soon,” he said.

Eka Karsaulidze

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