TBILISI, Georgia, Sept. 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Parliament of Georgia today confirmed Giorgi Gakharia as the Prime Minister through a confidence vote in the cabinet he put forward.
The changes to the cabinet include Levan Izoria heading the National Security Council, former Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili as Minister of Defense and Vakhtang Gomelauri replacing Gakharia as Minister of Internal Affairs.
In his remarks, Gakharia asserted, "Security is the basis on which we should build on the country's development." He elaborated, "The most important component of our security dimension is Georgia's foreign policy, the country's pro-Western orientation, and European and Euro-Atlantic integration…The United States is our main strategic partner and there are no limitations in our cooperation."
Gakharia has led major initiatives to advance Georgia's Euro-Atlantic and European integration, foster a business-friendly economy, and attract significant foreign direct investment that has resulted in jobs and economic growth. The World Bank currently ranks Georgia #6 in the world for ease of doing business.
Regarding the Russian-occupied territories, he remarked, "Today, 20 percent of the Georgian economy is occupied, today 20 percent of the country's development potential is occupied, today 20 percent of our human capital is occupied – this is the biggest impediment for the development of our country….We should be clever and rational in our policy against our enemy, for the national interests of our country and particularly for the people living across the occupation line. We should fully utilize the potential of all existing formats against Russia."
Gakharia elaborated on his vision for the nation by stating that the government will work hard to ensure effective communication between the business community and Government, which will help strengthen the economy and create jobs.
When discussing the overall state of the Georgian economy, he emphasized, "We should compare ourselves with what we have been before and where we stood yesterday. The goal should be a better future."
Gakharia also underscored the importance of education reform in bringing systemic change to Georgia's development and creating opportunity for future generations.
Throughout his career in government, Gakharia has succeeded in initiating large-scale reforms and leading change in key government agencies. He previously served as Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development (2016-2017), Secretary of the Economic Council (2014-16), and Business Ombudsman (2013-2016).
In his most recent role as Minister of Internal Affairs (MIA), Gakharia initiated a number of reforms leading to a more transparent, open, and accountable institution. Gakharia established the first-ever Human Rights Protection Department at the MIA, aiming to improve, among other reforms, investigation standards of hate crimes committed against various vulnerable groups. To increase transparency of the MIA, Gakharia established the system of regularly publishing crime statistics.
Prime Minister Gakharia and the cabinet took office immediately following the vote.
This material is distributed by Hill+Knowlton Strategies on behalf of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, DC.
Jarad Geldner, 215-858-5565
SOURCE Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia