Georgian Finance Minister reports 2023 budget to Parliament
Georgian Finance Minister reports 2023 budget to Parliament

Georgian Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili on Thursday reported to the Parliament over the 2023 budget, covering a number of topics, including inflation, tourism, and wage policy. The following are the key takeaways from his presentation:

Wage Policy: Khutsishvili emphasised the need for salary policy regulation and referred to legislative changes, stating that “it will be impossible to maintain qualified personnel in the public sector in the absence of such changes.” Hence, the budget for 2023 anticipates a 10% increase in public sector salaries (except for soldiers and police officers, who will benefit from a 20% increase).

Migration/Tourism: The Minister claims a “total effect” of migration to Georgia stemming from the Russia-Ukraine war was “negative.” He deemed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine “the most important challenge” facing the economy of Georgia and other countries. Additionally, he provided the MPs with nine-month statistics demonstrating that since the beginning of the year, the tourism recovery reached 97.5 per cent; without Russia and Ukraine – 98.1 per cent. In total, the growth of exports in nine months amounted to 37.4 per cent and 47.1 per cent without Russia and Ukraine.

Inflation: According to the Finance Minister, inflation is “a topical issue” everywhere, including in Georgia. He went on to say that the inflation growth rate will continue to slow down in the coming months and return to the target rate in the second half of next year. He also said he has low expectations that inflation would stand at three per cent. “This is the target rate, which could change, but keeping it to the target rate is crucial.”

Lasha Khutsishvili asserted that the nation anticipates economic growth of 5% next year and 5.25% over the next two years. He also said that when planning the 2023 budget, his agency would keep “a conservative approach.”