Government of Georgia (GOG), National Bank of Georgia (NBG) and commercial banks will take active measures in coordination to mitigate the negative impact of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the tourism sector of the country, Press Service of the Government Administration reports.
The agreement was reached at today’s meeting of Giorgi Gakharia, Prime Minister of Georgia and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of commercial banks.
“Economic consequences of COVID-19 have been discussed at the meeting with a particular focus on such vulnerable sectors affected by the novel coronavirus as tourism industry. Intention of the banking sector and authorities is to carry our coordinated measures to mitigate the economic consequences that may potentially stem from the spread of COVID-19,” Press Service said.
According to the GOG’s Press Service, it was decided to establish an effective working mechanism with an engagement of an economic team of GOG, NBG and banking sector to suggest a plan of actions with specific steps in support of the tourism sector in the coming days.
“Banking sector has made its readiness clear to provide maximum support in various forms if and when the tourism sector representatives encounter certain problems in servicing their loans as a result of COVID-19. Participants of the meeting have agreed that most pressing task today is to keep as much cash resources in the vulnerable sectors as possible to avoid obstacles in the implementation of current projects. GOG, NBG and commercial banking sector will take coordinated response measures towards this end,” Press Service noted.
Apart from an impact on the tourism sector, it was noted that COVID-19 may directly affect the financial and banking sector itself, though it was also noted that banking sector of the country is currently in the position to minimize such negative externalities.