PM presents 2023 Government Performance Report
PM presents 2023 Government Performance Report

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Monday presented the 2023 Government Performance Report. The PM elaborated on various tasks the Georgian Government implemented in 2023.

Here are the main takeaways:

The Prime Minister started the presentation of the government’s annual report with congratulations, emphasizing that the country became the EU candidate country, a victory for the team and the people. He acknowledged the challenges involved in obtaining candidate status, but the government successfully navigated through them.

The PM stressed the Georgian Dream scored an outstanding result on the European integration path. Prime Minister touched on the sanction enforcement issue and highlighted the positive feedback from a high-level delegation, saying they expressed satisfaction with the effective system of sanctions created by the Georgian Government and emphasized that, as of now, no instances of circumvention or violation of sanctions have been recorded.

Garibashvili mentioned Georgia identified multiple attempts to evade sanctions, numbering up to a thousand cases. PM stated that if Bidzina Ivanishvili (Georgia’s former PM) and the Georgian Dream had been in power in 2008, the war with Russia would not occur. He also mentioned the ongoing war in Ukraine, emphasizing the changing rules of the world order. Garibashvili highlighted the challenges and consequences of the war, expressing gratitude that the current regime has made decisions in the country’s best interests and avoided the war.

Irakli Garibashvili presented various economic and social indicators in the 2023 report on the government’s work, highlighting key improvements and achievements over the past 11 years. He said these indicators highlight the positive economic and social transformations in Georgia over the past decade under the governance of the Georgian Dream Party. Garibashvili has also mentioned the gross domestic product (GDP) growth from GEL 27 billion in 2012 to GEL 80 billion, with an anticipated increase to GEL 86 billion in 2024. The budget has nearly tripled, growing from over GEL 8.5 billion to GEL 28.7 billion during this period.

The Prime Minister also highlighted the successful management of inflation, keeping it below the target rate and addressing rising prices. He said that despite regional and global challenges, Georgia achieved economic growth of over 10 per cent in the past two years, with a seven per cent growth rate in 2023.

Garibashvili shared data on construction and real estate, noting an average of 2.1 million square meters of construction annually over the past 11 years. He highlighted the doubling of residential real estate prices and a 3.5 times increase in average prices for agricultural land in 2023 compared to 2012. The PM discussed the significant increase in the return of excess Value Added Tax (VAT) to businesses, reaching GEL 2.2 billion in 2023. He noted the growth in Georgia’s exports to USD 5.6 billion in 2022, representing a 135% increase compared to 2012.

Garibashvili highlighted an increase in Foreign Direct Investments from an average of $950 million per year in 2003-2012 to $1.5 billion in 2013-2022, representing an almost 60% increase. In 2022, FDI doubled compared to 2012, reaching $2.1 billion. Prime Minister mentioned the expansion of free trade agreements, including those with the European Union, China, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. Currently, 87% of exports go to countries with a free trade regime. The average salary increased from about GEL 750 in 2012 to GEL 1,850, marking a 2.5-fold increase. The average salary in the business sector also rose by 2.5 times. Garibashvili presented positive social indicators, including the increase in average salaries – from about GEL 750 in 2012 to GEL 1,850, the poverty reduction by half, and a historical minimum unemployment rate of 17%.

The Prime Minister highlighted the impact of the Enterprise Georgia program on supporting small and medium-sized businesses, providing financial support for up to GEL 900 million. He said up to 12,000 projects have been financed since the program launched. The program has contributed to the creation of over 70,000 jobs.

Garibashvili mentioned a recent OECD study and report on the Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Policy Index, where Georgia is highlighted as a leader among Eastern Partnership countries.