Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia:
Good evening, friends!
As you may be aware, several minutes ago World Bank has released a very important piece of information. I wish to congratulate all with success of Georgia and provide you with this delightful information: Doing Business Rating of the World Bank, which is the most prestigious international rating in the world, has advanced Georgia and we now rank 6th. These are the data of the World Bank.
Such progress means a tremendous step made forward towards integrating our country in the global economy and evidences that reforms implemented by the Government of Georgia are successfully serving to the economic development of our country and it is indeed dually gratifying that most reputable organizations of the world grant preference to Georgia in such significant - and I would say - most prestigious international ratings.
Annual improvement of country ratings and advancement of Georgia is a pre-requisite that our country will turn into an unconditional leader not only in the Caucasus, but in a greater region in terms of economic development and ease of doing business. Georgia is already one of the most reliable economies of the world and we plan to further improve our results. You may know what is the vision of our Government: Georgia should be in Top 5 in all the international ratings. News released today also evidences that we have the capacity to further advance Georgia.
Our main goal is to make Georgia more effectively integrated to the world economy. It is essential to transform Georgia into a regional leader and economic hub. Otherwise we will find it hard to overcome the economic challenges that we face.
Also, I wish to use this opportunity and thank all our colleagues, who were actively engaged in attaining this significant success. I wish to thank the staff of Ministry of Finance of Georgia; Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia; Ministry of Justice of Georgia. And of course I wish to express my gratitude to our friends at the World Bank. We have achieved this unique success through our joint efforts.
I am confident that our country will further improve these data and if we consider that International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Arbitration will soon have its presence in Georgia, this step will help us turn our project initiative into a reality and Georgia will become a business and arbitration hub. At the same time, I wish to tell you that we are actively working with the World Bank and have already got engaged in the Human Capital Development Project, which is so greatly important for our country and for proper utilization of the resources and potential that our youth has. You may be aware that Education Reform will be the most important reform in our agenda. I am confident that we will achieve such success as conveyed to you today.
We have a lot of economic challenges in Georgia, though most important of all is the poverty. Ultimately, such success stories will help us in making Georgia stronger in economic terms and turn it into a regional economic hub. It is a pre-requisite for eradicating poverty in Georgia once and forever.
Thank you and now floor is given to Mercy Tembon.
Mercy Tembon, Regional Director of the World Bank:
Thank you very much Mr. Prime Minister.
On behalf of the World Bank Group, I am happy to announce that Doing Business Report for 2019 was launched precisely at 5 p.m. Tbilisi time. I am particularly pleased to report that Georgia has moved up again in the Doing Business Ranking to 6th place from 9th place last year. We look forward to higher ranking in the coming years as the Prime Minister has said. This means that Georgia is the most credible economy of Europe and Central Asia. It has maintained its strong position in Top 10 Economies. As you know, Doing Business Report focuses on challenges faced by small and medium enterprises in each of the 190 countries of the world. It enables us to identify the most efficient business environments. Team working on the Report analyses data in ten areas of business regulation: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credits, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Georgia has been consistently advancing in the rating over the years and this is a testimony of progressive reforms and programs that improve the business environment. More precisely, reforms implemented this year and planned for future will further advance Georgia's position. It has become easier to incorporate a business by cutting or simplifying the post-registration procedures, tax registration, social security registration or licensing. Payment of taxes has become simpler by introducing new or revised tax laws, by simplifying compliance processes and decreasing the number of tax filings or payments. At the same time, Georgia made it easy to enforce contracts by having electronic payments and automated assignment of cases to judges, which end in published judgements. It reduced its relative gap in regulatory performance of starting a business. Key reforms helping in the improvement of ranking have been carried out and entrepreneurs no longer need to make a separate visit to the Revenue Service for value added tax registration upon company registration. Similarly, Georgia has improved the one-stop-shop for business incorporation, allowing businesses to start a company through a single procedure. I would like to take this opportunity and congratulate the Government and the people of Georgia for this performance. I encourage you to keep up the reforms and spirit to move up the ranking higher next year.