The purpose of this event was to have a discussion about the potential of the tourism sector to improve well-being and reduce poverty in rural areas of Georgia, as well to discuss the contribution the development of large hotels in peripheral touristic destinations can make to inclusive growth in local communities. The follow up activity of this dialogue was an excursion to the Kazbegi Municipality on July 19.
BP in Georgia has implemented a number of projects related to renewable energy and energy efficiency through its Sustainable Development Initiative. The projects are designed to raise awareness about energy efficiency and provide subsidies for households to implement energy efficiency measures. In addition, several social programs related to increasing the efficiency of energy use and renewable energy have been implemented over the last four years.
The subject of the debate concerned future steps to be taken in to ensure the growth of SME's in Georgia - significant part of the economy. The expert panel included speakers representing government, SMEs, financial system, academia, NGOs, businesses and business associations. The importance of SMEs for economic development cannot be understated: most successful large firms in developing countries have graduated up from SME category, whereas the breadth of the SME category itself reflects and helps to create a strong and deep entrepreneurial culture.
The recently published government strategy “GEORGIA 2020” aims “to ensure that the majority of Georgia’s population benefits from economic growth”. The natural million-dollar question, however, is how this “inclusive growth” objective could be achieved in reality. In other words, how to make sure that the economy grows while creating jobs and business opportunities for the poor.
On the 14th of February, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia published the draft version of the Socio-economic Development Strategy 2020 (SDS). This comprehensive document identifies the main socio-economic challenges Georgia will be facing in the next years and presents a strategy how to cope with them. The overall goal is to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth by the end of this decade.