The Government views state investment in professional education as an effective mechanism for reducing unemployment. A three year (2006-2009) presidential program entitled Professional Education Facilities Rehabilitation has been developed and launched. Several professional education facilities have been rehabilitated in minority-populated regions.
The Zurab Zhvania School of Public Administration and Civil Servants Retraining also aims to engage minority representatives in the state sector.
Cheap Credit Program
The government’s Cheap Credit program is aimed at boosting employment and developing local small and medium entrepreneurships, by improving the availability of credit. Credit is issued at low interest rates and for a period of grace. Several sub-programs are being implemented:
- Development of Regional Tourism, Agriculture and Folk Handicrafts;
- Encouragement of Exports.
The program has also allowed city municipalities in minority-populated areas to approve the following projects:
· In Lagodekhi and Telavi in Kakheti region, the technological re-equipping of rose essential oils and wood processing factories (GEL 255,000).
· In Gardabani in Kvemo Kartli region, the development of construction materials production and honey production (GEL 900,000).
· In Ninotsminda, Akhaltsikhe and Aspindza in Samtskhe-Javakheti, the opening of places of milk delivery, and the development of livestock farming and foodstuffs production (GEL 5,192,000).
· In Kaspi in Shida Kartli region, the technological re-equipping of a grain crops processing factory (GEL 330,000).
· In Mtskheta in Mtskheta-Mtianeti region, the equipping of a wood-pulp and shavings factory and twisted furniture producing factory (GEL 561,500).
Millennium Challenge to Georgia
In order to implement the Millennium Challenge program, the Government of Georgia has launched the Millennium Challenge to Georgia Foundation. The USD 295.3 million U.S. government program will be directed according to Georgian government priorities.
The main goal of Georgia’s Millennium program is the eradication of poverty through economic development. Program funds are used for the rehabilitation of infrastructure and the development of manufacturing industry in the regions. Five projects are running in the frames of the program.
Rehabilitation of the road in Samtskhe-Javakheti
On May 20, 2008 the Millennium Challenge to Georgia Foundation signed a USD 65 million contract with the company that won the international tender on the rehabilitation of the road in Samstkhe-Javakheti.
Astorm – an Israeli company – will carry out the rehabilitation works on the Partskhisi-Gokhnari (Tetritskaro district), Gokhnari-Nardevi (Tsalka district), and Nardevi-Satkhe (Ninotsminda district) sections of the road.
The three-year project, which envisages the conclusion of work in 2011, aims to rehabilitate the transport network and build bypass roads in these regions. The realization of the project will create encouraging conditions for the development of trade, tourism, and other types of business. At the same time, the rehabilitation of the road will hasten the social, political and economic integration of the local population with the rest of Georgia.
The rehabilitation of the main north-south gas pipeline
Azerbaijan’s Oil and Gas Building Trust Company launched the second phase of the rehabilitation of the main gas pipeline in January 2008.
The work is being carried out in the frames of the energy infrastructure rehabilitation project, which aims to rehabilitate damaged sections of the Main North-South Gas Pipeline, ensuring, as a result, security and reliability of gas supply in the country, as well as preventing ecological pollution. It is envisaged to rehabilitate 22 damaged sections.
Development of Regional Infrastructure
A grant contract signed by the Municipal Development Foundation and the Millennium Challenge to Georgia Foundation involves the rehabilitation of the Bakuriani water-supply system.
The project, partly funded from local and state budgets, will start in fall 2008 and conclude in 2010.
The goal of the project is to provide the population of the region with a 24-hour healthy water-supply, which will significantly lower the risk of disease, improve conditions for tourism and business development, and increase agricultural productivity and competitiveness.
Agri-business Development Project
As part of the Agribusiness Development Project, the foundation has employed many people in Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Shida Kartli, and Imereti regions.
The goal of the project is to turn small-scale farms into commercial, profitable agribusinesses through grant investments, technical assistance, and the provision of market information. Grants are issued on the co-funding principle for the development of small processing factories, farmers’ service centers, a continuous production chain and primary production.
It is planned to fund approximately 250 projects by 2011, which will create 2,450 jobs in the regions and will indirectly benefit approximately 54,000 farmers.
Project of the Regional Development of Georgia Foundation
The Regional Development of Georgia Foundation plans to carry out long-term investments aimed at the economic development of small and medium-sized factories, mainly in the tourism and agricultural fields. Investments will result in the development of factories. New jobs will be created; more capital will be attracted to the country. Also, the purchase of products and service from local suppliers will increase, which will ensure increased income and profit.