On 21st of September 2018 International Conference on Regional Development Policy in Georgia was held in Tbilisi. The event was organized by the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia with the support of the European Union.
Opening remarks at the conference were delivered by Ms. Maya Tskitishvili, Minister of Regional Development and Infrastructure. She shortly described the processes concerning the progress in the field of regional development in Georgia. She thanked all the participants of the conference for attending and foreign partners from EUD and European Commission for sharing and supporting in terms of transferring the EU best practice in all possible directions, those, which complement implementation of the regional development policy in Georgia. Mrs. Tskitishvili stressed on the importance of the newly approved by the GoG 2018-2021 Regional Development Programme of Georgia and the preparation of the Decentralization Strategy, the implementation of which will ensure the stable regional development aiming at the eradication of existing disparities among the regions of Georgia and strengthening of local authorities.
Mr. Mathieu Bousquet, Head of Unit, Directorate C - Neighbourhood East - Georgia, Moldova and Neighbourhood Cross-Border Cooperation, DG NEAR stressed the importance of the debate about the source, shape and prospects of Georgia's regional policy and expressed his satisfaction for participating in the conference. He thanked the minister for the long-standing cooperation with Georgia on territorial development issues. He emphasized that situation of the country is much better than it was 15 years ago. There is high rate of socio- economic growth but disparities still remain, and the base of poverty reduction has been more limited than expected. Mr. Bosquet encouraged participants to and speakers to share experiences in order to establish most efficient ways of further support towards solving existing socio-economic problems in specific Georgia's territories.
During the Conference, among others, were presented:
• information about tangible results of Regional Development Programme 2015-2017, which was the first of its kind strategic document on regional policy in Georgia co-financed through the budget support scheme by the EU. Implementation of the Programme allowed for realization of many concrete projects increasing capacity to growth of regions outside Tbilisi and Adjara and contributed to increase in institutional capacity of Georgian Administration especially in such areas like programming interinstitutional coordination and monitoring of regional policy implementation;
• "2018-2021 Regional Development Programme of Georgia " recently adopted by the GoG setting Georgian regional policy development goals and priorities for public actions in order to decrease socio-economic disparities and improve prospects for growth, investment and employment in Georgian regions;
• the concept of EU supported Pilot Integrated Regional Development Programme to be realized in four planning regions in Georgia (Kacheti, Imereti, Racha Lechumi and Guria). The Programme will allow realisation, in line with the EU Cohesion Policy standards and principles (including partnership and decentralisation) of many important projects covering various areas (SMEs, basic infrastructure and services, human resources development) which in line with already realized sectoral programmes and projects will boost investment and employment in targeted regions.
At the conference speeches were delivered by the Minister of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia in relation of rural development in the framework of regional development policy, Director of the Enterprise Georgia on new development initiatives for increasing the potential of Georgian Regions and local SMEs, Head of the Georgian Agency for Innovations and Technology on innovative policy developments in Georgian regions, the representatives of European Commission (DG REGIO and DG NEAR), experts of the TA project "Support to Regional Development policy Implementation II" and other experts.
Mr. Vincent Rey, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Georgia made the final remarks and pointed out that with the joint work of the Ministry, development partners, other institutions and the EU TA project team the diagnosis of existing challenges, imbalance and opportunities of the regions are known. He stressed the importance of the new 2018-2021 Regional Development Programme and the possible decentralization strategy, developed regional strategies and action plans. He outlined that after number of lessons learnt and good experience in more sub sectors of development programs additional measures that fit territories are in place. There are many good practices from EU member states how to structure the regional policy and it is a good opportunity for Georgia to address specific circumstances, needs and strengths.
Please find the presentations of the speakers in "Documents" in the dropdown menu of this website.
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