PM Nika Gilauri said that new Economy Minister, Vera Kobalia, has been tasked to tackle two immediate problems – one related with decreasing foreign direct investments and another slow pace of privatization of state assets.
“The Economy Ministry is in charge of these two directions and these two issues should be number one priority for the new minister,” PM Gilauri said while presenting the new minister to staff of the ministry on July 3.
Vera Kobalia, who was confirmed on the post on July 2 after the slightly reshuffled cabinet won confidence vote in the Parliament, said that agriculture and tourism were two priority sectors.
Later on the same day, before a meeting of the cabinet, Kobalia told journalists: “A lot remains to be done and we have not much time… We have to work hard to develop our economy and to become Europe’s Singapore – we can achieve that soon.”
Kobalia, who will turn 29 this August, has lived in Canada until recently, where her family, displaced from Abkhazia as a result of armed conflict in early 90s, emigrated fifteen years ago.
Until late last year Kobalia worked for Vancouver-based European Breads Bakery, established by her father in 2001.
After return to Georgia she co-established Coalition for Justice, a non-governmental organization with a declared goal to protect rights of IDPs in Georgia and to increase international awareness about their problems. The NGO and personally Kobalia have been gaining significant publicity recently.