At least fifteen years will be required to make Georgia’s development irreversible, President Saakashvili said on May 11.
Saakashvili was speaking at an award ceremony for businesspeople and companies organized by the Georgian Ministry for Economy and Sustainable Economy.
“This government has been in power for less than seven years; this period is nothing from the history’s point of view. In order to change mentality, it should be changed at all levels; I think, 15-20 years is a minimum period required for us to change and make the path towards becoming rich country irreversible, because we are still unacceptably poor,” Saakashvili said.
“Important is to make Georgia the fastest growing economy in Europe; one the one hand we should have European political system, freedom, democracy, political stability and on the other hand liberal economic model like it is in Singapore.”
“When we say that Georgian should become like Singapore, we do not mean eliminating political freedoms… Our economic model should be as liberal as it is in Singapore and we should use our geographical location like Singapore uses its [geographical location]; but it is based on an agreement of citizens, lasting political process and stability, which is only possible when citizens follow us.”
He said that “despite enemy’s all types of tricks, we already have political stability.”
“I think nothing will shake it anymore,” Saakashvili said.
“We have a course of continuity and that’s very important. We also have a very good and new constitutional model, which will go into force in the nearest years [in late 2013], which will provide much more balance and which will make the leadership much more collective and which will broaden inclusiveness of the society representatives.”
Speaking on economy, Saakashvili prioritized three sectors, which, he said, would provide most of the employment opportunities in the next few years: infrastructure and hydropower energy development; agriculture and tourism.
“Next year we will spend USD 700-800 million only on construction of roads,” Saakashvili said. “We will do something for doing of which others required to join European Union. Making their roads was the major achievement of joining EU for the Baltic and Eastern European states. Although we won’t yet be in EU, but there will be good roads in Georgia’s non-occupied parts, which will employee tens of thousands of people.”