Georgia was ranked in the World Bank’s Top 10 in terms of the low bribery prevalence

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The FINANCIAL — The World Bank has published a new Enterprise Surveys. Over 164,000 of companies from 144 countries were involved in these surveys and Georgia was in the top 10 countries in terms of low bribery prevalence. In Georgia, the percent of firms that said they would expect to have to give a ‘gift’ in order to receive an operating license amounted to zero. The percent of firms that said they would expect to give ‘gifts’ during meetings amounted to 1 per cent and the percent of firms expecting to have to give gifts in order to secure government contracts amounted to 1.4 per cent.

In Georgia, bribery incidence, which is the percent of firms experiencing at least one bribe payment request, amounted to 1.3 per cent, while this indicator reaches 10 per cent. Bribery depth, which is defined as the per cent of public transactions in which a gift or informal payment was requested, amounted to 0.6 per cent. In 2008, bribery incidence amounted to 9.8 per cent, while bribery depth was 8.7 per cent. As for 2013, the bribery incidence level was 1.4 per cent, while bribery depth level was 0.9 per cent, according to local media

Finance Minister Ivane Matchavariani commented: “The result achieved by Georgia in the World Bank Enterprise Surveys has made the country proud and me personally as the head of the tax authority. The most significant and interesting thing is that in areas that are traditionally high-risk in terms of corruption, such as issuing permits, issuing licenses, as well as dealing with tax authorities, this figure is particularly low here.”

In Georgia, business owners and top managers of 581 firms were interviewed for the study from March 2019 through January 2020. The Enterprise Survey is a firm-level survey of a representative sample of an economy’s private sector, says the World Bank. The surveys cover a broad range of business environment topics including access to finance, corruption, infrastructure, crime, competition, and performance measures. The Enterprise Surveys implemented in European and Central Asian countries are also known as Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Surveys and are jointly conducted by the World Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, and the European Commission, wrote.

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It should be noted that last month The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved EUR45 million in additional financing for the Georgia Economic Management and Competitiveness Development Policy Operation (DPO). This supplemental development policy financing aims to support the Government of Georgia in covering an unanticipated financing gap that has arisen due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The additional support provided under this operation is linked to the EUR45 million Economic Management and Competitiveness DPO that was approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors in March of 2020. The overall objective is to support reforms that can lead to job creation, greater economic inclusion and resilience, focusing on improving the efficiency of public resource use; promoting more competitive markets; diversifying the financial sector; improving teacher deployment and remuneration; and strengthening investment promotion. 

World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus, Sebastian Molineus then stated:

“We stand by Georgia’s side as a strong partner during this challenging time and support the government in its swift and effective anti-crisis measures to save people’s lives and protect livelihoods, mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19, and maintain Georgia’s strong record of economic reforms. While Georgia’s containment measures were successful in containing the spread of the virus, they come with fiscal and economic costs as in many countries around this world. This additional financing will be the much-needed lifeline support.”

Ivane Matchavariani said that The World Bank’s support is very important for our country since it will be directed specifically at solving the problems caused by COVID-19. He thanked The World Bank for their strong support in reducing the economic impact of the pandemic in Georgia and also for helping to sustain the implementation of reforms in general.

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This DPO, the second in the series of three lending operations, is a part of the World Bank’s broader support for the people of Georgia to help address the COVID-19 pandemic. The first operation was the $80 million financial support package provided under the Fast Track COVID-19 Facility aimed at addressing and mitigating the health and social impacts of the pandemic; the third tranche will focus on micro, small and medium enterprises and jobs affected by the pandemic. 

The World Bank has taken fast and effective actions for supporting clients to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Group is prepared to deploy up to $160 billion in the next 15 months, help 100 countries, support businesses, protect the poor and also help the economy to recover.

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