Mikheil Saakashvili hosted the delegation of Ukrainian Business Circles headed by the Vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine - Sergei Tigipko at the Presidential Palace today. During the meeting the sides talked about the reforms than have been implemented in Georgia in the recent years. The discussion also touched on the issue of bilateral relations between the two countries.
"This is the second session of the commission since we came to power. The first one was held six years ago and a lot has changed since then. I would like to state that our nations have never had better relations with each other. I accept full responsibility for my words. This is the result of the development of our country through our joint efforts. I am truly thankful that we are at such an interesting stage of relationship. It has never been better" - noted Mikheil Saakashvili.
The guests also expressed interest in the details of the successful work by the national institutions of Georgia. The Vice-Prime Minister of Ukraine also recalled the time, when there were terrible conditions in Georgia. However he also noted that it is possible to change everything through reforms and political will. He praised the members of the delegation for seeking more information, which they can use, along with Georgia’s experience, in order to contribute to the process of developing their country.
"I have two main interests here. First, it is very important for me, that you personally see the necessity of implementing reforms. It is possible to do. I was visiting Georgia years ago with President Kuchma and I have never seen worse conditions. I remember that there were kerosene heaters used on Rustaveli Avenue because there was no electricity. Today, Georgia is exporting electricity to four counties. Everything has changed in the past five years. It was impossible to drive on the roads here and there were no such buildings in Georgia then. What happened? New people came to power and made their country a priority. I urge you to ask many questions, so that you too can receive more information and gain more experience because in several years there will be an opportunity for us to implement all of this in Ukraine. We have to be ready" - stated Sergei Tigipko.
The members of the Ukrainian delegation personally asked the President of Georgia several questions. They had the following areas of interests: methods of cracking down of corruption, effectiveness of the government processes, the secret of the success of the Georgian reforms, attracting investments and training employees.
"We have already implemented a reform in the construction sphere based on the Georgian model. We scanned, edited, and implemented it. However, we still have corruption-related problems. What kinds of methods did you use in terms of fighting corruption?" - asked Lev Partskhaladze - the Chairman of the Ukrainian Construction Federation.
"Mr. President, according to the opinion of the Ukrainian Society these reforms and successes are associated with you personally; you are the guarantee of these reforms. How sustainable are these reforms? Have you passed the point of no return? If there are changes in the government, will these reforms continue to work?" - asked a member of the Ukrainian delegation.
"Mr. President, we are all astonished by your reforms. There is no doubt that this is the result of your personal will, strength and strategic vision. You brought to power young educated individuals, who know foreign languages. I have an impression that you are creating a new type of a public employee. Is there a school where you have a new system for this? This is how Charles De Gaulle and Napoleon handled things" - noted the Director of the International Center for Perspective Studies - Vira Nanivska.
As a response to these questions, Mikheil Saakashvili stated that, the process of the development of Georgia is irreversible and it is impossible to return to the past.
"We are not going back, because this generation is completely different. The youth has an absolutely different mentality. Every time there is an uprising against us, it is related to returning to the past. This is how it is identified. I think that when 60% of country thinks that we are going in the right direction, it is extremely hard for these uprisings to change anything. We are not claiming that we are ideal. We are in first place in terms of simplicity of doing business in the post-soviet space and Eastern Europe. We have the most transparent government and effective apparatus and in this regard we are in second place after New Zealand. We have one of the fastest customs services and we have the fastest process of registering businesses and properties. We are the most non-corrupt country after Denmark and Finland in Europe" - stated the President of Georgia.