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Saakashvili Promises ‘Cheap Credit Bank’

Presidential candidate Mikheil Saakashvili has pledged, in cooperation with private businesses, to set up a state bank to provide “cheap long-term credit” to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

“We will create a new bank, the Cheap Credit Bank, in  a partnership between the state and the private sector,” Saakashvili said on December 6. “What is cheap credit? It means that in the next few months the state will allocate about GEL 300 million and in the following years – about GEL 3 billion… to ensure that everyone can avail of cheap loans for a 10, 20 or 25 year term with only 4-10% interest rates.”

Saakashvili was speaking at the opening ceremony of a section of a new highway linking Tbilisi with western Georgia. Nino Burjanadze, the acting president, also attended the ceremony, which was aired live on Georgian TV.

In tandem with the proposed bank, the former president said the state would also set up training centers to give basic knowledge about developing business plans. The centers, he said, would be for those wishing to apply for a soft loan from the new bank.

“Soon we will open training centers, where people will be able to get some basic business knowledge. After a two-week training course these people will prepare a business plan with expert help and will then submit the plan to the bank. The government will grant credit based on this business plan. This is my concrete plan for cheap credit; it doesn’t mean free credit, because there is nothing free in this world,” Saakashvili said.

Saakashvili also said that because “the state has already been built” in Georgia, now was the time to focus on creating employment opportunities.

“The key task for the next term of my presidency will be creating new jobs for everyone who can work; creating business opportunities and taking care of those, who cannot work. The minimum pension should be increased to USD 100 a month,” Saakashvili said.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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