Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze presented on December 11 the Mountain development strategy for 2019-2023 and discussed the programs planned .
Speaking at the presentation held at Expo Georgia exhibition hall, which was attended by government officials, foreign diplomats and representatives of international organizations, the Prime Minister noted that the development of mountainous regions represents one the key priorities for his Cabinet.
Bakhtadze also said that to ensure sustainable development of mountain settlements, the government plans to support small, medium and micro- enterprises, to develop farms and cooperatives, as well as to help locals develop marketable products. He also pledged to build and rehabilitate schools, upgrade telecommunication and offer more government services locally.
PM Bakhtadze also focused on the improvement of road infrastructure in these regions. According to him, tourist infrastructure and services will also be developed.
“I pledge to follow this Strategy and spare no effort for making the development of highlands an irreversible initiative,” PM Bakhtadze added. In his words, the cabinet aims to preempt depopulation of the mountain settlements , by making them comfortable and economically attractive for inhabitants.
The government’s initiative addresses some real economic and infrastructural concerns. However, some of the local inhabitants, backed by activist groups have opposed construction of the parts of proposed road infrastructure, saying it would damage the regions’ fragile ecology, deface pristine landscapes and engender unsustainable tourism.