Georgian PM Presents New Faces of Cabinet

Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze presented a reshuffled Cabinet of Ministers at a press-conference on Thursday morning.

There are three new faces in the government: Mikheil Batiashvili, who is the candidate for the Minister of Education, Ivane Machavariani has been named as the candidate for the Minister of Finance and Giorgi Kobulia was put forward as the candidate for the post of the Minister of Economy.

Bakhtadze said Machavariani has been the Finance and Commercial Director of the Georgian GSM operator Geocell, which is the part of Telia Company, one of the world's major telecom operators.

The PM underlined that most of the government’s planned reforms are related to the digital economy and 50% of the reforms package, presented by him, requires modern technologies.

“Machavariani's experience in this regard is really crucial. He is one of the most experienced people in Georgia. Therefore, our expectation is that he will help us in the digital transformation of our economy,” he added.

Mikheil Batiashvili is the former rector of the University of Business and Technology and has replaced Mikheil Chkhenkeli in the post.

The PM believes that Batiashvili will be an effective leader of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, adding he is a member of the Harvard Business School Strategy and Competitiveness Institute and has vast experience of cooperation with foreign scientific centers.

“We plan to implement a 5-level reform that involves the integration of preschool education, school education, vocational education, higher education and science, the introduction of innovative education systems, and more importantly, the deepening of close ties between education and economics. I am sure Mikheil Batiashvili will be able to implement these very important reforms,” Bakhtadze claimed.

While speaking about Kobulia, the PM noted his experience in the development of the global economy and in the field of energy, too.

“He has been working for a global consulting company in McKinzie for two decades. He is Senor Partner of this organization. Kobulia has a great experience in many sectors such as energy, the integration of different sectors of economy in the global economy, increasing competitiveness, the labor market and much more. I am confident that he will contribute significantly to the implementation of the reforms we have addressed in our government program", Bakhtadze said.

PM Bakhtadze cut the number of ministries from 14 to 10, with the addition of one apparatus of the State Ministry functioning separately.

The reshuffled composition of the cabinet will be sent to Parliament for approval.

In addition to presenting new minister candidates, Bakhtadze announced that the former Minister of Corrections, Kakha Kakhishvili, has been appointed as the Head of the Governmental Administration, replacing Shalva Tadumadze, who was selected by the Prosecutorial Council as the candidate for the Chief Prosecutor’s Post.

By Thea Morrison

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12 July 2018 11:00