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Forum on “Institutional Dialogue between the State and Local Authorities”

President Salome Zourabichvili has opened the fourth annual forum of “Institutional Dialogue between the State and Local Authorities” held in Tskaltubo.
During the forum, challenges linked to regional economic and local business advancement were discussed in terms of the decentralization reform.
President Zourabichvili talked about the importance of Georgia’s regional development and highlighted several issues that could be solved by Georgia’s regional progress.
According to President Zourabichvili, each one of Georgia’s regions is unique with its own special potential for development.
“We are standing on gold, but we still do not know how to use it and the wealth that is Georgia’s regions is not fully valued yet,” noted the President of Georgia.
As President Zourabichvili stated at the forum, Georgia’s future stands on its regions’ development. A solution to the issue of the occupied territories, decreasing the rate of emigration, development of tourism, together with other fields, such as environmental protection, depend on the regions’ advancement.
According to President Zourabichvili’s statement, peaceful solution of the occupied territories issue stands on the advancement of the regions. We all know this in theory, but it is not transformed into politics. As she noted, today’s and other similar conferences’ purpose is to create a policy that will lead to the actual advancement of the regions in a particular period of time.
The President of Georgia also emphasized that the emigration problem and slowing its flow also depends on regions’ development. The flow of emigration, which hasn’t ceased, mainly depends on the unemployment problem in the regions and solving this issue will allow our youth to stay there.
During the forum, President Zourabichvili noted that tourists’ attractions in Georgia are the regions, but not only through mass tourism. Each one of Georgia’s regions has its distinct attractions. Within the last fifteen years, our country has developed. However, we should work on a policy for tourism development in the regions, to know which directions are important to be advanced. Today, medical and recreational tourism is popular in the world and these directions should also be developed in Georgia. It requires a branding similar to that of Georgian wine.
According to President Zourabichvili, to develop the relevant directions and create a policy, local governments’ vision and the engagement of local citizens are significant.
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