In October 2011, EBRD began providing further technical assistance to the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and the Georgian National Communications Commission. This is part of a long term programme of co-operation for the development of the electronic communications sector in Georgia. The EBRD has appointed an experienced consortium of international and local experts to provide the range of technical assistance required. The consortium is led by J Kanervisto Consultants (Finland) with its partners Great Village International Consultants Inc. (Canada), Cullen International SA (Belgium) and PMCG (Georgia).
On 8 December 2011, the EBRD will be hosting a public conference and workshop, sponsored by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development at the Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel, Tbilisi. Vera Kobalia, the Minister for Economy and Sustainable Development opened the conference. Stakeholders from the electronic communications sector in Georgia discussed the development of a forward-looking policy, seeking to create a transparent society based on technology and innovation.
The implementation of this vision will involve the acceleration of investment in the essential high-capacity infrastructure that will enable more universal access to modern communications services to Georgia’s citizens, even in the more remote areas of this geographically diverse country. The investment required to create the infrastructure capable of delivering the eSociety must be made within a developing competitive market, providing consumer choice and efficient service provision. The transition to a liberalized market for the sector in Georgia has made significant progress towards implementing the competitive market principles established by the EU regulatory framework.
The Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development (MESD) holds responsibility for establishing policy for the sector. An independent sector regulator – the Georgian National Communications Commission (GNCC) – was established in 2000 and has implemented some important reforms that have simplified market entry by new service providers and provided important competitive safeguards to ensure that the market functions effectively in the future.
The EBRD programme has a two-fold set of objectives – firstly, to assist the MESD to develop the electronic communications sector policy that will support the Government’s eSociety objectives and, secondly, to assist the GNCC to develop and implement regulatory actions aimed at improving market competitiveness and promoting investment in more universally available modern services, especially broadband.