A one day workshop on import substitution entitled Made in Georgia, sponsored by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by PMCG, was held at the Courtyard Marriott on November 3.
Representatives of the Government, the private sector, donors and NGOs gathered to gauge the potential for introducing an import substitution program in Georgia.
Earlier two USAID programs, the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Support Project and the Business Climate Reform Project, partnered with the American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia to survey local businesses to gauge the potential for an import substitution program. PMCG presented the survey results at the Made in Georgia workshop.
All the participants of the Made in Georgia workshop had the opportunity to express their attitudes towards the issue and talk about specific ways to promote local production and achieve global market competitiveness in the long term, which means providing goods of a more competitive quality, price and supply stability. At the end of the meeting all participants agreed to continue working over the Made in Georgia concept.
The main concept of the Made in Georgia workshop is not only import substitution, but support and expansion of the local production. But it’s up to the business sector to suggest the fields in which further growth is possible. It’s up to them to define the pathway for overcoming the problems, Aleksi Aleksishvili noted.
Import substitution can bring many benefits to the country, according to Mr. Conly. He added that import substitutes are meant to reduce imports, generate employment, develop new businesses, create new opportunities for exports, reduce foreign exchange demand, stimulate innovations, and make the country self-reliant in different fields.