From February 26 – March 2, a delegation of Egypt’s Government Agency for Free Zones and Investment in Georgia within the USAID project “Egypt Competitiveness Program”, was hosted by PMCG. This purpose and goal of the program is to improve Egypt’s rating in the World Bank Doing Business Survey. Our Egyptian guests were presented with reforms successfully carried out in Georgia by representatives of several public institutions of the country which is now a leading name in the aforementioned ratings.
During the visit, the Egyptian delegation visited selected government agencies to learn about best practices in reforming and improving the business environment. Meetings were held in various locations including the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy, Data Exchange Agency, Ministry of Interior, National Enforcement Bureau, Tbilisi City Hall, Public Service Hall, and the State Procurement Agency. For the delegation members, representing Egypt’s Government Authority for Free Zones and Investment (GAFI), one of the most significant meetings was held in the Georgian National Investment Agency.
At the beginning of the study tour, PMCG’s General Manager Mr. Aleksi Aleksishvili delivered an extensive presentation about the reforms implemented during the past couple of years in Georgia. Mr. Aleksishvili emphasized the problematic issues during carrying out these reforms as well as highlighted current challenges faced by the Government of Georgia.
In the National Enforcement Bureau, GAFI representatives were introduced to e-services, such as Software on Enforcement proceedings and summary proceedings, Software for Tax Officers, and E-Auction. In Georgia, these services significantly simplified the procedures and reduced bureaucracy and corruption in the state institutions. Of the greatest interest to our Egyptian guests was the information on insolvency proceedings.
As dealing with construction permits is one of the key criteria of the Doing Business Survey, the GAFI delegation visited the Construction Department of the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. Here, they were informed about reforms recently implemented in the area of construction permits and licensing in Georgia. The meeting was so informative and interactive, that a follow-up meeting was requested and subsequently held. During the follow-up meeting, practical challenges in the field of licensing, execution of the law on construction and related topics were discussed.
One of the main objectives of this study tour was to visit company registration and license agencies. Accordingly, a comprehensive meeting in the Public City Hall was held. Participants were introduced with the simplified and improved public services. Of particular interest to the attendees was the Public Registry’s presentation on Business Registration Procedures.
In the Tbilisi City Hall, GAFI representatives had meetings at LEPL “Tbilisi Architecture” and LEPL “Property Management Agency”; in which successful reforms, current challenges being faced and future goals being targeted were discussed.
In addition, while in the Ministry of Finance, GAFI representatives visited Service Departments, Customs Monitoring Department, Informational Technology Department, Audit Department and Dispute Resolution Council before being taken on a tour of the Customs Clearance Zone (GEZI).
As the study tour came to a close, PMCG awarded GAFI representatives with completion certificates. During the award ceremony participants expressed their gratitude for the study tour and the results of the subsequent evaluation form showed that they were very satisfied with had been gained from their week’s visit to Georgia.