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According to the statement of the now former Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili: "A programme called Product of Georgia started last year and it continues with considerable success. As of today, we have funded over 123 projects. In total, this is a GEL 350 million investment in the development of Georgian industry."

FactCheck

verified the accuracy of Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement.

The Product of Georgia programme (FactCheck wrote about the programme earlier as well, see: Link 1, Link 2)

is being carried out jointly by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia. It aims at supporting industries working in production as well as focusing upon agriculture as one of its priorities. The Product of Georgia programme budget is GEL 46 million. Of this amount, GEL 30 million will be spent on the production and processing of agricultural goods whilst GEL 16 million will be spent on the production of industrial goods. The programme includes three components:

  • Access to Funds
  • Access to Infrastructure (real estate)
  • Consultation Service

The Access to Funds component comprises loan co-financing (in the amount of 10% for the first two years). If a borrower takes a loan for work in industry, he pays 1%-3% per annum whilst 10% is covered by the state. If a borrower takes a loan for work in agriculture, he pays 1%-2% per annum with 10% also covered by the state. The programme’s Access to Infrastructure component provides access to real estate with eligible entrepreneurs given state-owned property for the symbolic price of GEL 1.

Two new components will be added to the Product of Georgia programme in the nearest future. According to the statement of the Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Keti Bochorishvili, the programme will support hotels in the future. The programme also aims to establish Georgia as a centre for the film industry which means that Georgia will be used as a shooting stage for foreign film producers.

According to the Entrepreneurship Development Agency, a total of 75 projects have been funded in terms of the availability of finances for the industries component of the Product of Georgia programme, 24 new enterprises were opened and a total of GEL 187 million has been invested in these enterprises. About 54 beneficiaries have used the Access to Infrastructure component and the planned amount of investment is determined to be GEL 88 million. As for the field of agriculture, a total of ten companies were funded in terms of the programme and the planned amount of investment is to be USD 21 million. Hence, as of today, a total of 139 projects have been funded in terms of the Product of Georgia programme and the planned amount of investments is expected to be GEL 325 million.

On 25 November 2015, a new pharmaceutical company, Ynnovas, was opened in Georgia in terms of the Product of Georgia programme. The company received funding of USD 2 million. The company will be the first on the Georgian market to use the healing potential of Georgian flora and will gather, process, produce and export pharmaceutical production. About GEL 9 million was invested in the company. On 26 November 2015, a plastic cork factory, Geo Cap, was opened in terms of the same programme. The enterprise used two components of the programme at the same time (financial and infrastructure). A total of USD 2 million was invested in this enterprise.

Conclusion

The Product of Georgia programme was enacted in May 2014. As of today, a total of 139 projects have been funded in terms of this programme and the planned amount of investments is expected to be GEL 325 million.

Hence, FactCheck concludes that Irakli Gharibashvili’s statement is TRUE.