Georgia names diplomat as economy minister

26th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Georgia's ambassador to Spain has been appointed the ex-Soviet republic's new economic development minister.

Tbilisi – Georgia's ambassador to Spain and former banker Zurab Pololikashvili has been appointed the ex-Soviet republic's new economic development minister, the prime minister's office said Wednesday.

His appointment follows Prime Minister Nika Gilauri's firing last week of Lasha Zhvania following criticism of his work with foreign investors and on privatisation of state assets.

"The prime minister nominated Zurab Pololikashvili as his new economic development minister," Gilauri's spokesman, Avtandil Pavlenishvili, told AFP.

Pololikashvili, 32, was a senior manager at Georgia's TBC Bank before joining the diplomatic service and being posted to Madrid in 2006.

Georgia's once-booming economy entered recession late last year and is expected to contract by at least 1.5 percent this year, according to government estimates.

Before it was hit by last year's war with Russian and the global economic downturn, Georgia's economy had grown at an average of 10 percent for four years. The economy contracted 5.9 percent in the first quarter of 2009 as vital foreign investment dropped dramatically.

AFP / Expatica

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