The Prime Minister met population of Zugdidi and introduced them new projects
Standing on the soil of historical Colchis, it is impossible not to feel the contribution this most ancient culture has made to common European civilization. Standing on his ancient land, you realize that you are standing on a bridge that has secured Georgia's civilizational choice of the irreversibility of its return to the European family, Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze opened his speech during today's meeting with Zugdidi's population.
The Prime Minister emphasized that this feeling grasps every Georgian visiting and taking in this land.
"Our country's history is very complex, and all of you know well that it is a history celebrating our freedom and dignity. When such times came, and there have been many, when the idea of Georgia's freedom, union, and dignity arose, this most beautiful region always had a say in it, always had the final say, I would add. Today marks the fourth anniversary after the signing of the EU Association Agreement. This means that we have advanced to a substantially new stage, and this is not the merit of our generation alone, but the merit of our great ancestors who succeeded in preserving and handing down this unique culture, the culture that has made its contribution to common European civilization. Yet our contemporary history is very heavy and painful, experienced with exceptional intensity by Samegrelo. We all remember well the tragedy that took place here in the 1990s. There was a sense of injustice. At the same time, however, you showed the strength of character that should be exemplary to all citizens. To me, it certainly is an example. War is pain and the past, but our future is peace and development. We have stated unabashedly that developed and European Georgia is the only offer with no alternative to our Abkhazian and Ossetian brothers, so that we continue building a strong state together. I am convinced that it will happen. To this end, we need oneness of mind, we need to complete concrete tasks, and what our ancestors have handed down to us. It is the strength of character and resilience in the face of our challenges," Mamuka Bakhtadze stated.
According to the Prime Minister, a strong and European Georgia means strong regions, it means that Georgia's every corner must be developed, and we must make maximal use of our regions' advantages. As Mamuka Bakhtadze emphasized, Samegrelo is a unique region for our statehood and economy in this regard.
"It is very important to us to complete the Anaklia Deep Sea Port as soon as possible. It is vitally important to have a deep sea port in Georgia, so that we may make better use of our country's transit potential. Subsequently, the Poti and Anaklia Ports will put in place unique industrial potential. Samegrelo's industrial potential will guarantee our economy's greater competitiveness and European character. When we discuss cultural compatibility with Europe, it is necessary to include economy as well. It is a very important precondition for creating an environment allowing all of us to fulfil our roles, in which we will demonstrate to our Abkhazian and Ossetian brothers that everyone in Georgia can put their talents to use and lead a decent life. It is decent life that must the key goal targeted by any government," Mamuka Bakhtadze said.
The Prime Minister singled out Samegrelo's unique agricultural opportunities and discussed the damage caused by the stink bug in the region and Georgia. According to Mamuka Bakhtadze, the situation ha improved significantly, also expressing hope that this year's crops will allow for solving this problem once and for all.
"I would like to emphasize the tourism potential of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, such as Tobovarchkhili, the most gorgeous canyons, the moss kingdom, the Dadiani Palace-I do not want to miss anything. Unfortunately, we are barely using 10% of this potential, not even that. Of course, there is much to do in this direction, especially in terms of developing small, family-run hotels. I would like to state with assuredness that, in this direction, we will step up activities significantly, and double, or even triple, our investments. Health and developed tourism requires adequate infrastructure. Much is being done in this direction as well, but the current speed does not match the challenged facing our economy today. This is why will increase our speed. All infrastructural projects must be completed on time, and we must launch other, new projects within even tighter deadlines," Mamuka Bakhtadze said.
During he meeting with the population, the Prime Minister also emphasized the vital importance of culture and values to the Georgians as an ancient nation.
"When visiting Samegrelo and contemplating firsthand what our ancestors have handed down to us, and much of which is preserved in museums, you realize the magnitude of a sense of statesmanship and love they had, those who preserved it all for us and enabled us, future generations, to se with our own eyes. It is an enormous responsibility that we all bear, so that we may adhere to the same approach of statesmanship, and reveal the same strength of character, through love for our country and, most importantly, through unity, may build the country we all want, the country our ancestors wanted and, most importantly, the country granting dignity and dignified life, which is the key precondition for us to unify Georgia and create a strong European country," Mamuka Bakhtadze emphasized.