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IFC Helps Georgian Government Simplify Licensing Process for Extracting Subsoil


In Tbilisi:
Nino Kartozia
Phone: +995 32 92 35 23/24
Cell: +995 99 16 13 30
E-mail: NKartozia@ifc.org

In Moscow:
Ilya Sverdlov
Phone: +7 495 411 7555 (*2075)
E-mail: ISverdlov@ifc.org


Tbilisi, Georgia, July 11, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has helped Georgia’s Ministries of Economic Development and Environment and Natural Resources amend a regulation on issuing a license for the extraction of useful subsoil. The new law was adopted in June 2008.

“The government of Georgia has a good record of cooperation with IFC experts, whose participation in amending the regulation brought new, client-oriented elements to the table,” said Zviad Cheishvili, former Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Georgia, who was in charge of this reform.

This new regulation reduces the time it takes to obtain a license, the number of applicant visits to the issuing agency, and the number of documents for applicants to collect and submit to the agency. Prior to the amendment, a license seeker was obliged to visit the agency five times and submit five sets of documents, a process that took several days, and often weeks to complete. The amendment also specifies that only winning bidders are required to pay a fee for preparing auction documents. This move encourages interested parties to participate in the process at no cost, even if they are not shortlisted.

“With this new regulation in place, license seekers like me have additional incentives to participate in tenders on equal terms with others and the opportunity to explore the natural resources that Georgia is so blessed with,” said Zurab Tevzadze, Head of Geological Department of Burji, Ltd.

The new regulation serves as an important step toward implementing a one-stop-shop principle and simplifying the regulatory framework that will allow new companies to enter the market.  

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

Georgia became a shareholder and a member of IFC in 1995. As of April 30, 2008, IFC has committed nearly $220 million in 25 projects in the country's financial, power, oil and gas, and manufacturing sectors. IFC also conducts advisory programs in Georgia to promote corporate governance and improve the business enabling environment, with the support of BP and its oil and gas partners and the Canadian government. The corporate governance project helps companies and banks improve their governance practices, which has helped bring millions in outside investment to Georgia.  IFC's business enabling environment project helps government agencies streamline the regulatory framework for businesses. It also conducts a regular survey of local entrepreneurs. This survey and the IFC and World Bank Doing Business report help the government pinpoint priority areas for reform.

For more information about IFC’s partners, visit:
BP,
www.bp.com
The Canadian International Development Agency, www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/index.htm