February 7, 2008

ICC Board meets with political leaders to protect business climate

A day after meeting with Speaker of Parliament Nino Burjanadze, ICC leaders sat down with members of the opposition on February 7 to discuss the importance of protecting the country's business environment.

“We listened to the opposition... It was a very constructive meeting, a very open, frank meeting,” said Fady Asly, chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce Georgia. “We expressed our concerns about rallies and demonstrations in the country which will lead Georgia to poverty.”

According to Mr. Asly, the opposition acknowledged that the current political uncertainty puts everyone in a losing position, and that demonstrations should be used as a last resort

Mr. Asly said ICC Georgia is ready to broker an agreement between the government and the opposition for the sake of economic stability.

“As businessmen, we are neutral. We are not pro-government or pro-opposition. We just want to create a good business climate,” Mr. Asly said.

Giorgi Isakadze, representing the Federation of Georgian Businessmen, agreed that the meeting was constructive.

“I think that the fact we even had this dialogue is an important fact. We frankly shared our ideas about current events…and received pragmatic answers from their side,” he said.

The meeting came a day after representatives of the ICC Board of Directors met with Mrs. Burjanadze, who agreed that political issues should be solved through dialogue to preserve investor confidence in Georgia.

Mrs. Burjanadze welcomed the ICC's offer to play a leading role in encouraging direct foreign investment in Georgia, and affirmed her readiness to talk with the opposition and her commitment to fair parliamentary elections in th