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Government of Georgia Decree №1372 September 18, 2013 Tbilisi On the Approval of the Strategy for the Development of Samegrelo – Zemo Svaneti Region for 2014-2021

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VI. Government

Regional administration and local self-government

Regional administration and local self governments enjoy limited authorities, financial and property resources. Hence, their capacities to develop the region are very limited. In addition, systematic improvement of qualification of the regional administration and local self-government is required, particularly in spheres such as strategic planning, spatial and territorial planning, public services delivery, etc. Condition of the administrative infrastructure of regional administration and municipalities is unsatisfactory. Any service centers that are responsible for providing administrative services to the population do not operate in the settlements.

Due to the low rate of fiscal decentralization in the country, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti municipalities have very limited budget resources. In early 2013, their budget revenues amounted to GEL 63.5 million. Local budget deficits are covered with the equalization transfers of about GEL 35.4 millions from the central government. Only Khobi Municipality does not receive equalization transfer. Significant part of the local projects is funded with special transfers from the central budget.

VII. Factor Analysis of the Region (SWOT)

Factor Analysis of the Region



Location of the region in the zone of transport corridors

Existence of Poti and Kulevi ports, Poti Free Industrial Zone and relatively well developed transport infrastructure

High rate of urbanization of the region

Existence of the energy basic and strategic energy entities in the region

High energy and recreation potential of water resources

High tourist potential of the region: attractive nature, sea resorts, and Svaneti cultural heritage

Favorable natural and climatic conditions for production of different agriculture goods

High level of development of agricultural production and high rate of agricultural exports

Region’s location at the conflict zone border

Remote location from the country capital

Location of significant parts of the region in high mountains High rates of actual unemployment and poverty of the population and absence of effective social assistance system

Limited availability of health care and medicines for most of the population

Weakly developed social services and social infrastructure in the region

Socioeconomic problems related to great number of IDPs in the region

Weak civic sector

Gender imbalance in public and private sectors

Unsatisfactory level of production sector development

Underdeveloped commercial and basic infrastructure

High price of commercial credits and absence of alternative sources

Low level of professional education and qualifications of workers

Inadequate level of agriculture modernization

Absence of effective system for natural disasters management

Limited authorities of the regional administration and municipalities, scarce revenues and property resources



High dynamics of financial and economic development

Attraction of bank credits and capital from alternative markets

Opening of new distribution markets for the goods produced in the region

Attraction of investors interest in Anaklia Port construction, production and transit, energy and tourist potential, and Free Industrial Zone

Growth of exports from the region based on the increased demand for the environmentally pure products at international markets

Destabilization of political situation

Financial and economic crisis

Natural disasters, industrial emergencies and epidemics

Sector factor analysis (SWOT)

Social development, social infrastructure and public services



High rate of region’s urbanization

Existence of hospitals complying with modern standards in all self-governing units

Availability of services of family doctor to all communities

Existence of emergency medical service crews in all self-governing units

Existence of roads and railway of international significance

Satisfactory condition of significant part of the roads

Existence of street lighting in most settlements

Power supply to the entire population

Full coverage of the region with mobile communication network

Existence of fire emergency rescue teams in the municipalities

Satisfactory level of regional media development

Negative dynamics of actual migration of population from the region

Negative dynamics in natural growth of the population, aging of the population

Social problems related to great number of IDPs in the region

High rate of actual unemployment, scarce employment opportunities for the population

High poverty rate

Scarce incomes of the population and small quantities of savings

Absence of an effective system of social security

Lack of social homes

Inadequate qualification of the medical staff

Poor equipment of the emergency crews

Limited financial affordability of proper medical services and medicines for most of the population

Unsatisfactory infrastructure of schools and pre-school education facilities

Inadequate qualification of the teachers of public schools and pre-school education institutions

Lack of effective vocational education institutions

Insufficient numbers of culture centers, parks, libraries, music and art schools, studios, galleries, museums, theatres, sports schools/clubs and swimming pools and unsatisfactory condition of the relevant infrastructure

Insufficient development of the service sector

Unsatisfactory appearances of the most settlements

Absence of street lighting in most settlements

Unsatisfactory condition of most of the local roads

Unsatisfactory condition of the railway infrastructure

Unsatisfactory condition of the public transport infrastructure

Lack of potable water supply to part of population

Unavailability of natural gas supply for a significant part of population

Poor condition/absence of the sewage systems in municipal centers and absence of sewage systems in the villages

Absence of wastes disposal services in most villages

Presence of “uncontrolled” landfills in the region

Absence of street cleaning services in most villages

Lack of high quality and cheap internet in most parts of the region

Unsatisfactory equipment of most of the fire emergency rescue services

Underdevelopment of civic sector

Gender imbalance in public and private sectors



High dynamics of economic growth

Natural disasters

Industrial accidents





Favorable geopolitical and geo-economic location of the region; Black Sea coast and related strategic transport routes and transit function; Poti Port – gate to the transport corridor to Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, as well as the link between western and eastern Georgia;

Existence of Kulevi and Poti ports, Free Industrial Zone and relatively developed transport infrastructure

Significant undeveloped reserves of various minerals; significant resource potential required for the construction industry

Significant energy capacities and renewable energy sources; water and wind resources, biomass, solar energy, thermal waters; existence of strategic energy entities in the region, high energy and recreation potential of water resources; great resources of thermal and pure waters

Abundance of forest resources in the region

Transport communications are well developed, compared with other regions

Relatively high rate of economy diversification

Production experience, industry, processing industry, food production, timber production and processing, and traditional crafts

Great number of small and medium businesses

Dynamically developing banking sector and micro-credit organizations

Favorable environment for business and investments; presence of attractive opportunities, including privatization

Existence of secondary and higher education institutions, education and scientific traditions

Cheap labor and relatively qualified workers in the large cities of the region

Potential for development of various types of tourism; historical and cultural monuments of national and international significance; unique beautiful sights (Zemo Svaneti and extreme high mountains, Kolkheti National Park); recreation resources; places for horse racing and picnics; caves; versatile climatic conditions; newly built resort infrastructure in Anaklia and renovated Mestia

Location adjacent to conflict zone

Loss of traditional markets and economic links and difficulties of entry into new markets

Scarce incomes of the population and local budgets, low level of local private savings and investments

Weak commercial and basic infrastructure in most parts of the region

Poor use of local natural resources

Underdevelopment of production sector, weakly developed construction, trade and service sectors

Insufficiency of direct foreign investments and lack of effective mechanisms for their attraction

Expensive bank credits and limited opportunities of alternative capital

Absence of micro-financing and credit institutions in the remote villages

Poor availability of credits for new businesses

Excessive imports of cheap products; weak support to the export oriented sectors and local businesses; weak promotion and marketing of local products

High unemployment rates, slow growth of employment, high concentration of socially vulnerable population

Outflow of highly qualified professionals

At the regional scale, low level of social capital; inadequate qualifications of the labor resources and underdeveloped system for their training and re-training

Low innovation level in the region, obsolete production technology and low intensity of use of new technologies; low awareness of population about advanced technologies

Lack of special institutions and organizations supporting business and technology development

Limited availability of systemic information about local business potential and supply basis

Insufficient knowledge in management of tourism industrial zones and tourism as a business; lack of systemic approach to attraction of foreign tourists (absence of well grounded strategies for entry into the target market); insufficient recognition and popularization of the region’s tourist potential; and mostly unsatisfactory level of the tourism infrastructure, relevant services and staff

Obsolete transport system



Construction/development of Anaklia and Kulevi sea ports

Improvement of the region’s attractiveness; increasing interest of the investors towards a number of promising areas, including construction of Anaklia Sea Port, development of transit logistic and tourist hubs of regional significance; water, forest resources and minerals of the region

Gaining of new markets for Georgian products; completion of negotiations on free trade with strategic partners, EU and USA

Expansion of opportunities in credit financing market; increased availability of bank credits and alternative capital markets; decrease of interest rates due to increased competition between the banks

Growth of demand for the products of timber processing and natural facing materials in internal and external markets

Growth of demand for environmentally pure products in international, regional and local markets

Development of food industry in the country

Growth of tourist flows in the region

Growth of demand for eco-tourism

High pace of privatization in the region and the country in general

Matching of the capabilities and interests of the region’s enterprises with the requirements and needs of large-scale international projects in the same location

Initiation of special programs to support small and medium businesses; support to new techniques and technologies; and incentives to address re-training of human resources and personnel

Cooperation with international donor organizations and sharing of their experience

Targeted programs funded from the central budget; effective activities of the emerging co-investors, independent and venture funds, agricultural and regional development funds; successful and purposeful spending and use of funding of the projects significant for the region

Foreign / donor capital invested into commercialization of natural, cultural and historical characteristics

Effective development of abandoned buildings and territories

Simplified visa procedures with EU and neighboring countries

Natural disasters

Unstable political situation in the region and country

Global financial and economic crisis and its negative impact, including on tourist business, cargo transportation, service sector and construction industry, as well as price of credit resources and bad debts

Increasing competition in the processing industry at the regional and global markets

Weak implementation of regional and municipal development plans; zero or weak monitoring and evaluation mechanisms




Positive dynamics of growth of added value generated in agriculture

High agricultural potential of the region’s soils

Favorable natural and climatic conditions for agriculture development and production of different goods

Tradition of agricultural production

Abundance of irrigation water resources

Presence of thermal water resources in the region

Relatively high rate of agrarian production development

Presence of mechanization centers in the region

Healthy environment and ecologically pure products

Low level of modernization in agriculture

Low productivity of agricultural sector, imbalance between the number of employed and output

Lack of arable land in the region and fragmentation of land parcels

Poor operation of drainage infrastructure

Lack of agriculture support organizations

Low level of food safety

Underdevelopment of services, extension centers and logistics

Insufficiency of machinery and inventory at the mechanization centers

Poor competitiveness of the products against imports



Development and expansion of trade relations with the neighboring countries and export of agricultural goods

Increased availability of favorable agri-credits

Increased insurance availability in agriculture sector

Natural cataclysms

Spread of epizootic and plants diseases outbreaks

Dumping of imported products over agricultural products

Low quality agricultural materials

Environment protection



Wide biodiversity in the region

Absence/poor condition of sewage and waste water discharge systems and absence of waste water treatment facilities

Problem of environment pollution with the wastes and chemical substances in the region

Absence of integrated wastes management system

Absence of wastes treatment and composting practices

Absence of an effective system for the management of natural disasters, absence of a plan of preventive measures against spontaneous geological processes, plans for adaptation of the territories vulnerable to climate changes and mitigation measures

Absence of adequate resources for the prevention and eradication of forest fires

Unsatisfactory sanitary condition of the forests

lack of awareness of local businesses and citizens about the harmful outcomes for environment from pollution by them

Lack of trans-border (Black Sea) and inter-territorial (Kolkheti protected territories) collaboration

Public government



Existence of elected local self-government authorities

Limited authorities of regional administration and municipalities

Scarce budget revenues and property resources of regional administration and municipalities

unsatisfactory condition of the administrative infrastructure of regional administration and municipalities

Inadequate qualification of regional administration and municipalities in certain areas



Increase of financial and economic capacities of the public government

Financial and economic crisis

VII. Region Development Vision, Strategic Goals, Objectives and Proposals

Strategic visions, priorities and proposals for future development of Samegrelo - Zemo Svaneti region are based on the thorough analysis of the region and its sectoral development, relevant situation and factual assessments prepared in the process of development of this document, on the basis of relevant methodologies and involvement.

In formulation of the region’s development vision, a number of key issues were identified to develop an integrated vision and application of efforts in relevant directions, in particular:

  • Well developed technical and social infrastructure;

  • Growing transport and telecommunications sector, international cargo transportation and commercial cargo turnover;

  • Arrangement of modern transit-logistic system;

  • Attractive investment environment;

  • Taking advantage of the opportunities provided by Free Industrial Zone at maximal possible extent;

  • Reasonable management and use of the region’s material assets and natural resources;

  • Stimulation of the region’s production potential;

  • Development of small and medium business;

  • Development of agriculture, processing industry and export-oriented entrepreneurship;

  • Development of tourism industry in all aspects;

  • Systematic introduction of technological innovations and improvement of labor productivity;

  • Well-developed education system with competitive human resources and high employment rate;

  • Infrastructure for uninterrupted re-training of labor resources;

  • Effective government, strong civic sector and mass media.

8-year vision of the region’s development is based on the above.
By 2021, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti will become one of the most rapidly growing regions in Georgia, with its stable economy and social welfare. The region will e characterized with strong transport and communications sector, dynamically developing production sector, tourism and agriculture, processing and small business spheres, innovation-oriented business and research processes, attractive investment climate and well developed infrastructure that would significantly increase the region’s incomes, existing production capacities and entry into the new markets, as the precondition for significant improvement of the life standards and long-term welfare of the population”.
This strategy should promote implementation of the given vision. Respectively, common goal for the region’s development strategy is:
Improvement of the region’s competitiveness and population’s life standards – through strengthening of the promising sectors and attraction of the direct investments, reasonable management and use of the region’s material assets and natural resources, continuous development of labor resources and technological innovations, entry into the new markets and ensuring sustainable economic growth.
Common goal of Samegrelo – Zemo Svaneti development strategy corresponds to the goals of state strategy of regional development for 2010-2017 period, as well as basic data and directions of the government of Georgia for 2010-2013, intended for sustainable economic growth and promotion of new jobs creation. It responds to the medium-term objective of reducing poverty by 20-25%, in line with millennium development goals, objectives and terms.
Below are stated the strategic goals, objectives and proposals regarded as the priorities for the following eight-year period.
Goal 1: Public government capacity building

  • Gradual expansion of self-government authorities and resource capacities

  • Improvement of administrative infrastructure of the regional administration and municipalities

  • Development of the territorial development plan for Samegrelo - Zemo Svaneti region; preparation of systematically formulated documents for urban planning and territorial arrangement for the municipalities of the region; ensuring proper involvement of the local self-governments and targeted support from the donor organizations

  • Promotion of establishing modern type service centers in the villages and towns to provide public services to the population, contribute to the population’s involvement into the process of decision-making by municipalities and play the role of cultural center of the settlement

  • Systematic improvement of qualifications of human resources at regional administration and municipalities

  • Introduction of an effective system for the monitoring of implementation of the regional development strategy and action program

  • Introduction of an effective system for maintenance of regional and municipal statistics

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