Georgian Government’s New Legislative Initiative– Universal Competition Agency Without Sector Regulator?
The importance of free competition has been demonstrated by a number of policy and academic studies. It is also well known that competition policy (or anti-trust policy, as it is more often called in the US) helps enhance the country’s competitiveness on the global market and promote economic welfare. In particular, free competition leads to a better choice of products and services at lower prices to the benefit of society as a whole and can additionally promote innovation and greater productivity.
Batumi City Hall is planning to demolish five 12-storey buildings near Shota Rustaveli Dramatic Theatre, on Sandro Akhmeteli street (Nos.1, 3, 5, 7 and 9). In an unofficial conversation with the inhabitants, the representatives from the Batumi Municipality have cited the dilapidated condition of the buildings as the reason for demolition. However, according to the buildings’ inhabitants, the buildings were built 35 years ago and the amortization term hasn’t run out yet. There are no visible cracks or fractures on the walls. The residents cite another reason for the planned demolition: the buildings don’t fit into Old Batumi’s architectural landscape.
In 2010, the Georgian Government drafted the Comprehensive Strategy in Competition Policy because competition is one of the priority areas for the commencement of the multilateral negotiations regarding the free trade agreement between Georgia and the European Union (DCFTA).
The Georgian government has recently carried out a de-facto re-nationalization of the lottery monopoly. In a move that received little media coverage, 70% of ownership rights on the Georgian Lottery Company were taken over by the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and handed over to the Georgian Post, a fully state-owned company.