Today, President of Abkhazia Aslan Bzhaniya held a meeting to discuss the epidemiological situation, the tourist season in the Republic of Abkhazia, and the implementation of the Investment Program for 2017-2019 and 2020-2022. Prime Minister Aleksandr Ankvab, Head of the Administration of the President Alkhas Kvitsiniya, his deputies Saida Butba and Dzhansukh Nanba, Vice Premier, Minister of Economy Kristina Ozgan, Ministers of Health, Tourism and Internal Affairs Tamaz Tsakhnakiya, Teymuraz Khishba and Dmitry Dbar, Deputy Chairman of the State Security Service Timur Khiba, Chief Sanitary Doctor Lyudmila Skorik, and Head of the Department of Capital Construction Timur Agrba also participated in the meeting. At the start of the meeting, the President of Abkhazia said:
Good day, dear colleagues!
It is the first time that we meet in this way. The process of the formation of the government has been completed, due to which meetings with the members of the Cabinet of Ministers will take place on a regular basis.
Today is the 19th day of work in conditions of the open border. Nineteen days ago, we, our citizens, business people, and tourists received an opportunity to communicate without obstacles. Before we did not encounter such problems.
The pandemic caused serious damage to the economy, the degree of which is being studied and assessed. We have to fundamentally, possibly cardinally, make changes to the State Budget and the socio-economic development plans of the state. As part of two Presidential Decrees, a range of anti-crisis measures is being implemented, which aim to support the business people and define the priority directions for the spending of budget.
On my instructions, the Government has developed and presented a bill which presupposes significant measures of support to business people in connection to tax and customs exemptions and the extension of permits. However, this bill was not accepted by Parliament, which aggravates the already difficult socio-economic situation.
In order to support one of the most important industries in the economy – tourism, we have carried out several negotiations with Russian colleagues, consultations with specialists and public hearings. As a result, the border with the Russian Federation was opened from August 1. Immediately, a large number of tourists began visiting the state. A significant proportion of the population of Abkhazia works in the tourist sector. Without a doubt, the opening of the border will positively affect the budget revenues. At the same time, we should understand that the threat of the spread of the coronavirus infection has increased.
Moreover, we have other important obligations connected to the implementation of the Investment Program. Delays in this sphere may also have negative consequences for the economy, especially because every project in the Program aims to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Abkhazia. There are three questions in today’s agenda:
1. The epidemiological situation in the state.
2. The tourist season.
3. The implementation of the projects under the Investment Program of Assistance to the Socio-Economic Development of the Republic of Abkhazia.