Representatives of member companies of Business Association of Georgia met with the Business Ombudsman George Gakharia at Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel on 20th May, 2016. The dialogue was solicited by the Business Association.
A main discussion topic at the meeting was draft law on Consumer Rights Protection, to which business has some notes, as due to non-compliance to the relevant EU directives, this new regulation will increase costs, create additional barriers to business and these will eventually be reflected on consumers.
By the statement of Business ombudsman, office of business ombudsman is on the same grounds, as they don’t support the adoption of Consumer Protection Law the way it is suggested today. As Gakharia said, this legislation has to be processed, as Georgian economy is not ready for it, however the work on the draft should continue
"The working process on this legislation has not started now. For many years we shared our position as in written as well as at the committee meetings. Positions were agreed partly, but we think that the high standards, which are taken from the northern European countries, are irrelevant to Georgia. Neither business nor the consumer, nor the Georgian economy is ready for this. Of course, consumers' rights must be protected, we have the mechanisms for this in current legislation, but these mechanisms have been scattered, the idea to unite them under one law is legitimate, ""- stated Giorgi Gakharia.
The President of BAG, George Chirakadze, who chaired the meeting, called on the parliament to listen more to the business, while speaking on the draft law.
"We are very pleased that the government and we are standing on the same position. We want to send a clear message to the Parliament - to listen more to businesses, consumers, and there should be discussions about these topics, there is no need to make hasty decisions, which can lead to problems. It is important that members of Parliament to listen to us and all others until they make a final decision and to understand what all these may cause", - said Chirakadze.
In addition, Association members had the opportunity to discuss the interesting topics and get the information about planned changes at the meeting.