Fostering Education in the Hope of Future Innovation

BEFORE INNOVATION CAN hatch, education must be incubated. Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia, spoke about how instilling education reform helps sow the seeds of future innovation at the 2019 World Economic Forum. Bakhtadze previously served as minister of finance and, before that, CEO of the Georgian Railway company. He became the youngest prime minister in Georgia's history in 2018. Bakhtadze identified human capital development as the most important factor for political leaders today. While Georgia has made substantial progress in its business image – as evidenced by its ranking as the sixth best global economy for "doing business," according to the World Bank Group – there is still room for improvement in the education sphere. To that end, Bakhtadze plans to introduce ambitious education reform and improve the quality of education at all levels. Once education spending comprises "no less than 10 or 11 percent" of Georgia's GDP, Bakhtadze said, it will be concrete proof of the reform's success. Bakhtadze hopes to build a more innovative future on a firm foundation of education, with Georgia as a "regional hub for trade, business, finance, tourism and education." Rather than viewing disruptive technologies as a challenge to traditional industries, he approaches innovation as an opportunity – one that human capital development will help Georgia take full advantage of.

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