Godfather of Georgia's liberal economic reforms dies in London

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

Kakha Bendukidze, the author of liberal reforms that overhauled Georgia's post-Soviet economy, has died in London where he was recovering from heart surgery, the parliament speaker has announced. He was 58.

Lawmakers observed a minute of silence in honor of Bendukidze, who died late Thursday.

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Bendukidze, a bespectacled, overweight Tbilisi native who had a promising career in biology before he set up his business in Moscow, was remembered as a witty man who never strived for fortune or office.

Bendukidze ditched his successful industrial ventures in Moscow in 2004 to return to Georgia as the economic minister and oversee the ambitious reforms that saw the post-Soviet country rated as some of the friendliest places to do business.

He was recently appointed adviser to the new Ukrainian president.