Investor.ge provides a brief update on investments and changes in government policy that could impact the business environment. The information in this issue was taken from agend.ge, the government-supported website, and other sources.
New section opens on East-West (E-60) Highway
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and other officials opened the 11th section of the new East-West Highway on July 15. The highway improves transit infrastructure between Tbilisi and Batumi. The latest section, which allows cars to drive around the town of Samtredia, was financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the European Investment Bank.
Georgia airports serve 21 percent more passengers
Over 21 percent more travelers used Georgian airports in the first six months of 2016 than the same period last year, according to official statistics, from 892,468 passengers to 1,082,828.
New, Simplified Land Registration Law
A law that streamlines land registration is set to go into effect from August 1. The new rules are intended to help the state resolve ownership disputes, help land owners obtain the proper documents, and develop a unified standard for survey drawings.
EBRD Loans MagtiCom $100m
The credit will help MagtiCom improve and expand its broadband penetration in the regions of Georgia by purchasing Caucasus Online's fixed-line broadband internet network platform, the company said.
FTA for Georgia, European Trade Association
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili signed the free trade agreement with Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland on June 27. The deal is "comprehensive" and includes trade in goods and services, Civil.ge reported.
EU Visa Liberalization for Georgia postponed
In June the Coreper, the committee of EU ambassadors, met to discuss Visa Liberalization for Georgians into the EU. A decision was postponed and the issue will be reconsidered in September, according to media reports. EU law stipulates that the measure must be approved by the European Parliament and the Council of European Union.
Imports, Exports and Trade Turn Over Down
Georgia's foreign trade turnover declined by 11 percent year-on-year to $4.22 billion in the first half of 2016, according to GeoStat, the official statistics body.
Exports fell by 12.3percent in the first six months of the year, to $ 948 million, and imports were down by 10.6 percent y/y to $3.27 billion, excluding one-offs, with trade deficit declining by about 10 percent y/y to $2.32 billion.
Georgia's trade turnover with the EU-member states declined by 9.3% y/y to USD 1.16 billion in the first half of this year.
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