Issue 4, 2017. August-September

   

INVESTMENT NEWS

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 agenda.ge, a government-supported website, and other sources.

Georgian Economy Grows 4.5 Percent

The Georgian economy grew 4.5 percent in the January-May period, Reuters news agency reported on 4 July, citing official statistics.

Last year, the economy grew just 2.9 percent in the same period.

The economy grew 5.3 percent in May, compared to just 2.1 percent in April. The report credited an increase in remittances and exports for the higher growth numbers.

Number of International Tourists Up

The number of international arrivals increased by 28.5 percent in June compared to the same period last year, agenda.ge reported, citing official data.

"During the first six months of 2017 Georgia hosted 2,996,170 international travellers (13.4 percent increase), including 1,309,982 tourists (29.1 percent increase)," the report noted.

Georgia Receives $400m in Investments in First Quarter

Georgia received a boost in foreign direct investment in the first quarter of 2017, according to the National Statistics Office, agenda.ge reported.

Foreign direct investment was up 3.7 percent, to $403.3 million in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017.

The top three countries investing in Georgia were Azerbaijan, with $97 million in FDI (24.1 percent of all FDI); Turkey, with $82 million in FDI (20.2 percent of all FDI); and the United Kingdom, with $80 million in FDI (19.8 percent of all FDI).

The top three sectors for investment were transport and communication, with $141.1 million in FDI (35 percent of all FDI); real estate, with $80.3 million in FDI (20 percent of all FDI); and the financial sector, with $79.6 million in FDI (20 percent of all FDI).

"Our country is the only one in the region with investment growth, while all the other countries have an evident decrease. This is why up to a 4 percent increase is a high indicator for us, but we will keep on ensuring that FDI will become even higher from now on," Georgian Minister of Economy Giorgi Gakharia said.

Asian Investment Bank Lends Georgia $114 Million

Georgia and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and Georgia have signed a $114 million financing agreement for the construction of the Batumi Bypass Road in the Adjara region, agenda.ge reported.

Georgia's Shuakhevi Hydropower Plant set to open

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced the country's Shuakhevi Hydropower Plant will open this summer, agenda.ge has reported.

He said 100 percent of construction has already been completed.

"In 2015, several international financial institutions teamed up to help Georgia build the Shuakhevi HPP by investing $416 million in the construction and operation of the power plant," agenda.ge said.

At a ceremony in Adjara, Kvirikashvili thanked Adjaristsqali Georgia- a joint venture of India's Tata Power and Norway's Clean Energy Invest, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)-for their contributions to the plant's construction.

"Our supreme goal is to substitute locally produced energy for imported energy in the shortest period of time. To achieve this, we need unity between people and the government, support from international institutions and the engagement of local and foreign investors," Kvirikashvili said.

The plant will employ 300 local people and is expected to produce 450 gigawatt hours of power annually. It will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 200,000 tonnes per year, the report said.

Georgia exports food to Qatar

A Georgian company has started exporting blueberries, greens and tomatoes to Qatar, agenda.ge reported, citing information provided by the Georgian Economy Ministry.

"In June this year the need to find new exporter countries and companies and especially food-product producing companies has emerged in Qatar.

Large Qatari companies addressed the Georgian Embassy in Qatar to help them find potential partners in Georgia," announced Georgia's Ministry of Economy.

"For this reason, representatives from the export-promotion department of 'Produce in Georgia' contacted more than 100 private companies and provided all information about these companies to the Qatari side," read the statement from the Ministry.

Uvie's Berries, a Georgian company, responded to the query, which responded in a contract with a Qatari supermarket chain, Lulu, to supply it with Georgian blueberries and greens, the report said.

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