Issue 6, 2012. December-January



Avtandil Chedia

IMF Economic Growth Forecast Stable for Georgia
BG Capital reported that, despite political uncertainty, it is unlikely the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will revise its GDP forecasts for Georgia. IMF expects Georgia's annual real GDP growth of 7% in 2012 to drop a percentage point next year.

75 Percent Government Financing for Diaspora Investments in Georgia
During his visit to Brussels in November, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili told the Georgian Diaspora that the new government is creating a special investment fund to finance diaspora-led investment in Georgia. Ivanishvili explained that if anyone from the diaspora invests 25 per cent of the amount required in a particular business or project in Georgia, then he will contribute the remaining 75 per cent. The money will not be 'lost' and the fund will be profitable, Ivanishvili said, according to media reports.

EBRD Invests in Georgian Supermarket
The EBRD granted Smart Supermarkets a $26 million loan. The financing will enable the company to finance the construction of a distribution centre as well as up to 28 new supermarkets and convenience stores throughout Georgia, according to media reports.
The EBRD remains a committed partner in Georgia. Since the beginning of its operations in Georgia, the EBRD has invested approximately Euro 1.72 billion in over 157 projects, of which Euro 105 million has been in the country's agribusiness sector.

50 Million Lari Bazaar Opens in Tbilisi reported the newly remodeled Desertis Bazroba opened near the central train station in October. The project, a 50 million lari investment, was implemented by the development company.

Georgian Wines Awarded
Hvino News reported that two Georgian wines were selected by Vancouver magazine's International Wine Competition 2013: Wine Man Mukuzani 2007 in the category "Best Medium Red Wines", and Marani Mtsvane 2011 in the category "Best Bargain Wines". Marani Mtsvane was also included in Vancouver Sun's "Wine picks of the week," characterized as "a steal at this price."

Turkish Company "Ekotekstil" Starts Investment in Guria
"Ekogeorgia" plans a new 3000 square meter sewing factory in the village of Meria. Reportedly, 600 people will be employed there. The factory, a $1 million investment, will produce clothing for six famous brands including Mark and Spencer and Victoria's Secret.

New Ropeway to Open in Batumi
A three kilometer ropeway will connect Batumi with the Anuri Mountain, where entertainment complex "Argo" is under construction. The ropeway, a gondola type structure, is being built by Austrian comapny Dobermeier. The $15 million project is being implemented by Hestok Batumi.

CBD Development to Launch $40 million Project in Tbilisi
The CBD Development Company announced plans to build "East Gate," a new 185 thousand square meter multifunctional complex on the Kakheti Highway. The project's budget is $40 million and construction will take two years. In additional to commercial space, there will be galleries, entertainment centers, a shopping area, and accessories and home appliance stores. In addition, hypermarkets, restaurants and fast food restaurants are planned, as well as a summer school, a movie theater, bowling and fitness centers.

European Union to Allocate EUR 670 million for Georgia
EU ambassador Philip Dimitrov announced a new grant to finance projects in Georgia, including programs to strengthen judiciary independence, prison reform, agriculture, and regional projects.

British Airways Officially Returns to Georgia
Return flights from Tbilisi to London start from EUR 428 in World Traveller (economy), and EUR 1214 in Club World (business class).