Issue 6, 2017. December-January


INVESTMENT NEWS 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, a government supported website, and other sources.

EBRD Forecasts Faster Growth for Georgian Economy
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has said the Georgian economy is growing faster than expected in 2017, a trend that is likely to continue in 2018, reported on November 9.
The economy will grow by 4.5 percent in both 2017 and 2018, according to the EBRD's latest forecast.
"The economy of Georgia is accelerating on the back of strong export performance and burgeoning tourism. In the first half of 2017, GDP growth picked up to an estimated 4.5 percent year-on-year following two years of below-3 percent growth in 2015-16," the revised report said. The report also noted that the Georgian lari had appreciated against the U.S. dollar until mid-October, in part due to increased foreign currency inflows from exports and tourism, as well as the government's tighter monetary policy and a resurge in remittances, which grew by 19.7 percent in the first nine months of the year. "A recovery in consumption, investment in infrastructure and strong performance of the hospitality sector are expected to contribute to growth," the EBRD stated. quoted the Georgian Economy Ministry as saying that Georgia will enjoy "one of the fastest economic growths among the Eastern and Central European and Central Asian countries in the years to come."
Export grew by 28.3 percent and the income received from tourism increased by 28.5 percent in the first nine months of the year, the report said, citing Ministry data.

Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Opens
The long-awaited railway line connecting the Caucasus to Europe via Turkey opened on October 30.
The railway will "change the current economic reality, providing totally new economic opportunities in the region and beyond," Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said at the railway's opening ceremony in Baku.
"It can be openly said that a new Eurasian bridge has been founded today that will connect not only our economies, but also our citizens, and improve and boost their welfare," he added.
The presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey, together with the prime ministers of Georgia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan attended the opening. reported that the railway is expected to carry nearly 1 million passengers and 6.5 million tons of freight a year. Eventually it will be able to transport between 15 and 17 million tons of freight a year, according to media reports.

Georgia Hosting Second Silk Road Forum
High-ranking officials from over 60 countries and representatives from over 500 companies attended the second annual Silk Road Forum in Tbilisi on November 28-29. Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili underscored the country's commitment to developing its strategic location at the crossroads of East and West in his opening remarks.
The forum, called Belt and Road, provides a platform for regional countries and business partners to discuss potential opportunities in four areas: transport, energy, trade and business-to-business contacts, said.
The annual event is a joint effort by the Georgian and Chinese governments and the Asian Development Bank, it noted. The goal is to "promote the sharing of ideas, experiences and expertise along the revived Silk Road and beyond," the report said.
Georgia Wine Exports Grow 59 Percent
Georgian wine exports have grown 59 percent in the first ten months of 2017 compared to the same period last year, reported on November 7, citing official figures.
Brandy exports are also up-the country exported over 13 million bottles of Georgian brandy to 22 countries, a 91 percent increase compared to the same period last year.
The country's chacha exports were up 198 percent compared to 2016, the report noted.
The country earned a total of $222.4 million from the export of all three alcoholic beverages, a 50 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Oldest Evidence of Wine Found in Georgia - Study says
Scientists have found the oldest known traces of wine at two neolithic sites near Tbilisi, media reported on November 14.
the findings were first published in a leading scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Grape seeds and traces of acid found on pieces of clay vessels at the sites were dated to 6000-5800 BC.
This makes them 600 years older than the previously earliest-known finding in Iran's Zagros Mountains.
The samples were taken from two sites in southern Georgia, not far from the capital Tbilisi.

"Secret Santa" to Promote Local Businesses
Bank of Georgia and Georgia Post have announced the second annual Secret Santa program for small Georgian manufacturers. Small businesses can register for the program, which encourages people to buy Georgian products as New Year gifts, at
This is the second year for the Secret Santa program: last year more than 60,000 people participated, according to Bank of Georgia. The program allows people to purchase gifts-and receive a gift in return-from an anonymous Secret Santa, and support Georgian businesses in the process.
This year's Secret Santa program starts on December 1.