Issue 4, 2019. August-September


INVESTMENT NEWS provides a brief update on investments and changes in government policy that could impact the business environment.

Georgia Sees 18 Percent Tourist Spike in June 2019
Georgia took in some 471,979 tourists in June 2019 - an 18% spike in comparison to the same time period last year. International travelers (non-tourists) also increased by 873,966 (20.2%), the GNTA reports. Most visitors came from Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia, however the number of visitors from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, China, Korea and Turkey significantly increased. Among European travelers, increased numbers from Austria, Germany, the UK, Latvia and the Netherlands were also recorded.

Georgia Generates Close to $100 Million in Wine Sales In H1
Georgia exported about 40 million bottles of wine to over 40 countries in H1 of 2019 - a 6% increase in comparison to the same period last year. Moreover, Georgia made $98 million in income from the sale of wine abroad - a 9% increase year on year. Russia, Ukraine, China, Poland and Kazakhstan are the top five destinations for Georgian wine, while exports to France, Lithuania, Mongolia, Belarus and Israel also grew significantly. Georgia also exported 50% more brandy (12.6 million bottles) and 238,000 bottles of chacha (a 34% increase).

Eastern Partnership: Georgia is leader in SME policy index
Georgia has been named a leader among the countries of the Eastern Partnership in its small and medium enterprises policy index.
Of 12 indicators, Georgia received the best rating in nine indicators in a study conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The nine indicators in which Georgia came out on top are: regulatory environment, entrepreneurial environment, support services for SMEs and start-ups, state procurement, access to finances, standards and technical regulations, entrepreneurial skills, innovations, internationalisation of SMEs, reported.

Georgian Economy Posts 4.7 Percent Growth in May 2019
The Georgian economy grew 4.7% in May 2019, GeoStat reports. Particular growth was observed in real estate, trade and hospitality, while a decrease was noted in manufacturing and construction.

Q1 2019: Georgia's External Debt Totals $17.8 Billion
Georgia's external debt amounted to $17.8 billion in Q1 of 2019, the National Bank of Georgia reports. The total amount of gross external debt increased by $10.2 million.

Batumi International Airport Slated to Undergo Renovation
Major renovations are planned for the Batumi International Airport over the next 10 years in order to meet growing demand for tickets to the destination.
Consulting company TH Airport Consulting will help United Airports of Georgia identify key areas to focus on. This will be the first renovation since the airport opened in 2007. United Airports of Georgia reports that Batumi International Airport received 135,939 passengers in the first five months of 2019.

US, Georgia Sign Memorandum of Understanding On Trade Relations
The US and Georgia signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance trade ties on June 13. The document calls for bilateral trade relations between the two countries to be strengthened and to ensure Georgia's "tangible, inclusive growth in the coming years."

Georgia Brings in More Than $280 Million in FDI in Q1 Of 2019
$281.1 million in FDIs was brought to Georgia in Q1 of 2019, GeoStat reports - a 6.3 percent decrease in comparison to the same period in 2018.
The top three countries by volume to invest in Georgia were Ireland, the UK and the US.