Georgia

Georgia : Investment Climate Statement 2015

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Description

The Republic of Georgia (Georgia) is located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe. Since the Rose Revolution, Georgia has made sweeping economic reforms, moving from a near-failed state in 2003, to a relatively well-functioning market economy in 2015. Through dramatic police and institutional reforms, the government has mostly eradicated low-level corruption. According to a 2015 Georgia Messenger poll, only 2 percent of the population reported that they had to pay a bribe in the previous year to receive a government service or decision. In 2005, the government eliminated 84 percent of licensing requirements, and Georgia ranks 15th in the 2015 World Bank's, Ease of Doing Business Index. Fiscal and monetary policy are focused on low deficits, low inflation, and a floating real exchange rate, although the latter has been affected by regional developments, including sanctions on Russia and other external factors such as a stronger dollar and weaker regional economies. In October 2012 Georgia ushered its first democratic transfer of power when former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition won a parliamentary majority and formed a new government. The 2013 Presidential elections in Georgia were viewed by international observers as highly competitive with fair electoral processes and facilitated Georgia's second peaceful transfer of power in a little over a year. Prime Minister Ivanishvili resigned in November 2013, and was replaced by Irakli Garibashvili. Subsequent local self-government elections in 2014 further consolidated Georgia's record of electoral democracy and were acknowledged by the international community as yet another step towards strengthening democratic processes in Georgia. The current government has carried on the previous government's low-regulation, low-tax, free market policies, while increasing social spending, strengthening anti-trust policy, amending the labor code to strengthen protections for workers, and consulting the private sector in the development of sound economic policies. In early 2014, the government published its medium-term economic strategy Georgia 2020, which outlines Georgia's economic policy priorities. It stresses the government's commitment to business friendly policies such as low taxes, but also pledges to invest in human capital and to strive for inclusive growth across the country, not just in Tbilisi. The strategy also emphasizes Georgia's geographic potential as a trade and logistics hub along the New Silk Road linking Asia and Europe via the Caucasus. Companies in past years reported occasional problems arising from a lack of judicial independence, lack of intellectual property rights enforcement, lack of effective anti-trust policies, selective enforcement of economic laws, and difficulties resolving disputes over property rights. Georgia's government has pledged to address these issues and, despite these remaining challenges, Georgia stands far ahead of its post-Soviet peers as a good place to do business. In June 2014, Georgia signed an Association Agreement (AA) and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with the European Union. In 2012, following President Obama's meeting with former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, the U.S. and Georgia established a High-Level Dialogue on Trade and Investment to identify ways of increasing bilateral trade and investment. The U.S. and Georgia also discussed economic cooperation within the bilateral Strategic Partnership Commission's Economic Working Group. Both countries signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty in 1994, and Georgia is eligible to export many products duty-free to the U.S. under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. The program is currently awaiting re-authorization by Congress.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 30 pages
  • 216 x 280 x 2mm | 95g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514388413
  • 9781514388419