Host Country Investment Outlook Session
HOST COUNTRY INVESTMENT OUTLOOK SESSION
17:15 - 18:45, Parliament Building, Room B
The Host Country Investment Outlook session is an integral part of the EBRD Annual Meeting & Business Forum. The Prime Minister of Georgia and President of the EBRD will deliver introductory keynote speeches. The session follows with a Discussion Panel about Georgia’s economic outlook, as well as success stories from the international and national companies operating in the Georgian market.
The event is an opportunity for participants to gain a comprehensive understanding of the investment climate and opportunities in Georgia – a country which is oriented towards positioning itself as a business hub in the region and developing an advanced international business environment and business relations.
Nowadays, Georgia is open for FDI with the most investment-friendly environment: The World Bank ranks Georgia 15th in the world for its ease in doing business, making it one of the top global economies for starting and operating a business.
The country offers a liberal and easy manageable tax regime, a competitive cost of labour and energy, a pro-business and corruption-free government, a stable financial sector and a very low crime rate.
Over the last two years, Georgia has experienced significant economic expansion: with growth in the manufacturing, agricultural, transport and communication sectors and increased industrial output. The real GDP growth rate amounted to 4.8 per cent in 2014. The World Bank has forecast growth of the annual GDP indicator by 5 per cent, which makes Georgia one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Georgian government efforts to reduce corruption in the public and private sectors have significantly improved Georgia’s ranking in the Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International (from 130 to 50). The Heritage Foundation ranks Georgia as the 22nd freest economy in the world. In 2014, Moody’s affirmed Georgia’s BA3 rating and changed the outlook on sovereign rating from stable to positive. Fitch also affirmed Georgia’s BB-rating and changed the outlook from stable to positive.
As a result, Georgia has recently attracted a significant amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) in different economic sectors. To cite just one example, the country’s huge hydro resources has attracted over US$ 1.4 billion foreign direct investments in the energy sector over the last decade. And FDI to Georgia is on the rise. While total FDI to Georgia amounted to US$ 10.9 billion over the last decade, Georgia attracted over US$ 1.2 billion in 2014 alone.
Georgia boasts one of the most business-friendly tax regimes in the world. The country has recently signed the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCF TA). Now with free trade agreements with Turkey and other neighbouring and CIS countries, Georgia offers easy access to a market of over one billion people.
Procedures for setting up a business in Georgia are simple and efficient, based on a transparent system that promotes the establishment of new enterprises. According to the 2015 World Bank Doing Business Report, Georgia holds fifth place among 189 countries, in terms of ‘Starting a Business’.
Thanks to Georgia’s natural position as a bridge between the east and west and as a result of numerous infrastructure projects implemented by the Government of Georgia, the country is becoming increasingly integrated globally. There are now a significant number of international companies successfully operating in the Georgian market and developing their business in the country.
The Investment Outlook Session gives national and international companies an opportunity to share their success stories with meeting participants.
– BP has been in Georgia since 1996. Together with business partners, BP has been operating energy transit projects in Georgia for 18 years and is currently implementing a new project.
– TBC Bank is a leading universal banking group in Georgia: at the end of 2014 it had an unmatched market share of retail deposits (34%) and retail loans (30%). In 2013, TBC Bank was listed on the London Stock Exchange, resulting in the largest ever initial public offering (IPO).