Georgia is open and safe for business and investors, says PM Garibashvili

PM Garibashvili at Global Investment Symposium “Invest in Georgia,” New York, Sep 24. Photo by PM’s Press Office, 25 Sep 2014 - 12:23, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is not only open for business but it is as safe for businesses and investors as it is in any other country in Europe, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili told businessmen at a special New York investment seminar that specifically promoted Georgia as an ideal place to invest.

Garibashvili believed business-friendly policies, strong regional trade relations, and location at the crossroads between Europe and the Asian continent would only continue to encourage growth and international investment.

"[…] except that your costs and taxes will be lower, there will be fewer regulatory burdens, and your returns will be higher. Of everything I have said, I hope that sentence got your attention. Let me repeat it: investing in Georgia is as safe as investing in any country in Europe,” he said.

Yesterday’s Global Investment Symposium "Invest in Georgia” saw PM Garibashvili address business representatives and potential investors from all around the globe. The event convened in New York City as part of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), where selected country leaders and ministers were invited to speak about their country and highlight their nation’s economic climate and its investment opportunities.

PM Garibashvili during his speech at Global Investment Symposium "Invest in Georgia.” Photo by PM's Press Office. 

In Garibashvili’s address to business, finance and government leaders, the Georgian leader spoke about the advantages Georgia offered international investors in the framework of the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Georgia recently signed with the European Union.

"In Europe, we now stand on the edge of even greater development. At the end of June we signed our Association Agreement with the European Union, further integrating Georgia into a Europe whole, free and at peace. Georgia has always been a European country but this Association Agreement provides an essential avenue to rebuilding our connections with Europe,” Garibashvili said.

Georgia’s political and economic relationship with the United States (US) was also a focus of Garibashvili’s speech, where he emphasized Georgia’s trade relationship with the US had "deep roots”.

"We had a Bilateral Investment Treaty signed in the 1990s. Georgia also enjoys a GSP trade regime with the United States. Under this institutional framework, our economic and business cooperation has strengthened consistently. The US-Georgia Charter on Strategic Partnership has made this institutional framework even more robust and our cooperation more trustworthy and reliable,” he said.

Garibashvili shared some key statistics with investors and highlighted various initiatives the Georgian Government had been doing to attract more foreign investments. He also named two public and private investment funds with billions of dollars at their disposal to help finance foreign investments in Georgia.

"Among those is the Georgian Partnership Fund which invests in large-scale investment initiatives and agriculture management funds, which successfully finances agricultural production. In addition, a newly established private equity fund – the Georgian Co-investment Fund (GCF) – serves as an investment vehicle dedicated to investing in Georgia and provides opportunity for investors to get exposure to the Georgian economy,” he said.

Georgia’s Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Giorgi Kvirikashvili also attended the symposium and said afterwards that a US-based company had expressed interest in investing in the construction of a sea port in Georgia.

Georgia’s Ministry of Economy recently announced an Expression of Interest for the construction of a new Deep Sea Port capable to receive Panamax and Post-Panamax ships at Anaklia, a Black Sea coastal city.

Garibashvili promised the potential investor that the Georgian Government could be enabling instrument but "it is up to the business to seize the opportunity”.